What are good methods of Classroom Management?
Use a normal voice No one likes to be shouted at either adult or child. Shouting at children will only get you one thing. A sore throat! Children are mirrors so they will match the level of volume you put into the classroom. Not only does it cause stress in the classroom and create a bad atmosphere, it will end up at the point where you lose your voice something you cannot afford to do in this profession. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't differentiate your tone of voice depending on what is asked. If you wish children to put away books, use a decisive tone. If you are discussing the finer points of Romeo and Juliet then a conversational voice will suffice.
Be in charge of your class - That's right your class. It is not a place where children come to chat with their friends, or a place to stay dry when it is raining. They are there to learn and they need to know who the boss of the room is. You. The teacher. That means not starting lessons until everyone is sitting in their seats with their attention on you. Body language plays a key part in this so stand straight with your head up. Giving the children these signals lets them know that you are in charge. Another good way of letting children know who is in charge is silent signals. For example, stopping talking and looking directly at the child that is talking is a very clear message that you are aware of them and what they are doing. Continuing the lesson but walking towards them is also a good reminder.
Positive reinforcement - Nobody likes focusing on the negative and children are no exception. Praising a child that has done the right thing is a great incentive for those who are not doing so. It is amazing how many pupils will sit up smartly after their friend has just been told how well they are doing it. This also works for neatness in books and walking sensibly in line, among other things.
Establish consequences for misbehavior Good classroom management starts the moment the children walk through the door on the first day of school. These first few weeks are crucial for letting the children know what the rules are. They will try to push the boundaries and find your breaking point. Have consequences ready and make sure the children know what they are. The most important part here is to make sure you carry out your threats. Children will soon learn when you are not serious and will exploit it.
Try putting their name on the board and indicating that means they will have to stay behind at break or lunch. Also tell them that how long will depend on how they behave for the remainder of the lesson, this allows them to make the right choice about their further behavior. If they are exceptional they could even earn their time back. It is important to take consequences seriously, it will make the children take you seriously and create a better learning environment for all.
These were just a few tips and ideas for better classroom management, what works for one class may not work for another. It is best to experiment and find out what fits your methods of teaching best. Classroom management is an ongoing process that will need refining throughout the school year, laying strong ground rules and building from there is a positive way to start.
Written by : Debbie Rushby, Hull, UK (BA Hons English 2:1)
Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )