If you want to truly understand how wild students can go in confined spaces, observe any class between kindergarten to the primary and higher grades.With the nonstop chitter chattering, throwing stationary across the room, doodling on the board, and desks to fighting in a corner like it were to be world war three!It is perhaps one of the few times when the human voice is tested to its full capacity. Some unlucky ones who can’t get their screams across try to analyze, which two objects could they slam together and make sure they catch the class’s attention.Some tactics are universal. Slamming the duster on the board is one of them.If you want to know how calm you can be no matter the surroundings, all you must do is try managing a class like that. Perhaps this is where the people management was born!Undoubtedly, managing a classroom can be very stressful and exhausting. A poorly managed class will result in below-average teaching, which then leads to bad education.Research has shown that very little importance has been given for training teachers in classroom management. However, some methods can be implemented to maintain some dignity in the classroom. An orderly environment will only ensure proper education given to the students.In this article, we will discuss a few strategies and techniques which can be used for various situations. Keeping in mind that every teacher has his/her unique style.
1- Being an Example
The best way to teach is to set an example of how you would want students to react to you depending on various situations, for example, conducting a test, class presentation, group projects.An important thing to clear before teaching class is to make sure students understand when they can interrupt you. Some are okay with being interrupted in between to ask a question, and some teachers would like students to wait till the end of the lesson and then discuss.It is also important to let them know when you are available for clearing doubts after class hours.To make this learning more interesting, you can conduct mocks with a student or any school staff. Make sure to make it fun so that students don’t lose focus.While addressing a class, it is essential to keep a few things in mind like:
Using simple language.
Having good eye contact.
Letting everyone speak without being interrupted.
Discouraging the use of any electronic items during class.
It is essential to teach students how to politely disagree with each other without hurting the sentiment of others. Students should be taught how to respect different opinions, even when it differs from what they believe.Encouraging class discussions always helps in student development. During these discussions, a student will be able to understand and learn to accept different perspectives that others can have for the same topic.
2- Don’t be a Boss; Be a Guide
Your job is not to tell the rules that need to be obliged. Perhaps it is important to know what the other side has to say.Encourage students to talk about what they expect from the class. What, according to them, is unacceptable and what rule can be bent a little.For example, should cell phones be switched off, or can they be kept silent?It might look like you are losing control of the classroom by not being an authoritative figure, but what makes the students more adjustable to your techniques is letting them know you are open to suggestions.An understanding between a student and teacher should be mutual. There is a right balance to be maintained, which can be done with cooperation. Throwing a student out for being five minutes late might be too strict, however, letting them go off once twice with a warning might seem a good way to go.
Often what has been discussed in the beginning will be forgotten. These must be documented.Like how the syllabus is maintained, these rules can be handed out during the beginning of each year, so all rules are well versed.Another way to ensure rules are remembered is to have the class monitor maintain the runbook. When rules are written, they have more value and cannot be questioned about lacking clarity.Handing these Runbooks to students separately might end up in them being ignored. A way to ensure students at least once read through them is to hand them out in the same booklet in which the curriculum is listed.
4- Identify the Root cause
Punishing an entire class or a whole group for the misbehaviour of one student should not be done. The student who caused the problem must understand the repercussions of not being cordial.It makes the class understand that everyone will be treated fairly. Will also make students discourage their classmates from causing further disturbances.It is also important to learn how to deal with troublemakers. They are usually not the ones that can be disciplined with a single warning.The student needs to maintain calm and not show frustration during these situations. Keeping a calm tone and yet letting them know undisciplined kids will not be tolerated is important.If all efforts fail, it is important to below-average the student later, and the issue can be escalated to their parents.
5- Encourage Growth and Creativity
Growth and creativity must always be encouraged. Good efforts made by students must be praised, and all improvements made in any field must be rewarded.Students should feel they their efforts are being appreciated and acknowledged. Such behaviour not only improves the student-teacher relationships but also helps the student to have a lesser stressful environment.Behaviours will also encourage other students to improve themselves. Such motivation only spreads. A class that seemed a bore before that becomes a fun class to be in.Teachers should let students it is okay to question what is taught in the textbooks. Sticking strictly to textbook methods might curb their creativity.They should be encouraged to test out new ways to solve a math problem, and if they do, that must be praised.Letting students know that good behaviour has a direct impact on year-end grades will encourage students to reinforce behavioural activities inside the classroom.
6- Keeping parents updated about student’s progress
Rather than letting parents know only when a student disobeys, it is crucial to let parents know how well their kids are doing.Every improvement must be acknowledged. If a student who has always received a grade D finally gets a C, this must also be acknowledged.Parents will also be happy knowing their kids have been doing well. When kids are appreciated by their parents, it boosts their confidence to a whole new level. It further motivates kids to push themselves harder.
7- Symbiosis Effect
It can help if students are paired in such a way that they can teach one another. A student good in math can be paired to sit with a student good in chemistry. Another weakness in sports can be grouped with a student who is excelling. This way, they get to work on their weak points.
8- General Discussions
General discussions are for the end of the day when all students can gather together and talk about something that was the highlight of the day or discuss something that seemed to have disturbed everyone.For example, a student who met with a serious accident.Each student must be encouraged to talk about something once in two weeks. It ensures a healthy and friendly environment.Everyone should be taught to respect each other. These discussions should be short meetings that last for up to 10–15 minutes.
9- Taking a Break
It is essential to give breaks. Not just lunchtime, but in between classes, even if it is for 5 minutes.If a class goes on for more than an hour, then after a difficult topic discussion, giving students a break will help them recharge their mind rather than causing exhaustion.
10- Curriculum Planning
It is important that you plan the curriculum in such a manner that they have enough time to prepare and practice.They can use the time before the midterm to focus more on what they have not understood and clear their doubts. It helps in reducing their last-minute stress.
11- Create Curiosity
While teaching, try to make them curious about the subject. For example, why do you guys think it is difficult to cure a common cold?Assignments must be attractive, which motivates students to do more research and come up with a new take.Let them know they can come up with an answer in the next class, and whoever does his research will get extra credit.
Last but not least,
The above techniques will help in improving student and teacher relationships. It will result in creating an environment that is less stressful for both parties.A classroom should be for learning and growing. Students might forget what you taught them, but they will always remember how you treat them!