Teacher students learn many things during their teacher training but once again teachers enter the classroom they realize what they learn at the university is not enough for work as a teacher. One of the problems teachers report is managing the classroom. Also, after many years of experience teachers report that “classroom management” is one of the main challenges they face.
Here are a few practical tools for teachers to learn to manage the classroom:
- Each class and each student is different. This is what we have to understand. The first responsibility is to learn about students’ learning styles, motivation, interests and their family.
- It is important to know and be in touch with parents or guardians.
- Build a relationship both with students and parents.
- Prevent any problem which may become a big issue.
- Organize a meeting involving the student, parents, school psychologist/counselor or social worker. Many times issues become as big problems because no one has considered there is an issue to consider and take care of.
- Follow-up after a meeting with everyone who has been involved in the meeting.
- Make learning and being in the class fun. Teachers are burdened with fulfilling the curricula and examinations. Find out what students like and would like to do together. Do not think these times what students would like to do together are wasted times. The
- Combine your teaching and learning with fun activities. Teaching and learning should not be boring and stressful.
- Learn to control your own worries and stress as a teacher. From little students to adults, people feel you are so worried and stressed.
- Do not hesitate to have your own group of “critical friends/colleagues”. Build your own small group of circles that would give you support. Critical friends/colleagues are supposed to be those who are on your side, want the best for you but at the same time tell you openly your weaknesses and failures, and also help you to become stronger and work on your failures.
- Reflect as much as possible. Reflection helps you to see what works best and what does not.
- Try to attend as many as possible in-service training. Also, request “practical oriented” in-service training or workshops.
- Never hesitate to ask for help from peers and older colleagues.
The most important thing is that accepting the classroom is a challenge for each year you teach. You learn each year what is classroom management. And, if you love teaching never ever give up! You will see the rewards of teaching and the impact on children many years after.
Dr. Pinar B. Güner
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