Inspired this week by our very own Gerry Savage, this week‚Äôs blog is on classroom management. Some would argue that the whole teaching profession is built around classroom management, and that a lesson, no matter how outstanding, could not be delivered in quite the same way without solid classroom management to go with it. If you are not familiar with the term classroom management, it simply refers to how a teacher takes control of the class. It isn‚Äôt just dealing with behavioural issues, although that is a key element, it is also knowing how to control the class. It is how to get the whole class‚Äô attention before addressing them (link to last week‚Äôs blog!!!)‚Ä¶ It is about tackling various situations accordingly. It is about time management, organisation, preparation and delivery of knowledge. To think that Classroom management is all about behaviour issues and dealing with naughty children is not quite correct, and it would be easy to get behavioural management and classroom management mixed up. There are many elements that go into classroom management.
It is easy for me as a teacher to give lots of advice or helpful pointers on what makes good classroom management, but I am going to refer you this week to a university professor with a numerous years of experience in teaching and lecturing how to teach under his belt. His name is Dr. Kizlik and he is a Guru when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of teaching. I am intrigued by some of his ideals and theories on teaching and I think more teachers should read and learn about some of his methods. Check out his views on Classroom management‚Ä¶
Dr. Bob Kizlik
Updated February 14, 2016
The evidence is irrefutable. Surveys of graduates of education schools and colleges indicate that the #1 area of concern of new teachers is their feelings of inadequacy in managing classrooms. Despite clinical experiences, practicums, student teaching, and other observations in classroom settings, this problem has persisted for decades. There is no magic elixir that will confer skill in this area of professional responsibility. We only wish there were.
Classroom management and management of student conduct are skills that teachers acquire and hone over time. These skills almost never “jell” until after a minimum of few years of teaching experience. To be sure, effective teaching requires considerable skill in managing the myriad of tasks and situations that occur in the classroom each day. Skills such as effective classroom management are central to teaching and require “common sense,” consistency, an often undervalued teacher behavior, a sense of fairness, and courage. These skills also require that teachers understand in more than one way the psychological and developmental levels of their students. The skills associated with effective classroom management are only acquired with practice, feedback, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. Sadly, this is often easier said than done. Certainly, a part of this problem is that there is no practical way for education students to “practice” their nascent skills outside of actually going into a classroom setting. The learning curve is steep, indeed.
As previously mentioned, personal experience and research indicate that many beginning teachers have difficulty effectively managing their classrooms. While there is no one best solution for every problem or classroom setting, the following principles, drawn from a number of sources, might help. Classroom teachers with many years of experience have contributed to an understanding of what works and what doesn’t work in managing classrooms and the behavior of students. The following information represents some of the things that good classroom teachers do to maintain an atmosphere that enhances learning. It is written in straightforward, non-preachy language, and will not drive you to distraction with its length. I think most students appreciate that. With that in mind, I truly hope this information is useful to you. Should you decide to purchase my¬†Catalyst: Tools for Effective Teaching 2.0¬†¬† program, you will be treated to a great deal of additional classroom management resource material that you can put to use right away or down the road when you start teaching.
Please send any comments, suggestions, or questions to¬†Dr. Robert Kizlik
An Effective Classroom Management Context (these four things are fundamental)
¬†Know what you want and what you don’t want.
¬†Show and tell your students what you want.
¬†When you get what you want, acknowledge (not praise) it.
¬†When you get something else, act quickly and appropriately.
While good classroom arrangement is not a guarantee of good behavior, poor planning in this area can create conditions that lead to problems.
The teacher must be able to observe all students at all times and to monitor work and behavior. The teacher should also be able to see the door from his or her desk.
Frequently used areas of the room and traffic lanes should be unobstructed and easily accessible.
Students should be able to see the teacher and presentation area without undue turning or movement.
Commonly used classroom materials, e.g., books, attendance pads, absence permits, and student reference materials should be readily available.
Some degree of decoration will help add to the attractiveness of the room.
SETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR BEHAVIOR
*Teachers should identify expectations for student behavior and communicate those expectations to students¬†periodically.
* Rules and procedures are the most common explicit expectations. A small number of general rules that emphasize appropriate behavior may be helpful. Rules should be posted in the classroom. Compliance with the rules should be monitored constantly.
*¬†Do not¬†develop classroom rules you are unwilling to enforce.
* School-Wide Regulations…particularly safety procedures…should be explained carefully.
* Because desirable student behavior may vary depending on the activity, explicit expectations for the following procedures are helpful in creating a smoothly functioning classroom:
– Beginning and ending the period, including attendance procedures and what students may or may not do during these times. – Use of materials and equipment such as the pencil sharpener, storage areas, supplies, and special equipment. – Teacher-Led Instruction – Seatwork – How students are to answer questions – for example, no student answer will be recognized unless he raises his hand and is called upon to answer by the teacher. – Independent group work such as laboratory activities or smaller group projects.
Remember, good discipline is much more likely to occur if the classroom setting and activities are structured or arranged to enhance cooperative behaviour.
To read more about Dr Kizlik‚Äôs works and ideals follow the link below.
By Andy T