- Classroom management is a critical part of teaching abroad and foreign teachers should consider several important steps to ensure success within their classroom through effective management strategies
- Establishing classroom rules may help foreign teachers more effectively guide their students and focus their attention in areas productive to learning
- Despite being a foreign teacher, successful classroom management hinges on one’s ability to showcase their authority as an educator through establishing firm boundaries without having to be harsh to students
- Being proactive is critical for classroom management as foreign teachers need to showcase their ability to navigate students through planned activities as well as maintain enthusiasm and respect through proactive preparation
Classroom management is an area of teaching which many (especially new) teachers find challenging to navigate. Why might this be the case? Well – classroom management is essentially motivating your students while facilitating their behaviour via various practical techniques (either before, during, or after a lesson). This can be challenging for new teachers to do as it requires them to acknowledge and accept that they could be viewed as a “bad guy” when directing the activities of a lesson. For example, a teacher is more likely to want a class to complete a bookwork activity while younger students are far more likely to prefer watching a video.
It can be challenging for new teachers to keep the positive momentum of a lesson going when anger or resentment is displayed from a student. This can dent a new teacher’s confidence for the rest of the lesson and have a detrimental snowball effect. It is not uncommon in this situation for some teachers to then resort to a quick fix and give in to what their students want. This ends up making classroom management challenging in the long term, as students learn that they can take control of the classroom and steer the direction of the lesson whenever they want. In turn, they do not respect the teacher’s authority.
How can we make classroom management easier, especially for those teachers who need an extra push when learning the ropes of classroom management? Beyond covering all of your bases inside and outside of the classroom, below we provide four tips that will assist you in reaching the goal of your lesson while efficiently responding to your students’ needs. Keep these in mind when planning your personal approach to classroom management.
1. Effective Classroom Rules
Establishing classroom rules at the start of each lesson is essential. Doing this is standard in the English education industry and is effective for setting boundaries for your students from the get-go of a lesson. This also ensures that a teacher has a valid case if a student acts out of line as everyone knows what is appropriate and what is not. It is of utmost importance that you remain consistent with your rules with each student. As soon as you allow too much leeway to bend the rules, things start becoming unfair and students don’t respond well to this.
It is also crucial that you keep your rules list to a maximum of 4-5. This allows your students to remember and recite the rules easily and not lose attention when the teacher is going over the rules at the start of a lesson. Two examples of classroom rules are, “Speak English!” and “Raise your hand!”.
2. Embracing your Authority
This tip sounds simple but the effects are most beneficial and the best part is that it depends entirely on you, regardless of how a lesson may be playing out! It’s simple – embrace the fact that you are the authority in the classroom! The reason this is so important is because students are very receptive to whether a teacher is confident in their teaching abilities or not.
Embracing your authority (and therefore the fact that you may be viewed as the “bad guy” from time to time) will benefit you to always maintain composure in front of your students. Although you may need to reprimand a student every now and then, do your best to not show your students that you are doubting yourself. Make your decision and move forward with it confidently!
3. Student Seating Arrangement
This tip refers to the actual formation of how and where your students are seated in a classroom. Depending on the size and shape of your classroom area, always do your best to arrange the seating of your students in a formation that best suits the point of the lesson. For example, should you wish to do a lesson titled Speed Dating (on Valentine’s Day), you should ensure that students are able to face each other and move onto the next person without causing a disruption to the lesson’s proceedings. Some other examples of seating arrangements for English classes can be seen here.
Of course, one can only do this if possible (and allowed!) in classrooms at your school or language centre) in the most effective and efficient way. Most schools and language centres will not mind if a teacher rearranges the seating formation of a class, provided they put everything back as it was before the end of the lesson.
4. Be Proactive
As classroom management techniques can be used before, during, and after classes – take advantage of this! One may think that it is impossible to influence a student’s behaviour before a class has started, especially if the class is a few days or weeks away. However, there are tons of proactive techniques which can be used. A few examples are:
- Incorporate topics that the majority of your students enjoy. If your students enjoy the lesson topic, they will be attentive to the lesson naturally.
- Once you have planned the seating arrangement of the desks (see point 3), plan where specific students are going to sit. If you know that a certain group of students are rowdier than others, try to seat them in different areas of the classroom.
- Design and decorate a star chart which you use to keep track of student performance and behaviour. This will give (generally younger) students something to work towards and give them motivation along the learning journey.
Considering all of the above points, our aim here at Dux is to provide the most accurate and efficient assistance to all of
While in this blog we are providing you with four valuable tips, bear in mind that there are tons of classroom management techniques and tools used in classrooms around the world. Check out the following link for two simple yet effective examples of classroom management techniques.
Classroom management can be a challenging aspect of teaching for many teachers yet hitting the nail on the head will make the academic requirements of your job so much easier and more rewarding. Make sure that your students are set up in the best way possible, and your lessons will carry themselves (within reason!). If there is one last classroom management technique tip we will leave you with, it’s this – prevention is better than cure!