When I started teaching, one thing I struggled with is managing my class. This is not a problem that is unique to a few teachers. Most teachers, especially the new ones, find it difficult to control a class and make sure that everyone is listening for the entire lesson. Some students make noise, others sleep, and others walk around or throw things during class time.
These situations are normal, but they do not need to be too dramatic. You can use these 10 proven tools to make your classroom exciting, quite, and engaging.
- Set a Good Example: As a teacher, students will act according to how you make them. You should model an ideal behavior by demonstrating to your students the behaviors that you want them to have. You can demonstrate a proper conduct by using polite language, maintaining eye contact, and not using your phone in class.
- Allow students to participate in setting rules and guidelines. Students will support rules that they have helped in creating. They will buy your ideas if you give them a reason to. Start the school term or year by asking students about the things they believe they should adhere to, e.g. the right level of noise, the manner of asking and answering questions, the best time for group discussions, etc.
- Keep and share written rules with the students. A savvy teacher will write, print, and distribute the classroom rules to students just as he or she distributes the syllabus.
- Do not punish your students in class. Any isolated misbehavior of a student should be handled outside the class with the individual rather than embarrassing the student in class. Furthermore, you shouldn’t punish the entire class for the misdeeds of one or few students. If you do so, you will ruin your relationship with the entire class.
- Encourage creativity and initiative by allowing students to participate in class discussions and make presentations. Encourage your learners to go ahead of the class and read chapters prior to class discussions, and then ask them to make their presentations in class. This makes them more engaged and less messy in class.
- Praise students for a good job. Praising and recognizing good effort in the class will inspire your students. They will be eager to listen and learn if you give sincere praises. Appreciation also improves the learner’s self-esteem and confidence, and reinforces the values and rules you have set for them.
- Use Non-Verbal Cues. Non-verbal communication is always effective in making your learners act and behave as you want. When a student is making noise or showing signs of sleeping, you can walk close to them and maintain eye contact. They will realize that you were not happy with their behavior. You can also complement your words with visual aids, body movements, and facial expressions to keep your students attentive.
- Reward Students. When I was in high school, our teacher rewarded us with a mini party of snacks and drinks. For sure, she had an idea about classroom management strategies. Since them, we respected her and obeyed all her directives because we felt that she cared about us. You don’t have to buy expensive things, just give them a reason to be keen in class.
- Be consistent with law enforcement. Once you have set the classroom rules for your students, apply them consistently and indiscriminately. If you have told students to raise their hands, for example, do not entertain any random answers. Not following your own rules shows that you are not sure about your classroom management strategies.
- Make your classroom exciting and interesting. The final classroom management strategy is to make your class lively. You can use comedy, drama, and visual aids to make your class interesting. Sometimes when I teach religious studies I use songs. When I first tried it out, it looked inappropriate, but it proved to be very effective. We sang in class together like a choir, and we built a rapport out of that.
These are just a few classroom management strategies you can use in your class. However, every teacher has his or her unique teaching styles. You should choose any classroom management strategy that fits your teaching methods.