Education is essential for every society and its members. Effective teaching and learning are a means through which education happens.
Classroom management is an integral part of effective teaching and learning. It is unfortunate however that not all teachers find it easy to manage their classrooms effectively.
I have been there before and know the amount of stress and burnout that comes with poor classroom management.
After my research and consultations with my mentors, I found the following to be the causes of my poor classroom management in my early years of teaching:
- No Connection with Students
- Poor Time Management
- No Plan for Managing Behaviors
- No Clear Classroom Management Philosophy
- Inability to Give Effective Commands/Requests
- Inability to Give Effective Warnings
- Inability to Hand Temper Tantrums
- Not Having Behavioral Contract
- Poor Management of Transitions
- Inability to Discourage Interruptions
- Not Managing Out-Class-Settings Behaviors
- Not Having Effective Homework Routines
After working to improve my skills in solving the above problems, I have seen tremendous results in my class. But one thing that helped me is that I always continue to practice, practice, and practice.
The Main Reasons Why Your Classroom Management is Bad
Let’s delve deep into why the following factors could impede your classroom management efforts.
No Connection with Students
One of the worst mistakes you can make is not bonding well with your students. Some of us do not see the need to build a strong and positive relationship with our students. This is because we always feel like we are in control of everything in our classrooms.
Meanwhile, we need our students to be able to achieve effective teaching and learning. Psychologically every human being needs a relationship with other people to survive. Because of this effective teachers use this a strong strategy to succeed in managing the behaviors of the students. If you bond well with your students they will trust you and respect you as their teacher. With that, they will always be ready to do whatever you ask them to do.
Poor Time Management
Time management is an important part of teaching. This is because as a teacher you have a lot on you. So managing your time efficiently will help you to be able to perform all the duties necessary for you. Especially time management is important planning how to manage the behaviors of your students. Also, time management is important when it comes to managing your delivery in the classroom. For example, you need to be time conscious when are you making activities.
However, if you are a poor time manager you will not be able to do the necessary planning is necessary to manage the behaviors of your students. In this case, you would struggle to manage problem behaviors in the classroom. So this could be why your classroom management is poor.
No Plan for Managing Behaviors
Even though planning does not solve everything it is still important for us to note down the procedures to be used in managing and solving problems in the classroom. Having a plan of how to manage students’ behavior keeps you focus when making decisions. With that, you will not be surprised when issues arise in the classroom. It also helps you to be consistent in the decisions you make regarding classroom Behavior.
But without a plan, you will not be focused when dealing with problems in your classroom. You’ll also not be consistent in the decisions that you take. And when this happens your students will not trust you, hence will not be willing to do whatever you ask them to do. This will give you stress.
No Clear Classroom Management Philosophy
Every teacher must have a philosophy of classroom management. This helps you to choose the right methodologies and strategies to help you manage your students’ behavior. Your philosophy must be in line with your personality and what you believe is right. Also, your philosophy must not contradict the rules and regulations of your setting. For example, are you going to be democratic, assertive, or disciplinarian?
Your philosophy of classroom management is important. It helps you to be consistent with the actions and decisions you take in the class. However, if you have no philosophy of classroom management you’ll be choosing strategies that have different philosophical backgrounds. This might confuse you and your students since you are not consistent. Hence your classroom management will not pay off.
Inability to Give Effective Commands/Requests
Teaching involves an exchange between students and their teachers. These exchanges can be in a form of commands, requests, warnings, answers, questions, and others. So your ability to give commands that are effective to get your students to do what you want them to do is important. Remember, should be simple, clear, and doable. Giving effective commands makes you an Effective Teacher.
So if you cannot give effective commands it will confuse students on what to do and what not to do. In that case, there will be non-compliance to your commands high levels of problem behavior in your classroom.
Inability to Give Effective Warnings
Your students will not always do what you ask them to do. In that case, you will have to warn them. Your warnings too may be followed or not. This is dependent on your ability to give effective warnings. So every effective teacher works hard to improve his or her skills on given effective warning.
So if you cannot give a warning that will get your students to do what you want then, your classroom management will be poor.
Inability to Handle Tantrums
Classrooms do not always run smoothly. Sometimes individuals in the classroom lose their temper. When that happens, some people will be unable to control themselves. Some individuals may become violent.
This interrupts the smooth running of the classroom and as a teacher, you must be able to manage that effectively. Effective teachers always have plans and procedures to help them manage those situations.
So your classroom management will be poor if you don’t have techniques to help you manage these situations. For example, if you don’t have laid down procedures and plans to help you deal with the situation.
Not Having Behavioral Contract
One of the most powerful tools to use to manage classrooms effectively is behavioral contracts. Teachers sign behavioral contracts with students so that students will always be of good behavior. In this case, you prepare the contract in collaboration with the students.
Also, teachers let students know the consequences of breaching their part of the contracts. That is, everyone keeps his or her part of the contract without breaching it. This compels students to follow the rules and regulations in the classroom.
However, if you fail to sign one with your students you would likely have problems with problem behavior. Students may choose to break the rules and regulations of the class because they know that they are not bound to any contracts. Hence your classroom would be chaotic.
Poor Management of Transitions
Normal lessons are made up of different activities. So they involve transitions from one part to another. The time of the transition can give students chances to cause problems in the class. So effective teachers always have a plan on how to move students from one part of a lesson to another without interruptions. This makes the lesson run smoothly.
However, if you don’t have any plan to help you transition students from one part of a lesson to another, you’ll face problem behaviors in your class. So you must always work hard to improve your skills in transitional students from one activity to another activity. Else your classroom management will be poor.
Inability to Discourage Interruptions
During lessons, there are sometimes interruptions from within and/or outside the class. These interactions affect the flow of the lesson. Sometimes students interrupt teachers to please other students. Whatever may be the cause of the interruption, teachers must always have procedures to deal with them. These procedures must be effective.
Often effective teachers make rules and regulations to guide interruptions. For example, students have to raise their hands and wait for the teacher to give them chance to talk before they can ask their questions.
That’s if you don’t have a way to deal with interruptions your classes may become chaotic if students interrupt you.
Not Managing Out-Class-Settings Behaviors Well
We sometimes have to send our students out of the classroom to do activities. With this, we are supposed to manage their behaviors wherever they are doing these activities. This will help us with problem behaviors that will follow the students into the classroom.
For example, my school had sporting activities and we sent the students out. One of the students was being mocked by his classmates and none of the teachers noticed it. After the sports, they returned to their class with that behavior. Their classroom teacher didn’t notice it until the student who was being mocked hit one of the classmates and a fight broke out. It took the intervention of other teachers to help separate them.
From the above, we could have solved the problem outside before they return to the classroom. But because we could not do that, the lesson came to a standstill.
It is recommended to have a system in place to manage student behaviors if you have outdoor activities. Without it, you will face behavior problems whenever you have out-class-setting activities.
Not Having Effective Homework Routines
Effective homework management is also critical to effective classroom management. Effective teachers collaborate with parents/guardians to implement a clear homework routine for their students.
With that, students comply with the requirements of homework. Parents also make sure there is a conducive environment for students to do homework. Appropriate motivators are implemented to influence students to do homework.
Without necessary arrangements to manage homework routines, some students fail to complete their homework and find excuses for their noncompliance. This would affect effective teaching and learning negatively.
From the above, we can conclude that if you fail to solve the problems mentioned your classroom management would be poor. It is because of that, teachers are encouraged to spend time on developing their classroom management skills.