Effective Classroom Management

Ms. Priya Ranjan is an English Teacher at Sunbeam English School, Bhagwanpur.
In this article, she speaks of methods teachers can use in classrooms, to make the class effective and interesting.

Discipline often comes to mind at the mention of classroom management, but the crucial component of teaching is much more.
The term ‘classroom management’ refers to the procedures, strategies and instructional techniques teachers use to manage student behaviour and learning activities.
Effective classroom management creates an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning.
A traditional interpretation of effective classroom management may focus largely on "compliance" of rules and strategies that teachers may use to make sure students sitting in their seats, following directions and listening attentively. Classroom management extends to everything that a teacher does to facilitate students learning.
Few basic classroom management strategies are:-
  • Agree on classroom rules at the beginning of the year - Students should be engaged actively in the process of determining a set of classroom rules. Taking this preventive measure creates a positive atmosphere at the onset.
  • Be consistent about expectations - It's important to keep in mind that school staff should work together as much as possible to foster consistency in expectation and discipline methods throughout the school.
  • Make parents your allies – Call them early and often. Use the word 'concerned' when communicating a concern. Be specific and descriptive. Do not give generalised statements
  • Keep all the students actively involved. While a student does a presentation, involve other students in evaluating it.
  • Discipline individual students quietly and privately. Never punish an entire class. There are always some kids following classroom norms. Punishing the class as a group incites further resistance.
  • Find things to appreciate. Make yourself look for things to delight in. Praise is a powerful tool. It can be used to transform a student's image, up the entire class and reinforce the value you seek to promote in your classroom or school community.
  • Involve students in teaching - learning process – Engaging students in teaching learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practice higher level critical thinking skills and promotes meaningful learning experiences.
  • Role clarity – The students should be clear about their roles and duties assigned to them in an activity.
    Effective classroom management paves way for the teachers to engage the students in learning. In my opinion LEAST funda should be effected in the classroom-
    Leave it alone -  If the behaviour is not going to become troublesome, leave it alone.
    End the action indirectly  -  This can be done by distracting the students from this misbehaviour by giving them something else to do.
    Pay attention  -  Get to know the students, has he got problems at home, is he being bullied, is he facing learning difficulties? This will help the teacher decide
                            what to do.                     
   Spell out direction  -  What should be done, what should not be done and what would happen if directions are not fallowed.
   Track the behaviour by maintaining records  -  If the behaviour doesn't recur he can be rewarded. If it recurs he may have to be punished/penalised.
Effective classroom managers are successful not because they handle disruption and misbehaviour in the class. Rather, they are effective because they create such a learning environment which is challenging, brisk and carefully monitored that disruption does not occur at all. Effective classroom managers are involved with effective instruction and not in maintaining discipline through correction of misconduct.