FEBRUARY, 2020 - Teaching Tips

Smooth Teaching Through Classroom Management

Teaching can be difficult if boisterous and noisy students decide to disrupt your classroom.  As a teacher, keeping the lessons and discussions rolling could be difficult if you keep getting interrupted.  This is proven to be hard to handle especially for those who are just starting out in their teaching career.

Teaching may not be among the most dangerous jobs in the world, but it can be demanding, challenging as well as rewarding. 

Classroom management refers to how teachers make sure that lessons continue even with disruption. Classroom management helps teachers deal with issues about motivation, discipline and respect.  There are different strategies and techniques that teachers use to make sure that their students are inspired, motivated and well-behaved.  Of course, the use classroom management techniques does depend on each teacher’s preference.  


The best time to let students know about your rules is during the first day.  Even before classes start, you should know what to expect from students and how they can meet those expectations.  So, when explaining the classroom rules on day one of class, make sure that your students clearly understand the rules of your classroom, and that they know the consequences of not abiding by those rules.   If you fail to explain or provide punishments or consequences for your classroom rules being violated, then students will become emboldened, will continue to test your boundaries, and could end up completely running rings around you and causing mayhem in your classroom. 


Integrate your rules as part of your course or subject syllabus.  Discuss the rules, point-by-point if necessary. Just like you would normally do with any other academic topic.  This should help clear up any misunderstanding and wrong interpretation. 


Students who tend to become unruly are pushed into doing disruptive behaviour because they are bored.  It is best to avoid an hour-long lecture.  If you continue to do that, your students will sleep or play with their cellphones and other gadgets.  If you notice that it would take an army before your students can remain in their seats during an hours class, then ensure to incorporate different kinds of activities.  


So, have your rules, make sure they understand them, and stick to them. No exceptions.  

Teachers who have the best managed classrooms are those who spend the first two weeks of class teaching and practicing their procedures and routines (Marzano, Marzano, & Pickering, 2003). ― Michael Mills, Effective Classroom Management: An Interactive Textbook​

“Good classroom management is the art of dealing with problems positively and looking for solutions

together so that everyone is involved and willing to find a remedy.”
― Kavita Bhupta Ghosh, Wanted Back-Bencher and Last-Ranker Teacher

Most teachers have 2-3 activities in a forty-five minute teaching period. This helps students release their energy and at the same time learn something.

If your students are trying to deviate the discussion into something completely irrelevant, then don't necessarily just cut them off. Instead, you can try to connect what they are saying into the discussion and then start to get back to the original topic.  If your students are becoming confrontational, then do not argue to make them agree with you. They will resist more if you force them.  Let them see what are the consequences of their bad behaviour.  


If you are having problems with specific students and they are becoming too much for you to handle, do not force the suituation.  Seek back-up from your teaching colleagues and school administration. In addition, you can talk to the guidance counsellor and ask for any ideas on how to face or handle certain issues with specific students and student personality types.  Perhaps, you can even arrange a cooperative meeting with you, your student and the school counsellor to see if you can develop a working plan of action. 


One key here that adheres to the theories on classroom management by Howard Glasser and Dreiker, is that of collaborative and verbal interaction learning. Throughout the class time students should be involved with verbal interaction with the teacher. Class time should be planned such that it gives time and opportunity for all different students to have a special moment. Some experts believe that every student can have a focus week, where he/she gets a few minutes at the beginning of every class to share his/her life with the students. This strategy can aid in the developent of interpersonal learning skills, as well as linguistic learning, but it also makes the participating students feel special.


Another strategy that teachers use to connect and cooperate with students, is to reassure them that you genuinely care for them.  Remember to ask your students how they are whenever you see them; believe me they will start to ask you the same back. Hence, fostering a good teacher-student bond.  


If your students are really unruly, you could pull them out when everyone is busy and ask him/her what is wrong.  Sometimes, students will tell you some problems they have encountered at home or at school.  And, if you have established a good bond with your students they are more likely to be upfront, open, and honest with you about what is upsetting them. You are then able to offer them the assistance that they may need and get their minds back on track to learning.


The bottomline is, students have pent-up energy inside them. They are young and energetic. That energy if unused in their lessons can explode in various ways.  As a teacher, try to ensure that your students' energy is channelled into meaningful learning activities. Afterall, as a teacher you wear many hats: you are not only concerned with academic teaching, but also making sure that your students’ energy is channelled into positive and productive use. 


If you are interested in becoming a teacher, sign up for our FREE workshop: "How to Rapidly Get that International Teaching Job WITHOUT any hassle in as little as 90 Days" to learn more HERE and also check out our 140-hour, internationally-accredited TEFL Tycoon course HERE. PLUS, if you would like to become an international teacher but, you are a bit strapped for cash (because, let's be honest, TEFL courses and traveling overseas are great things to do, but they do cost money!) then check out our Teach & Travel crowdfunding page HERE.


“Establishing a pattern of reactive consequences can have disastrous effects on classroom efficiency and morale. Rather, a proactive strategy helps to give students an opportunity to demonstrate a positive contribution to the classroom community.”
― Michael Mills, Effective Classroom Management: An Interactive Textbook