Classroom management is a term used by teachers to describe the process of ensuring that classroom lessons run smoothly despite disruptive behaviour by students. The term also implies the prevention of disruptive behaviour. It is possibly the most difficult aspect of teaching for many teachers; indeed experiencing problems in this area causes some to leave teaching altogether. Classroom management is closely linked to issues of motivation, discipline and respect.
How do the teachers get students to behave in class? Usually not by telling them to behave, but using behaviour patterns that ensure they behave.
Before starting teaching, each teacher should ask herself these questions:
Have you set a code of behaviour in the classroom?
Are the students really understanding you or are they missing most of what you are saying?
What type of troublemaker are they?
Below, solutions are given to classroom discipline problems from an ELT teacher:
How can a teacher prevent irritating classroom behaviors?
1. The students and teacher should first discuss and then write a “group” contract adopting acceptable classroom rules and procedures by the end of the first week of school.
2. Periodically review the rules and procedures of the classroom until the students can successfully adhere to them.
3. Use simple verbal reprimands when the misbehavior occurs. Make sure that they are to the point, moderate in tone, and private (e.g., “Stop talking and work on your math problems, please”).
4. Give praise to the entire class as frequently as possible (e.g., “Thank you for working so quietly,” or “I’m delighted to see you all working so well today”).
5. A student who continually exhibits an unacceptable behavior (e.g., out of his/her seat) might profit from an “individualized” contract pinpointing the “desired” behavior (e.g., remaining in his/her seat) and delineating the consequences (e.g., if goal is reached, then student will receive designated reward or recognition).
6. Intervene as soon as possible in order to prevent the misbehavior from occurring (e.g., say “Harry, may I help you with your assignment?” when the student begins to show signs of frustration).
7. Use facial expressions to convey to the student that the misbehavior was not totally overlooked. Circulate around the room frequently, to avert potential behavior problems.