Very true! These words perfectly echo the truth and reality of all educators and classrooms worldwide. Effective management is about setting expectations well in advance and letting the students know the consequences of breaking the guidelines. As educators, creating child-centric lesson plans – the most important, engaging, enriching and inclusive learning environment-  is vital. Still, failure to manage a classroom effectively depicts the wasted time and energy invested in creating those lesson plans.

Simple, it might sound, but classroom management constantly involves utilizing and implementing constructive strategies to create an environment of amicable teaching and learning. You can make the lesson plan to end all lesson plans — the most individualized, engaging, and differentiated activities with opportunities for collaboration and hands-on learning — but if you cannot manage the classroom effectively, your plans only turn out futile.

Classroom management might sound simple, but it becomes more effective when it involves utilizing several strategies and boundaries to create an environment where students can learn in an organized manner. Teachers use words, signals, symbols, cues, and nonverbal communication to manage their classrooms. They understand that every student’s behaviour (positive or negative) represents a communication or need, be it attention, validation or assistance they seek from the teacher or peers.

A few strategies which can be implemented, and I use, to ensure that the classroom environment is cohesive, collaborative, inclusive, independent and manageable are

  • Entry Routine is a technique in which teachers establish a consistent, daily routine that begins when students enter the classroom to ensure order and manage time. This technique can avoid the disorder before the beginning of a class.

  • Do Now is a brief written activity given to students when they arrive in the classroom. Dictation of a few words, searching for given talks in the textbook, providing the complete forms of acronyms etc., work well before the beginning of the class.

  • Task Transitions is a technique in which teachers establish transition routines that students learn and can execute quickly and repeatedly without much direction from a teacher. For example, a teacher might say “reading time” and ask students to read a few lines quietly.

  • Signal in the seat should be a technique in which students use nonverbal signs and signals to indicate that they need something,  a restroom break, or help with a problem. This technique assists in appropriate communication and helps to minimize disruptions during class.

  • Rhyme after me is a method where the teacher uses phrases to draw students’ attention when they can be noisy while doing peer work. For example, the teacher can say “LIS”,… and the students complete the phrase  .. “TEN”. Another example is “Macaroni and Cheese….Everybody Freeze” and “Hocus Pocus… everybody focuses”.

  • B + Positive is publicly recognizing and praising students who have done something good, such as answering a difficult question or helping a peer. The technique is intended to establish a culture where working in groups becomes easy in which accomplishments and positive actions can be rewarded.

  • Nonverbal communication is when teachers establish eye contact or make simple gestures that let students know they are off-task, not paying attention, or misbehaving. The technique helps teachers efficiently and silently manage student behaviour without disturbing them while a lesson is being taught.

  • Do It Again is used when students do not perform an essential task correctly, and the teacher asks them to do it again correctly. This can work incredibly for spelling in English and formulas in Mathematics. This technique reinforces the fact that consistent expectations that quality work is appreciated.

Most of all, educators should consistently habitually demonstrate the behaviour they expect from students. Maintaining eye contact, using respectful language, being empathetic, showing concern and ensuring that the student is valued can create an atmosphere of an efficient classroom routine and culture.

Effective and sustainable classroom management is more than just about keeping everyone silent and organized. It’s about building solid relationships with students, encouraging them to participate in their learning, and sharing a little of yourself. A classroom culture that is flexible yet firm for students will always reap benefits.

Ms Virginia Isaac, Educator – Ekya School, Byrathi

Posted by Ekya

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