Classroom management skills are as important for teachers as the knowledge of their subject to be taught. Unless you can smartly handle the group comprising of all types of kids, you cannot teach. In case of college students, generally a thorough knowledge of the subject and your confidence is sufficient to manage the class. But its different with kids….the most innocent, most curious and most restless!
Tips for effectively managing the classroom
Love for kids- The first and foremost quality of a good teacher is his/her love for children. Join a primary and middle school only if you love to be with kids. Anyhow, kids are so innocent and pure you are bound to fall in love with them.
Become one with the kids. Be friendly and show your affection freely.
Love conquers all! Teacher is not someone to be scared of. Teacher should be one whom the students look up to as someone with loving authority, who can answer their questions and also listen to them as a friend.
Child psychology- Every child is unique and as the saying goes- ‘Kids will be kids.’ They have their own moods, emotions and wishes. Read about child psychology to get an understanding of child behavior.
Knowing each student- Begin by memorizing their names early. Kids feel important when they find that you know their names so early. They develop respect for you.
Apart from name, try to know each child personally by observing their unique behavior patterns.
This helps in guiding them according to their likes and dislikes and also to device ways of disciplining them. Some knowledge of the family background also helps in understanding child behavior. If a child is too reserved and never answers in class or too violent & aggressive, you can device ways to correct them by trying to find the possible inherent cause of the particular behavior.
Make the subject interesting- Spend time in devising different interesting ways of teaching your subject. Small children find it monotonous to keep sitting and listening for a long time. Keep them alert and interested by asking questions, using activity based teaching techniques, explaining through stories, games etc.
Be firm without being rude- Laugh with the kids, play with the kids, but never ignore bad behavior. Let the child know that you will not approve any type of misbehavior. Do not be rude or humiliating, but tell and warn the child firmly not to repeat such behavior.
Talk to the misbehaving students personally- Kids are unable to express their anger and disappointments. Neither are they able to suppress it completely, giving vent in the form of unruly behavior.
Children usually open up their heart if they feel you genuinely love him and want to help him.
Once they tell the cause of their anger and may be cry out, they are then more willing to listen and understand.
Giving responsibilities- One way to make an unruly child understand the importance of good behavior is by giving him/her responsibility, like monitoring the class. Let them mind the class and ask them to report the misbehaving students. Such responsibility will also give the child a sense of being important by first being a role model for those whom he has to lead.
Give some freedom- Let the kids have some fun in the class to vent out their energy, relax and refresh themselves, whenever you can afford it. Talk with class on topics other than school subjects, like movies, songs, their family outings and experiences etc.
Move around- Move around the class as you talk, maintaining eye contact with the students and also keeping an eye for any bad behavior.
Seating arrangements- You may pair good students with average or weak ones, naughty with the disciplined ones, make the unruly ones sit in the front rows, for better control of the class. Partners can be changed from time to time.
Love, friendliness, firmness and understanding together build a strong rapport with the class.
Make efforts to make attending your classes as something the kids enjoy and look forward to. When they love you they will be more attentive and willing to learn from you, whatever you teach.