Classroom Management - Introduction

A group of people coming together to learn a common subject or topic under the guidance of an instructor is called a class. The people taking the instructions are called students or pupil and the place where the instruction takes place is called the classroom.

Ensuring positive learning environment in a classroom so that teaching takes place smoothly and successfully is called classroom management.


Need for Classroom Management

As per our definition, classroom management is necessary to ensure the following −

  • Students have some new take away from each class
  • There is no disruption in the class
  • All learning outcomes for the session are met

Whether you are already a teacher or plan to take up teaching, you know that every teacher goes to a class equipped with a lesson plan. This lesson plan ensures timely completion of class syllabus. However, to adhere to the lesson plan successfully, you must manage your classroom like a pro. If you fail to do that, your class will stray into unwarranted territory. And if this continues even for 2 or 3 sessions, you and your class will struggle to complete the syllabus.

Creating a Classroom Management Plan

As a teacher you need to think ahead, without getting caught in daily classroom activities like taking attendance, resolving disputes, etc. These activities can eat into your lesson time, so always keep the bigger picture in mind and try to minimize time spent in nonteaching activities. To manage your classroom time well, create a classroom management plan of your own. This plan should include −

  • Classroom rules that must be followed
  • What should be the warning for each act of indiscipline
  • Step to be taken if warning bears no fruit
  • Criteria for escalating or de-escalating an issue

Unlike a lesson plan, which cannot be altered, a classroom management plan should be dynamic and take into account your progress with the syllabus thus far. For example, if you could not complete the targeted topics, plan to make up in the next class by cutting on other daily activities. Also, never plan for the full length of your classroom session. So, if you have a 40 minutes class, plan only for 30-35 minutes. You will spend a couple of minutes in reaching the class too!!

Advantages of Classroom Management

Teaching is 60% knowledge and 40% class management. If you are able to manage your class well, you will be a better teacher in the eyes of students, colleagues and school management. If that doesn’t convince you, here are some other tangible advantages of classroom management

  • You will complete syllabus in time
  • You will be able to inculcate discipline in the students
  • Students will learn positive classroom manners
  • You will have a better relationship with your students

A Disadvantage of Classroom Management

As teachers, we must look at both sides of the coin. Classroom management principles provide a very structured learning environment, which ensures that all learning goals are achieved. But that also leaves very little scope for open discussions. It has been proved beyond doubt that open discussions encourage creative and lateral thinking in students. They learn to apply their learning to real life scenarios.

You can turn this disadvantage of too-structured learning on its head by pacing the classes such that you have ample time to have open discussions too. For example, you can allocate one session after finishing a chapter to freewheeling discussions. But consider holding your class in the open or in large rooms so that you don’t disrupt other classes around you.

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