One of the main goals of education is to promote life-long learning. Thus, education should be able to motivate individuals to continue learning throughout their lives, even outside the classroom.
So, as a teacher, you should be striving to enhance the development of life-long learning among your students. There is evidence in education literature that supports the idea that classroom management plays a key role in helping teachers to achieve optimal learning in their classrooms.
In light of this, I think it is important for us to assess the importance of effective management of students’ classroom behavior.
To do an appropriate analysis, it is essential to look at the importance of classroom management to the teacher, the student, and the rest of the stakeholders of education. This way you will be able to understand the trickle-down benefits of effective management of the classroom from the teacher to the entire society.
Importance of Effective Classroom Management to the Teacher
Teachers consider pupils’ behavior management as one of the top stressors in their profession. For example, Richard Ingersoll (2001) found that approximately 30% of the 400 who left the teaching profession cited pupil management as one of the reasons why they gave up, in a study of approximately 6700 teachers in the United States.
1. It helps create a conducive learning environment
If you have exceptional strategies to help you manage your classroom effectively, then these strategies will help you create an enabling and conducive environment for your students to learn effectively. For example, Daniel Goleman said that;
“The Responsive Classroom approach creates an ideal environment for learning–every teacher should know about it.”
That is to say that your classroom management skills can help you to create a favorable environment that will make all your students have a sense of belongingness so that they will feel free to explore more learning opportunities within the boundaries and standards established by collaborated efforts between you and your students.
This is possible if you have a well-thought-out plan to manage the behavior of your students and your classroom.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a plan in place to manage your lessons and the behavior of your students in the classroom, there will be chaos which makes your classroom environment not suitable for effective learning.
In this environment, your students will learn much lesser than they could if you had managed the classroom effectively.
2. It helps avoid waste of time and energy
You need a proper classroom management strategy to guide all things that happen in the classroom within the day. It is often helpful to pre-plan your lesson taking into account classroom management issues such that possible misbehaviors during the lesson will not limit you from helping your students to effectively grasp what you are going to teach.
That is to say, before a student puts up behavior in your class during a lesson, your plan of managing the class can help you to quickly deal with that behavior and move on with the lesson.
Reflecting and embarking on the planning processes for your classroom management will always be extremely helpful in removing almost all disruptions in your class. Remember your classroom management planning will vary across different classes.
For example, it is always appropriate to do careful planning on how to manage a class if you have disruptive students in that class. Else you will waste all the lesson period trying to control and manage the behavior of one or a few of the students while the majority do not learn much.
3. It helps boost the morale of the teacher
Having good classroom management skills helps boost your morale. It makes you feel like a master of your job. A master who does not only brings out the best in his/her students but also derives strong satisfaction and motivation from what you do.
For example, I always feel happy and more satisfied after I finish teaching a lesson without or with fewer interruptions.
But when I have a rough lesson with lots of disruptions and student misbehavior, I always burn out and feel like giving up on my teaching career. This is why I think that classroom management is extremely important in education.
Importance of Effective Classroom Management to the Students
Student achievement is highly dependent on the effectiveness of their teachers in the classroom. There is evidence in the literature that justifies this view.
For example, the research by Sanders and Horn (1994) found that students who spend a year under ineffective teachers gain only 14 percentile points while their counterparts who spend the same time under an effective teacher gain 52 percentile points in their achievement.
I think the following benefits of classroom management account for the results in the study above.
1. It creates structure and achievable goals for students
Strategies for managing the classroom will always help and encourage you to establish a structure and SMART goals for student behavior and carrying out lessons in your class. With this, students will always know whether their behaviors and actions are in accordance with the established structure in the classroom.
Effective classroom and pupil behavior management provide strategies for you to structure their classes and lessons such that pupils will have a roadmap to follow. This is always done with targets attached.
2. It informs students about what is expected of them
An appropriate classroom management strategy will help your students understand what is expected of them. In managing behavior in the classroom, you and your students will always have to lay down rules, routines, and standards to govern behavior.
With this, your students know exactly what to do in various situations. There will be no confusion regarding the responsibilities of every student in the class. This is like the saying of Michael Mills below;
“Research suggests that all students are motivated to learn, as long as there are clear expectations, the tasks and activities have value, and the learning environment promotes intrinsic motivation (Wlodkowski & Ginsberg, 1995; Eccles & Wigfield, 1985; Feather, 1982; Kovalik & Olsen, 2005).”
For instance, if there is a rule that everybody should remain in his/her seat when the bell is ringing, your students will know this and will wait for you to tell them to go out for a break.
However, if proper classroom management is not done and the bell rungs, your pupil will be confused regarding what to do; whether to start going out or wait for you to tell them to go.
With this, the students will end up making a decision that is convenient for them. Thus, they will rush out while you may be trying to get their attention.
3. It increases task time and reduces classroom disruptions
Good classroom management reduces disruptions in class. Thus, teachers try to predict all the possible disruptions and make plans to manage them appropriately.
When this is successful, it increases the time students spend on lesson activities rather than talking about the disruptive behavior of their friends. This adds value to the efforts of students as they will learn much. With this, they are able to learn, understand, and pass relevant assessments to succeed in life.
For example, the teacher can be able to predict the possible behavior of students who are talkative and put in place the ideal steps to take in managing this behavior. When this is done, students will gain more time to work on their class activities.
Importance of Effective Classroom Management to Other Stakeholders
1. It helps form responsible individuals in society
Better classroom management helps teachers to train responsible people. Thus, teachers who are better at managing their classes tend to be authoritative.
This means they provide freedom for students and teach them to exercise that freedom within the boundaries of the established rules, routines, and expectations in the classroom.
That is, they provide a balance between freedom and control of student behavior in the class. This is the best recipe for training responsible students.
This is like the saying below;
‘The word ‘freedom’ can never be uttered unless accompanied hand in hand with the word responsibility. It is kinder to keep the lid on the school for a start, lifting it little by little, simultaneously teaching responsibility, until the time comes when the lid can be cast entirely aside and only two conditions remain – freedom and responsibility’. Sylvia Ashton Warner
In essence, effective classroom management does not only provide order in the classroom for effective learning to take place, but I think it also teaches values that will make the pupil responsible in society. This is because I think the teacher plays a key role in shaping and developing appropriate values in their students.
For instance values such as; Care and compassion, Doing one’s best, Fairness, Freedom, Honesty and trustworthiness, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Understanding, Tolerance, and Inclusion can all be nurtured through effective management of behavior in the class.
2. Parents become happy for the investment in their children
Parents develop trust for you if you are effective in managing your class. This is because they are aware your classroom environment is safe for their wards to learn effectively. With this, they tend to develop a strong relationship with you and offer you all the necessary support to help in managing the behavior of their students.
Also, if you are a skillful manager of classroom behavior you are able to bring up and nurture your students to become great leaders and responsible citizens. With this, parents become happy that their children have been nurtured well by the teacher.
3. It creates an effective school administration
A school with great classroom managers surely builds trust among its students and all other stakeholders. This school will see great improvements in the achievements of its students. This is great for the survival of the school and the entire society.
Also, students feel safe in schools that are considered effective in managing pupil behavior. This is because effective schools often establish an environment conducive for teachers to become effective in performing their roles.
For example, they provide the necessary support to teachers in order to manage their classes effectively. The resulting effect is that student achievements will increase drastically.