Strategies of classroom management
Classroom management as a process
The management of students by their teachers in classrooms is the main aim of every teacher. Having a class that is well managed and easy to handle has proved extremely hard. Some teachers have employed the theory that once students are engaged in class, it will always be easy to manage. Such a theory has been misleading, and many students find a way to disrupt classroom operations. Classroom management is defined as the process whereby teachers contain smooth flow of the lesson and other activities in the class without undue disruptive tendencies by the students. In its broad usage classroom management may be used to mean prevention of any form of disruption in classroom (Lewis, 2008).
Disruptive behavior has been termed as a major discouragement to teachers with a high percentage of teachers having a negative attitude towards teaching. This is because they find classroom management hard. The negative attitude towards teaching has taken root, and many teachers are finding it hard to bear the indiscipline cases of students. Losing control of the classroom becomes hard to be regained. Lower academic engagement while in class becomes imminent hence both students and teachers are affected. Classroom management involves the control, as well as the ability to make clear communications by the teachers and the students (Wolfgang, 2004).
On one hand, classroom management may lead to class misbehavior if the teacher does not learn to have effective classroom management. A clear comprehension of classroom management must be considered from the perspective of the student, as well as the teacher’s point of view. It is only through effective classroom management whereby student’s perspectives, goals, and strategies are understood. Respect, motivation and discipline in the school can only be through effective management of the classroom dealings. The debate on classroom management has become popular, and teachers tend to base their opinions on their understanding of educational psychology (Rogers, 2002).
The main role of classroom management involves behavior modification but with time it has been criticized for taking a narrow approach to classroom management. Teachers have tried to use different methods to make sure that the behavior of students is manageable. This mainly includes having set rules at the beginning of the academic year so as students get to appreciate their expectations. The process does not stop at the creation of the rules, but it also involves strict enforcement of the said rules. The results of such rules have given birth to two situations. In the first place, there is the breaking of the set rules which is a negative step towards classroom management. On the other hand, the second one is the positive observance of the rules (Pearl & Knight, 1998).
Strategies of classroom management
There are numerous methods used by teachers to promote effective classroom management. Affirmation teaching is one of the methods that mainly focus on helping students improve. This is achieved by redirecting them on their results and making them understand that their efforts will earn them better results. This sharpens the student’s goals since they change their focus towards engaging in activities which will help them achieve their goals. Experience has shown that focused students rarely misbehave hence making it easy for teachers to manage them. Their focus is geared towards them achieving their goals thus dedicating all their efforts to studies. A teacher may choose to use self regulatory method as a tool of regulation (Slee, 1995).
Motivational and self regulatory method makes student want to behave well since a friendly relationship between them and the teacher sets the pace. The classroom environment is changed from an environment of bad behaved students to self directed learners. The teachers who depend on the different guidelines in each school have different ways of making sure that the classroom is controllable. Some means of maintaining control in the classroom have been rendered illegal. In recent years, corporal punishment has been pronounced illegal with both international and domestic legislations to that effect. Corporal punishment was an acknowledged method used by teachers to control disruptive behavior. This was before it was rendered illegal. Some people have advocated for it, but it is against the law and unfashionable (Lovegrove& Lewis, 1991).
In some instances, teachers have employed the rote discipline method. This method serves as deterrence, and it is advantageous to the students. It mainly centers on making a student who has misbehaved in class to complete assignments which serve as a punishment. In some schools, the student is required to memorize classroom rules once he or she breaks one. The benefits associated with rote discipline as above mentioned makes it the most preferred form of classroom management approaches. The approach is geared towards improving the student’s performance through punishment. In many cases, students who misbehave perform poorly in class work. Therefore, if the energy used in misbehaving is channeled in a constructive way, the results give the student a reason to stop the bad behavior (Lewis, 2008).
The methods available are not only to stop disruptions but there those which seek to prevent misbehavior and other forms of disruptions. The preventive measures seek to create a classroom environment dictated by mutual understanding and respect between the students and the teachers (Tauber, 2007). The back bone of preventive technique is the teacher’s role towards all students. The teacher in this case offers warmth and support to all students in the classroom irrespective of their behavior (Rogers & McPherson, 2008).
The approach establishes fair rules to be followed by all students, and consistent feedback is promoted whereby students are advised on their behavior. The nature of environment mentioned is only created through a classroom contract between the students and teachers. In the contract, an agreement between the student and the teacher on how to treat is made. Rules regarding any violation of the contract by either party are made. There are several ways that the class can adopt when the violation occurs. The problem should be dealt with either through class discussions, peer mediation or any other suitable means (Kohn, 1993).
Preventive technique uses other strategies to make sure that classroom activities are moving in a smooth and controlled way. One of the strategies is rewards students due to positive behavior while informing those who have negative behavior about their behavior. In rewarding the students, it is important for teachers to state the value of the behavior and skills that a student is expected to show so as to earn a reward. Teachers are also expected to collaborate with the students and discuss on the nature of rewards and the established behavior to be rewarded (Lewis, 1997).
There are other systematic approaches that teachers use in maintaining classroom management. The most common strategy is the use of behavior games. It is considered as an effective classroom approach to behavior management in the classroom environment. The game involves comparing two types of good behavior games. It is not narrowed down to a single student, but it seeks to control the entire classroom. In the general presentation, the class earns a reward in the game through exercising a prescribed behavior. The class must work together as a team to make sure that their behavior conforms to the reward (Slee, 1992).
The game’s main objective is to promote desired behavior through attaching a given reward on it. It is important to note that good behavior games are applicable to students without developmental disabilities. However, its applicability is not restricted to preschoolers only, but students can as well use it. Good behavior game is popular and accepted by teachers and students too. It is one of the friendly ways of making a student behave well without undue punishments (Kennedy, 1996).
The other form of strategy common in schools and used in maintaining classroom management is discipline with dignity. Since its founding, discipline with dignity has proved effective and it is widely used in behavior management today. It is praised for being flexible in managing activities in school and classrooms. It is mainly used in making the students develop a responsible way of thinking. Cooperation is emphasized in this strategy whereby students cooperate and open up to shared decision making (Gordon, 1974).
Discipline without stress is meant to teach students the essence of internal motivation. The most important part of this strategy is the fact that it advocates for teaching the young people to understand the importance self discipline and how to add the effort in learning. The strategy is strictly non coercive, but it is not permissive. In clearly understanding the internal and the external motivation, students learn the significance of good behavior. Students are most importantly taught how to achieve self reflection and self evaluation. The strategy is helpful in making students learn how to make decisions which are shaped by their desired goals. It further teaches students to be responsible when making choices about their lives. This acts as the base in which students step on, and thus behave responsibly such that teachers do not find it hard to manage them in class. The basic principle in discipline without stress lies on the fact that students can make responsible decisions and do not require close monitoring (Glasser, 1988).
Classroom management as a process
Class room management is imperative and should be understood as a process that includes many goals. First, classroom management does not only facilitate academic learning, but it makes sure that there is a better social emotional learning. This goal requires that teachers to be at the forefront in cultivating supportive relationships among the students. Teachers should maintain an organized way of ensuring that students get access to learning. Since students can only handle tasks by trying them, group management should be employed to enhance the student’s involvement in accomplishing academic tasks. A student should be assessed according to the available social skills. Lastly, the entire process calls for appropriate interventions to assist students with behavioral problems (Charles, 2008).
In dealing with classroom management, there are various rules designed towards making sure that the classroom control is suitable to the students and teachers. To start with, strictness in administering the punishments to students who misbehave should be upheld. A precedent of allowing students to get away with their actions can be hard to change. At all times, a student should not be allowed to get away without the required punishment. The discipline techniques should be administered accordingly (Glasser, 1990).
Students are very alert on what is fair and what is not. The only way a teacher can maintain control is by treating all the students equitably. Many students become rebellious whenever they sense unfairness. It is important for a teacher to exercise impartiality in handling the students. The said fairness should be showed in circumstances whereby if the teacher’s best student does a wrong, he or she is equally punished (Braithwaite, 1989).
A teacher should avoid any confrontations in classroom. Confrontations culminate into a winner and a loser. Since it is a duty of the teacher to maintain order in the class, it is advisable for him or her to deal with discipline matters outside the classroom. In the event that a teacher disciplines a student, the friends should not know. The dealing of disruptions in class should be with some humor. The applicability of humor makes the students feel free about the situation. Sarcasm should be avoided since it may injure the relationship between the teacher and the student involved (Balson, 1992).
Classroom management can be facilitated by the teacher making sure that he or she maintains high expectations. These expectations should be communicated to students before the lessons begin. The students can also be allowed to say their expectations. The only way to reduce disruptions is by making sure that students do not get a lot of free time to idle. The teacher can achieve that by ensuring there is proper planning. Proper planning makes sure that students get busy. Being consistent in whatever the teacher is doing is very important. This must always be maintained when the teacher is enforcing the rules. The very rules must also be made very clear to the students. Students should understand what is prohibited and what is acceptable. On the same note, students should be told in a clear language the repercussions of breaking any of the rules (Arthur-Kelly,Lyons, Butterfield& Gordon, 2006).
A teacher is recommended to make sure that when dealing with disruptions, he or she does it immediately. However, it is recommended that the teacher should first try to ask the student a question so as to keep him or her on track. If the disruptions continue, the teacher is supposed to handle it so as to avoid interfering with other students. It would be unfair to use a lot of time in dealing with disrupting students while others are waiting (Bernard, 1990).
The management of the classroom is the desire of every teacher. The very important point is that classroom management should be understood, not as a short term solution of management, but as a process. There are numerous factors in consideration before effective classroom management is achieved. The process benefits the teacher more than a student hence he or she should make sure that all ways are tried to enhance such control. It is also recommendable to have non coercive ways in ensuring management of students.