Classroom management is an essential part of teaching. Every teacher must improve his/her skills in managing students’ behavior.
Some personalities can easily adapt to the classroom management process, while others will have to learn to do that.
No matter your situation, you would still have to work to improve your skills in dealing with the behaviors of students. The following are the critical skills that every effective classroom managers have:
- Attention and concentration retention
- Rapid intervention
- Involving students
- Clear explanation
- Good questioning
- Balancing responsibility and cooperation
These skills are critical for your success in the class. It is, therefore, necessary to develop our skills in the above.
The 7 Must-Have Skills for Effective Classroom Management
For you to become successful in classroom behavior management, it is recommended for you to learn and/or improve your skills in the following issues:
Retaining and Sustaining Concentration During Activities
It is often difficult to get students to do what they want in the classroom. This is because some students will not give you the necessary concentration.
So during activities, you need to make sure the students concentrate on completing the activities. This is often dependent on the activity that you have given to the students.
For example, clear activities can retain the concentration of students. But if activities are complex and difficult it will get students to ask more questions which can interrupt the concentration of other students.
Therefore, you need to create tasks or activities that are simple for your students to complete.
Rapid intervention is key in preventing possible misbehavior. New teachers do have problems balancing between quick reaction and the quality of the intervention.
Sometimes they delay their reactions, which creates an impression that the act is acceptable. Other times they react hastily without getting the full attention of the student.
Going on either way alone will not yield the desired result. Aside from persistence, the most important rule in good behavior management is proactivity by reacting quickly to events before they occur.
However, it is critical to react quickly yet remain patient enough to establish eye contact and get the student’s full attention. Effective behavior managers are skillful in balancing the two.
It is important to not use this strategy excessively. Else you will become stressed looking for possible troubles in the class. It also makes your students extremely uncomfortable.
Involving or Engaging Students
This kill is one of the major skills that every teacher must-have. The teacher is like the driver of the bus in the classroom who maneuvers the road to success in learning. Involving students is done by getting their attention throughout the lesson.
It is essential to learn to get students’ attention without shouting or yelling. But it is not enough to get attention, you have to quickly proceed with the lesson after getting it from the students.
Else they will go back to what they were doing. Feel free to create your own method of getting attention from students if need be. Some teachers used finger clicking.
The following steps can help you succeed in involving your students:
1. Reflection on your lesson to better gain the attention of students.
2. Having detailed rules on active listening to you and their colleagues.
3. Establishing and insisting on eye contact with everyone at the moment of starting the lesson.
4. Directing students to teaching materials. For example, pointing at materials while asking students to look.
5. Observing to see whether students are looking.
6. Mentioning students’ names.
7. Creation variety of examples and activities.
8. Checking to see whether everyone understood.
9. Avoid interruptions.
10. Asking questions.
11. Pursuing answers.
When used appropriately, you will see Improvement in getting students involved in the lesson.
You need to give good explanations to get the attention of students and engage them. Explanations of context, logic, sequence, and a sense of meaning.
A good explanation serves as a reason for students to pay attention and behave well during lessons. Effective and experienced teachers do the following during explanations:
1. Refer to previous knowledge.
2. Breaking explanations into smaller parts.
3. Not explaining at a great length.
4. Not rushing explanations.
5. adapt language to the level of the students.
6. Checking their understanding constantly.
7. Move from simple examples to more complicated ones.
8. Use visual aids, physical objects, and actions for students to see.
9. Use analogies to explain abstract Concepts.
Applying the above, you can improve your skills of explanation. This is extremely helpful in proactive classroom management.
Effective questioning is critical to teacher survival in the classroom. Questioning helps teachers keep students alert, therefore getting their attention. Skills in questioning can help get everyone to participate in the class activity. This greatly impacts effective teaching and learning.
For example, questioning helps me get the better of one of my classes. This class is made up of students who like talking too much. By asking questions, I redirect their behavior to the benefit of everyone.
You can do the following to improve your skills in questioning:
1. Questions must be simple and clear.
2. Note the differences between open and closed questions and their purposes.
3. Use a person-centered questioning approach. For example, ask “Eve, what do you think about……? “
4. Don’t give praises too early, it may alienate others if they judge responses with the Praises they receive.
5. Don’t continue to rephrase the questions.
6. vary your questioning styles depending on what you want to achieve.
7. You may wait longer than usual to encourage students to answer questions.
Balancing Responsibility And Cooperation
You must be able to balance between students performers on their responsibilities and their cooperation. You need to know that cooperating with students is equally important as the performance of their responsibilities.
In this case, you do not only have to discipline students, but you also have to collaborate with them to get a well-managed classroom. If you succeed in balancing these factors, you will improve your skills in managing your classroom.
Adaptability and Swerving
Yes, we have to be serious all the time. But there are times when we just have to swerve- not carrying out all the activities in the classroom rigidly according to the plan.
Sometimes students’ behaviors are not just favorable for us to carry out lessons according to our plans. This is because the behavior of children cannot be easily predicted.
In this case, you have to adapt your lesson plan to your students’ behaviors at the time. But in doing this, you still have to make sure you meet the expectations of your lesson, even though flexibly.
Effective teachers do much thought and planning but are still flexible enough to allow for spontaneous discoveries as opportunities present themselves. They are especially sensitive to cues that their lessons are not working, and they adapt them on the spot.
It can be concluded that the skills mentioned above are critical for the success of teachers. We must work hard to develop these skills. Please, share this article with your colleagues to also benefit.