Classroom management has been a great challenge for teachers, especially among new ones. This has stressed many teachers. Some teachers have even abandoned the profession for different professions.
Poor classroom management has left a dent in many teachers’ careers. This has caused many teachers to question why it is so hard to manage the classroom successfully.
Finding the causes and reasons behind poor classroom management is the first step to find solutions to it.
From my experience and those of my colleagues I have conducted interviews with, the following are some reasons why classroom management is sometimes difficult:
- Difficulty in Managing Humans
- Trying to be Perfect
- Inadequate Training on CM
- Inadequate Support from Other Stakeholders
- Teacher’s Personality
- Not Collaborating with Other Stakeholders
- Not Relating Positively with Students
The list above is not exhaustive since there may be other reasons that we have not been able to mention.
Why Classroom Management?
Classroom management is at the core of effective education. This means that no effective learning and teaching can take place without good and effective classroom management.
This is specifically important at the lower levels of education. The following are some benefits of having effective classroom management in your class:
- Improved student achievements.
- You will be happy.
- You will have happy students.
- You will develop positive relations with your students.
- Other stakeholders such as parents, school administrations, and the whole will become happy.
In all, effective classroom management creates effective teaching and learning in your class. This is why we have to make efforts to develop our skills n classroom management.
Reasons Why Classroom Management is Hard for Some Teachers
Having explored the importance of classroom management, it is essential to assess some of the factors that can stand in your way of managing your classroom effectively. Knowing them will put you on alert to avoid them as much as possible. These factors are:
Difficulty in Managing Humans
Humans are a special species. With this, you cannot easily manage and control human behavior. It is even difficult for us to manage our habits, attitudes, and actions not to talk of those of others. One of the main reasons is that human behavior fluctuates and cannot be predicted easily.
Our students are individuals from different backgrounds and orientations, hence everyone is unique in his/her way. So we have to manage everyone differently according to his/her nature.
Imagine the amount of hard work on you if you are teaching hundreds of students. You can easily be overwhelmed and stressed. Because you have got to manage every individual uniquely. This is why classroom management is hard for teachers.
Trying to be Perfect
When we are starting, we often want to achieve perfect results on everything. This is because of our desire to see everything move smoothly in our lives.
This is enforced by our national curriculums and the way we are trained in teachers’ training schools. For example, we can concentrate so much on meeting every goal in the curriculum and forget to forge good and positive relations with our students. This can make us lose control of our classroom and that will make our work difficult.
Also, you become extremely worried if you ain’t able to manage a particular issue successfully due to your desire to be perfect. This will make you stress and worsen your situation in the class.
Know that you cannot achieve perfect results all the time. Some days you may get 100% results but struggle on other days. Life still goes on. But practice, practice, practice, and practice to improve your situation.
Sometimes our inexperience stands in our way to manage student behavior successfully. New teachers are always surprised when they face the realities in the classroom.
Because of inexperience, some teachers lack the confidence to take charge of their classes. This is often a result of them not finding what works for them when addressing problem behaviors.
This is because they have not practiced so much to become skillful in dealing with issues in the classroom. With this, they become worried and stressed that even worsens their conditions.
Inadequate Training and Knowledge on CM
The teacher training institutes and colleges don’t train teachers as much on classroom management. They assume the best or perfect scenario (ideal situation) when training teachers. Due to that, training programs emphasize curriculum and regulation education. I think the time they spend on classroom management is little.
The above leaves teachers to their faith when it comes to dealing with students’ problem behaviors. This makes classroom management difficult for many teachers until they figure it out in their practice.
Inadequate Support from Other Stakeholders
Just like other factors, the support of other stakeholders to teachers is necessary for achieving effective student behavior management and education. It is, however, unfortunate teachers don’t usually get that from other stakeholders.
For example, some schools do less to support their teachers in dealing with problem behaviors. Some schools don’t have trained personnel such as counselors and doctors to support teachers in their work.
Numerous parents just dump their kids at school and don’t do much to make sure they are well-educated. They only blame teachers and schools for the failure of their kids.
For example, an incident occurred in my school where a student insulted a teacher. The necessary disciplinary steps in the school were used and the kid’s parent was later informed. However, the parent mentioned there was nothing he could do, saying he is also struggling with the kid.
A teacher in the above situations will find it difficult to manage students’ behavior effectively.
Do you know your personality can become an impediment to your ability to control students effectively? If you have not thought of that before, it is time to reflect on how your personality impacts your behavior management skills.
Different people have different personalities. Your personality can dictate the way you react when challenged by a student. Some teachers may deal with that professionally, but some may get angry depending on their personalities.
Some people, by their personalities, don’t handle stress appropriately. This will affect the way they react when they face stressful situations.
Those who can handle stress appropriately can do better if they encounter stressful situations in class. This can make classroom management a less stressful activity for these people.
Not Collaborating with Other Stakeholders
If you choose not to collaborate with other stakeholders, you may find classroom management so hard. All the stakeholders are there to support you to succeed in your work, so make use of them.
For example, you will need a school psychologist when dealing with students with autism, ADHD, and many other conditions. You may also need the school’s doctor/nurse to help you with other health issues.
If you fail to collaborate with various stakeholders can make you fail in managing your classroom behaviors. This is why some people may see classroom management to be so hard.
Not Relating Positively with Students
Some teachers also concentrate on delivering the content of a lesson, forgetting to establish positive relationships with your students. If students have bad relationships with you, you will have a tough time managing them.
Relating well with our students helps promote a lovely environment for everyone to learn peacefully and effectively. Caring, fairness, and treating everyone equally allow students to trust you, thereby increasing good behavior among students. This will make classroom management easy.
But if you fail to do that, students will likely engage in problem behaviors. Managing these problem behaviors will make your work difficult.
From the above, we have seen the importance of classroom management. We further discuss why classroom management can be so hard for some teachers. There might be other factors that I did not mention. We must always reflect on the possible factors that can ruin our classroom management efforts.