You may be wondering why some teachers struggle one way or the other to handle their classes effectively. You may also be pondering on why students love and rush to have lessons with some teachers, and not others.
The dynamics at play in the above situations are most likely due to classroom management (CM). CM is an integral part of effective teaching due to the following:
- CM Creates Safe, Relaxed, And Enjoyable Classroom for Learning
- CM Allows Teachers to Remain Control of the Classroom
- CM Promotes Positive and Respectful Connections among Classroom Members
- CM Helps Teachers to Motivate Students
- CM Makes Teachers Help Students Who are in Need
- CM Allows Teachers to Nurture Students to Become Responsible
- CM Helps Teachers Deliver Motivative and Interesting Lessons
- CM Reduces Teacher Stress
- CM Raises the Morale of Teachers
Before we look into detail the main reasons why classroom management (CM) is an integral part of teaching and education, I want you to hear my story.
As a teacher trainee, I was not bothered about the management of my class during lessons. I had always assumed that knowing and preparing the content based on the curriculum was enough to teach effectively.
I got the shock of my life in the first month of my teaching career when I suffered at the hands of one of the most feared classes in my school. After my lesson, I entered the staff office silently and stressed.
With my situation, the school’s headteacher entered and asked about how I was doing with that particular class. For want of making a good impression, I said “so far so good.”
A long story short, I noted some fundamental problems in my classroom as below;
- Inconsistency in implementing consequences
- Difficulty managing transitions
- Not taking control of the class right from the beginning of the semester
- Not planning extensively on how to manage students’ behavior
These issues tormented me till the end of the semester and I regretted not paying much attention to CM. It took the intervention of some of my experienced colleagues to push me through to the end of the year with coaching and guidance. Thanks to them, I would have lost interest in my beloved profession.
What is Teaching?
I think it will be important to understand the meaning of teaching so that we will put our discussion into context. Hough and Duncan (1970) defined teaching below:
“teaching is an activity – a unique professional, rational and humane activity in which one creatively and imaginatively uses himself and his knowledge to promote the learning and welfare of others”.
They further identified the set of activities that consists of a curriculum planning phase, an instructing phase, and an evaluating phase (Hough and Duncan, 1970). Teaching is also a cultural and social process that helps us to learn new things.
What is Classroom Management?
Classroom management is made up of a set of techniques and strategies used by teachers and students to promote a classroom atmosphere that is hospitable for effective teaching and learning.
It involves the organization, planning, leading, and evaluating lesson content and the physical environment of the classroom to ensure teaching and learning occur effectively.
Why is Classroom Management Essential in Education?
The following are the main reasons why effective CM is a critical part of teaching. Let’s look at them in detail below:
CM Creates Safe, Relaxed, And Enjoyable Classroom for Learning
Teachers use classroom management to remove all the unsafe objects and behaviors in the class. Before a lesson, effective teachers scan their classrooms to be sure that there is nothing harmful.
Also, teachers curb unsafe behaviors of students through their classroom management practices. For example, sending a student to timeout if he/she gets violent.
This behavior helps students to feel relaxed and enjoy the lesson delivered by the teacher. With this, there can be effective teaching that impacts the learning outcomes of students.
CM Allows Teachers to Remain Control of the Classroom
with the use of strategies and techniques of CM, teachers become confident to take center stage and manage behaviors in the class.
Effective teaching takes place in an environment where the teacher is in control. So for example a teacher can connect with students such that he or she can manage and control their behavior.
But if you lose control of your class you are bound to fail. This is because your students will put up bad behaviors in your class. This is why classroom management is critical in effective teaching.
Classroom management provides strategies and techniques that help teachers to manage behavior by making rules and responsibilities for the pupil to follow. There are also rewards and consequences or punishments for compliance and noncompliance.
For effective teaching to exists in the class, the above-mentioned issues must be present. Hence classroom management is an integral part of teaching.
CM Promotes Positive and Respectful Connections among Classroom Members
Treating each other with respect in your class will promote positive behavior in your classroom. This can be achieved by classroom management strategies. For example, teachers can condition the behavior of his or her students through rules and regulations.
With this, they encourage good behavior and respect among members in the classroom. With effective classroom management strategies, teachers become role models for their students. So students copy the behaviors put up by their teachers to guide them in the future.
However, without classroom management teachers cannot promote positive and respectful behavior among students. This is because students can engage in problem and chaotic behavior.
With that, classroom management can be considered to be critical to effective teaching.
CM Helps Teachers to Motivate Students
Motivation is very important for both students’ and teacher’s success. A self-motivated teacher goes to motivate or lead his or her students to success.
Effective teachers get their Motivation by engaging in classroom management. By engaging and classroom management effective teachers succeed in delivering effective lessons. This makes them happy and more motivated. With this, they can easily motivate students to continue pushing in order to succeed.
However, teachers who don’t engage in classroom management become stressed up. With this, they lose the motivation for the profession. They cannot motivate their students to become successful.
CM Makes Teachers Help Students Who are in Need
One of the most important parts of teaching is that teachers must make sure that students learn equally. Most everyone learns equally because that there will be diversity in the classroom.
Effective teachers help bridge this gap and help students who are in need.
For example, some students learn slowly while others learn quickly. Classroom management can help teachers to provide support for students who need help.
Also, some students have disorders. With this, these students need the support of their teachers to learn effectively in the classroom. So as a teacher you need to be available for those people. And classroom management will help you do that.
For example, there are students with autism and ADHD. These students need the optimum support of their teachers to be able to learn.
CM Allows Teachers to Nurture Students to Become Responsible
Effective classroom management those crates responsible individuals for their society. This is because teachers who manage their classrooms can promote positive behavior among students. This positive behavior includes all the necessary behaviors for a person to survive in society. With the students come out to become responsible individuals for their society and help with to develop.
However, in a classroom where there is no effective classroom management, students put up problem behaviors. Even good students take up bad behaviors from other friends. With that, students learned behaviors that are no good for society.
CM Helps Teachers Deliver Motivative and Interesting Lessons
Classroom management helps teachers to plan the lessons that will motivate and help their students to learn effectively. They do that’s by making these lessons interesting to students.
However, teachers who do not have classroom management strategies struggle to get the attention of students. This is because lessons will not be interesting to students. When this happens teaches lose control of the class and effective learning and teaching cannot happen.
CM Reduces Teacher Stress
Stress is one of the factors that stand in the way of teachers in delivering effective lessons. Butts by engaging and effective classroom management teachers can reduce the stress. Effective teachers can use classroom management plans to govern how they manage their classrooms.
In developing the plan, teachers go through detailed and flexible planning while collaborating with others including students. This process makes the plan effective in managing students’ behavior since they were involved in the development process.
In a nutshell, teachers with less or no stress have peace of mind to brainstorm, plan, and find creative ways of delivering lessons in the best interest of students. This makes it possible for effective teaching to take place.
CM Raises the Morale of Teachers
Classroom management increases the morale of teachers and makes them love their profession. Having high morale is key for success in teaching.
Teachers who undertake detailed planning of how to manage behavior in their class, taking into consideration all the key success factors, succeed in promoting good and positive behavior in students. This reduces classroom problems making teachers less stressed.
It takes highly motivated and morale teachers to teach effectively. This helps meet the needs of all stakeholders of education.
A teacher who does not take classroom management, as I did in my first year as a teacher, will end up stressed due to disruptive behaviors of his/her students. With that, they will lose their morale and can’t undertake any effective teaching.
To conclude, teaching is a social and cultural process that helps people to share and learn new things. The issues mentioned here are some of the major reasons why classroom management is a critical part of teaching. This means we should invest much time into the efforts of classroom management.