Classroom strategies and some rules

Manju Gupta

I am a class V teacher and have 60 students in a class. I find that most of my time is spent trying to bring some order in the classroom. How do I, with 60 noisy students, create a climate for learning and complete my syllabus on time?

Classroom management is essential to create a proactive and enthusiastic class where learning actually takes place. With so many students in a class, what a teacher needs is effective classroom management skills.

What do we mean by classroom management?

  • Creating a functioning collective
  • Developing a “success culture”
  • Effective management of resources found in the classroom
  • Making Sense of motivational and movement psychology
  • Dealing with difficult students
  • Creating classroom community and a positive classroom climate

To be an effective classroom manager a teacher has to play many roles. She needs to be a:
Motivator: Encourage students
Counsellor: Listen to them and advise them
Guide: Give them the right values
Facilitator: Render help only when necessary
Leader: Lead by example
Task master: Make sure that work is done
Disciplinarian: Be firm without being rude
Story Teller: Make learning fun

The key to effective classroom behaviour management is to keep in mind always that discipline is an educational process and not a punitive one.

A teacher has to devise strategies for effective classroom management. What this means is she has to build a structure that promotes cooperation and community where each student has a sense of belonging and ownership in his or her class.

It also means composing a setting in which students feel secure. To achieve such an atmosphere a teacher needs to stress equitable treatment for all students, while simultaneously recognising that equity may need to be tailored to meet the diversity of students’ backgrounds and individual skill levels.

Dr.Frederic Jones is a classroom management theorist whose idea about how to maintain a well-managed classroom, so that little time is wasted on discipline, is especially attractive. For example, by practicing body language, facial expressions and good eye contact, a teacher can effectively manage the class. These are techniques that with practice a teacher can master to his or her full potential.

Something else that a teacher can do is to design a contract of rules and policies with the help of the students. This can be an important tool for maintaining a well-managed classroom. For every rule broken there must be a consequence.

The contract should be displayed in a place where all students will be able to access it with ease. Further, the contract should be made available to each student to take home to his/her parents. This way the parents too will be aware of the rules and policies in the classroom and the consequences of their children’s actions or lack thereof.

One of the best ways to keep your students interested in your class is to bring in variety. As a teacher one must try to have different teaching techniques, be prepared for each day with lesson plans, and yes, at times be prepared to change the plan to incorporate some fun. This is the hallmark of a good classroom manager!

Proactive teachers have an important and crucial role to play. Remember that proactive teachers deal with fewer behaviour problems, they enjoy teaching and their students are more productive. Always allow yourself the right to be in control without stifling the freedom, energy and creativity of the student. A tall order indeed, but I am sure with practice all of us can take pride in our classroom management skills.

The author is Principal, Pallavi Model School, Hyderabad.

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