Managing the classroom effectively is one of the teacher’s most important jobs and perhaps the most difficult, especially for new teachers. It can be a struggle even for veteran teachers as they also find students who challenge their methods.
Since every class and every student provide a somewhat different challenge, it makes sense for each teacher to find the right strategies that work best for her or his students.
Here are some of the effective classroom management strategies to help you create an environment that’s conducive to teaching and learning.
Establish a positive relationship with your students
Don’t leave relationships to chance if you want to get the most out of classroom management. Experts acknowledge that teacher-student relationship is the cornerstone of effective classroom management, and classroom management has the largest effect on student achievement (see video). Let’s face it, we all want to feel cared and valued by significant people in our world. Well, students are no different.
Establishing positive relationships promotes a sense of school belonging, as well as encourages students to participate cooperatively. Besides, it helps them to develop the confidence to experiment and, of course, succeed in a learning environment where they’re not restricted by the fear of failure.
But how can you develop positive teacher-student relationships? Here are some recommended ways:
- Provide a clear structure as students respond positively to a structured learning environment. What we mean is that, as a teacher, you should explain clear expectations to your class. In other words, the rules and regulations must be practical and consistently reinforced. By doing this, the trust students have in you may grow.
- Always treat your students with respect
- Create an enjoyable learning environment that encourages student participation
- Show interest in your students’ lives outside the classroom
- Teach with enthusiasm and passion.
A teacher that has the students’ best interest at heart should not be so focused on lecturing that you allow no room for questions. You should invest more in getting the students interested and engaged in the subject matter instead of just making sure that all the knowledge is conveyed. It is best that you don’t explain ideas or facts uninterrupted for more than 5 minutes at a time. Some students may get bored and lose concentration. Instead, set a good example by asking questions and also invite the students to ask questions that steer the discussion.
Although the questions asked by the students need answers, it doesn’t always have to be you providing all the answers. You should also allow the students to volunteer and answer classmate questions.
Praise your students
Never underestimate the benefits of praise! It is one tool that can be a powerful motivator for students. In fact, research shows that praise is more effective than tangible rewards and may transform a student’s image, uplift the entire class, as well as reinforce the core value you seek to promote in your classroom. While praise can be a great tool for motivation and achievement, teachers must use it effectively:
- Focus on effort, not only on achievements
- Praise should be clear, creative, and varied
- Be specific both in terms of the student and his/her accomplishments
- Provide students with information about their performance.
Organize group projects
Students love working together in groups. Therefore, for effective classroom management, there should be lessons and tasks that are designed to bring the students together. Teamwork helps nurture leadership skills and also students might develop more respect for each other. Others may learn how to be more responsible about getting their assignments ready in time when there’s a group grade that affects their classmates.
Engage in 2-way feedback
Giving feedback is an essential part of effective classroom management. It helps your students to understand the subject matter and guides them on how to improve their learning. If done correctly, it can improve the students’ performance, self-awareness, and enthusiasm for learning.
Teachers should also encourage feedback from students. And the best way to go about it is by asking questions about the tests and homework to the entire class regularly. You may get to know the learning style they’re more comfortable with. Alternatively, you can distribute written surveys with specific questions to each student. That way, it's easier for students to give ahonest feedback, from which you can make the right teaching decisions.