Classroom Management Techniques for Teachers
At the end of this lesson, the participants should be able to:
• Manage classrooms more effectively
• Manage time efficiently in accomplishing teaching-learning tasks.
• Sustain learners’ interest in the classroom
Unit 1 – Introduction
The ability of teachers to organize classrooms and manage the behaviour of their students is critical to achieving positive educational outcomes. Although sound behaviour management does not guarantee effective instruction, it establishes the environmental context that makes good instruction possible. Classroom management is essential, not only for teachers’ peace of mind, and in giving teachers proper control of their classroom, but also for a positive and flourishing learning environment for the students/pupils.
Unit 2 – Meaning of Classroom Management
Classroom management therefore is the method or technique which a teacher adopts to ensure that every learner utilizes available resources to learn and develop to full capacity with minimal disturbance and with the sole aim of achieving the goals of the school system towards learning.
Classroom management can also be described as the process whereby human and material resources are organized, students are motivated and inspired and a cooperative working environment created to accomplish educational objectives.
Apart from classroom activities, classroom management entails knowing the students, maintaining students’ records, relating with the students, providing such services as counseling, communicating with parents /guardians in relation to their children or with students directly about their school activities as well as other variables or factors that may influence their learning positively or negatively. The teacher also has to take decisions on a variety of matters such as chalkboard arrangement, time management, class control, time tabling, tests and evaluation procedure and sustenance of learner’s interest. Thus, for effective classroom management, the teacher must acquire skills ¡n the following areas:
• Classroom arrangement
• Time management
• Class control
• Sustenance of learner’s interest
• Communication in the classroom
• Time tabling
• Indicators of Effective Classroom Management
Unit 3 – Classroom Arrangement
While good room arrangement is not a guarantee of good behaviour, 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 behaviour. 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 pupils/students reference materials should be readily available. Some degree of decoration will help add to the attractiveness of the room.
How the classroom arrangement depends on the type of furniture at the disposal of the teacher. Generally, there could be individual student desks or log benches, chalkboard, teacher desk and in very rare cases overhead projector and computer desk and bookshelves.
The following classroom arrangement is recommended to some different purposes:
• For subjects that involve story telling it is advisable to arrange the class ¡n horse shoe formation with the teacher standing or sitting in a place where he/she can see every pupils/students.
• For “Free” “Individual” or “Group” activities desks or benches should be arranged in manner suitable to the particular activity. The action of changing the desks or benches gives the students a chance of movement which makes them more alert than sitting tight in their places.
• When the pupils/students are demonstrating, the teacher should not remain in front of the class. He should not stand in the middle either, but should go right to the back or side so that he could see from least favourable position, thus making sure that the entire pupils/students can see properly.
• When teaching the whole class, he should be in a place very near the chalkboard where he would be able to write conveniently on the chalkboard without turning back.
• In subjects where group system is required, say three groups, each group is expected to face different directions. For instance group 1 could be arranged to face the Northern part of the classroom. Group II could face the Eastern part while Group III face Southern part.
Unit 4 – Time Management
For effective classroom management and control, time management skill must be imbibed. If the time available is well managed there will be enough time to bring about efficiency and effectiveness in the school programme.
The following guides could be useful in the teacher’s effort to acquire skills in time management.
(a) Setting up priorities:
• think of the major functions
• write down these major functions
• put the objectives and teachers’ function
(b) Effecting priorities:
• Give detail step that may be necessary to affect these priorities.
• Involve the pupils/students, other staff members, parents (if need be) and other individuals who are connected during the actual execution. The teacher, after setting up these priorities and steps, should allocate the time (hours days, week, month) for each of the steps.
• Each step should fit into individual programmes and prior commitment of all those concerned.
(c) Consequences of lack of Time Management skills
• Continuous lack or inadequate time for carrying out essential duties in the class (e.g. scheme of work, syllabus etc).
• Increased misunderstanding and confusion
• Lack of direction, purpose and commitment
• Frequent stamped or panic measures to beat deadlines
• Conflict in schedules, timing activities and even in interpersonal relation.
In SS 2A there used to be noise whenever Mr. Olusola is in the class. Students are found moving in and out of the class. You might doubt if any teacher is in the class except who cares to look well. Anytime she teaches students give answers at the same time.
Unit 5 – Class Control
A list of measures which teachers have found useful for preventing and correcting misbehaviour, thereby engender effective class control are as follows:
• Inform pupils/students of rules governing classroom procedure, if pupils/students are to adhere to regulations, they must understand precisely what these regulations are.
• Have as few rules as possible. Only such regulations as are deemed necessary for the attainment of the objectives should be made.
• Explain reasons for the rules.
• Allow helping pupils/students formulate their rules — that is a good way to enlist their cooperation in observing and enforcing the rules.
• Enforce the rules.
• Be firm and consistent in handling disruptive behaviour in the classroom.
• Be yourself.
• Keep the pupils/students interested and occupied.
• Call pupils/students by name.
• Know the background and personalities of the pupils/students.
• Use praises liberally while punishment must be sparely used.
• Make allies of classroom leaders — if the teacher succeeds in getting the cooperation of those students who others admire and strive to imitate, it will go a long way to enhance class control.
• Enlist cooperation of parents.
• Provide guidance services.
• Move about the classroom.
Unit 6 – Sustaining of Learners’ Interest
In sustaining the learner’s interest, the teacher should use a variety of methods and techniques of teaching. These include:
i. Questioning Method: This can be a powerful tool for effective teaching
Demonstration Method: In this method, sight is a prominent vehicle of communication
ii. Discussion Method: This aims at developing the learner’ independent learning skills
iii. Lecture Method: For this to sustain the learners’ interest the lecture materials must be properly planned arid organized (lecture is not ideal at secondary school level)
iv. Enquiry Method: Enquiry methods allow students to think for themselves and thereby sustaining their interest.
v. Role Playing Method: This method allows the pupils/students to act a problem or a structured situation for the purpose of teaching a particular skill concept or attitude.
vi. Field Trips: This involves taking pupils/students to a designated place or location of educational importance
vii. Project Method: This involves the teachers guiding of pupils/students to select specific projects to investigate either as individual or as a group. Usually selected projects are of particular interest to students and also have some discernable educational value.
Unit 7 – Communication in the Classroom
Communication is defined as the exchange of messages between two or more persons.
Communication can be effected as a verbal communication and non- verbal communication.
Non-Verbal communication may be in form of facial expression, gestures, whistling, body movement and various types of signs. Communication is an indispensable tool for successful accomplishment of the goals of the school because:
• The classroom activities will remain standstill without proper communication.
• Effective communication enables the teacher to know more about classroom management skills.
• With communication the teacher knows what to communicate when to communicate and the medium, means or channels for such communication process.
• For effective learning to take place there must be successful communication.
• Good communication in the classroom helps to make the contents of the lesson clear and easy for student to grasp.
• Good communication also affords opportunity for desirable interaction in the class, thus enabling the teacher to detect and solve pupils/students’ problems, which in turn help to increase the student understanding.
• Good communication in the classroom helps in diffusing rumours and reducing the incidence of tension which can lead to unruly behaviour.
Case Study 1
Mr. Gabriel teaches in junior section of a secondary school. He shouts when teaching to the extent that his voice often over shadows other teachers in the other classes. In asking questions, he calls name of students before raising questions. Everything he does is ¡n extreme. His relevant examples are characterized with too much exaggeration and embellishments.
Unit 8 – Time Tabling
Time- table indicates what each subject teacher and his class are to do at a given period. It is being suggested that the time tabling be done by a selected committee in the school because of its complexity.
The following are points to he considered in time tabling:
• Subjects to be taught
• The official regulation of the Ministry of Education
• The duration of Lesson.
• The sequence of Lesson.
• Distribution of subject.
Unit 9 – Indicators of Effective Classroom Management
The followings are some of the indicators of classroom that is effectively managed by a teacher:
• Effective learning taken place. 1f learning has taken place; it must be preceded by effective teaching.
• Conducive and favourable learning environment that engender possible assimilation of what is being taught by the teacher.
• Pleasant physical environment of the classroom that aids learning.
• Availability of pupils/ students in the classroom during teaching-learning process displaying orderliness and discipline.
• Pupils/Students developed a positive attitude towards their learning in the classroom.
• Motivated and enthusiastic students in learning process
• Teachers using different teaching strategies, positively and adequately motivating students to learn.
• Adequate instructional materials used to facilitate learning.
• Responses given to individual pupils/students’ needs.
• Assignments given to pupils/students are regularly marked.
• Teacher communicates audibly.
• Friendly, approachable welcoming, accommodating teachers to pupils/students and parents.
• Absence of use of abusive and derogatory language on pupils/students.
• Improved learning outcomes
• Teaching covers all the domains of learning namely cognitive, psychomotor and affective.
Case Study 2
Mrs. Bello teaches in one of the secondary schools in Nigeria. She always expects the class representative to call her for lesson during her subject period. When she gets to class, she goes into teaching without minding the sitting arrangement or orderliness of the class. She often sits close to the chalkboard to teach till another teacher stays by the class entrance. Besides, she orders students to collect notes from another class to copy. Hardly does she give assignment and when she does marking is not her business. Her major concern is the tuck-shop or buttery which she manages on behalf of the school.
Students used to fail her subject at external examinations such as JSSCE, WASSCE and NECO. Her defence is that students are not determined to pass.
Training Manual on Contemporary Science (Physics) Methods with Theoretical and Practical Approaches to Effective Learning – National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), Nigeria, Ondo State