If you are a teacher or tutor, managing a packed class can feel like a catch-22. Entering a classroom to the sight of jostling students, kids racing across the room, and flying paper airplanes may make you unwillingly yell at students. On the other hand, poor classroom management elevates the teacher's stress levels and fosters disruptive behavior among students. However, you can apply many straightforward approaches to effective classroom management that assure productivity in learning and personality development.
Here is a list of 20 proven techniques and strategies to make classroom management as easy as pie:
1. Use appointment scheduling software.
Don't permit insufficient class strength and no-shows to hinder the educational process! Instead, choose Picktime, an online appointment scheduling software designed specifically for taking 24x7 online bookings for increasing productivity in the teaching-learning process. The class booking feature authorizes you to create a class, limit the number of entries and set the duration of each class. Make your classes available on your online booking page and share its link with your students. Let students book multiple classes at once with the class packs feature(Upcoming). Accept tuition fees online through payment processors like credit cards, and PayPal. Send regular notifications to students about the class bookings through email and text messages. Sign up for free now.
2. Greet with a welcoming smile and a soft voice
First and foremost, enter your classroom with a pleasant smile. Use a normal voice. Avoid shouting or dictating your students harshly. Maintain a friendly disposition in the classroom. Demonstrate an ideal behavior to teach your students how to act and behave in a classroom environment. Some ways of influencing ideal behavior on students could include speaking politely with your colleagues and other students, solving conflict with a calm demeanor.
3. Use non-verbal communication
Make constant eye contact with your students to make them feel valued. Focus on what each student is doing or responding to your lessons. Instead of shouting, raise your hand, speak convincingly and ask students to maintain silence. Let students get accustomed to these non-verbal gestures.
4. Address behavior issues
Every child is different and has different issues. Try to be a friend to your students and regularly ask them what is happening in their life. Even if you want to address bad behavior, never accuse the child of anything. For example, instead of asking, “Why are you disturbing the class?”, say, “Do you have anything to say?” If students engage in fights or conflicts between them, call them to meet you at lunch or after school and act as mediators to solve the issue.
5. Praise students for small achievements
Praising a child fosters the development of a positive attitude towards work and improves academic performance. For example, if a child successfully tackles a mathematics problem, compliment them. Instead of simply saying "Good Job", use words like "what you did was amazing", "you have improved a lot", etc. It will also motivate others to learn from their fellows and improve.
6. Try to make lessons interactive.
Apart from an engaging way of speaking, you can win the hearts of your students with interactive lessons. Even if one student is bored, the productivity of your class falls. You need to plan and prepare your lessons beforehand. Have adequate knowledge of the topic you will be teaching. Be prepared for probable questions that could be raised in the class. Always make your presentations visually attractive, use videos, pictures, graphs, questions, etc., to make your students actively participate in the class.
7. Strategize a classroom seating plan
Students will usually choose to sit next to their friends or someone they know beforehand. They might spend more time talking than paying attention in class. Try to curb this problem by assigning seats to your students. Follow a flexible sitting strategy and make students sit with different students. Use a rotation system to ensure that students are not categorized as frontbenchers and backbenchers.
8. Encourage students to take initiative
As a teacher, you need to encourage your students to take initiative in class. Promote peer-to-peer teaching by allowing students to prepare and present PowerPoint presentations, pieces of writing, models, etc. You can organize weekly class tests and let students correct each other's answer papers. It's a good exercise that encourages peer learning. Ask specific students to read excerpts from a chapter and let them explain what they understand by that. It is a great way to raise enthusiasm in other students to take part in the class.
9. Be attentive to all sorts of learner
Every child has a unique way and pace of learning. It's your responsibility to design lessons in a manner taking into account all sorts of learners. While some students excel just by attending lectures, others may enjoy learning through graphs and videos. Some students also find learning in groups more comfortable. Observe the way your students respond to each style of learning. Create lessons that drive maximum engagement for all kinds of learners in your class.
10. Make and document mutually respected rules
The best way to begin a class is by discussing classroom rules and guidelines. Allow your students to help you in the task by coming out with certain dos and don'ts of classroom manners. Once you have established the rules, concretize those rules by documenting them in a written format so that your students remember them well.
11. Stay connected with parents
Parent-teacher meeting has been a practice in school since time immemorial. Implement changes in such practices. Since today, both the mother and father are working professionals, they might not get enough time to be physically present for the meeting. You could organize virtual meetings. Use Picktime to schedule appointments with parents via Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Jitsi Meet, or GoToMeeting. Let parents know about their child's performance, talk about their child's achievements, address health & behavioral issues.
12. Encourage students for co-curricular activities
Develop a positive personality among your students by undertaking co-curricular activities along with academic studies. Co-curricular activities are a method to apply your cognition and classroom learnings to real-life situations. Let children take up any co-curricular activity of their choice- dance, music, sports, painting, photography, gardening, etc. These activities will help to develop social & analytic skills, emotional intelligence, creative thinking, communication, and coordination, and strengthen confidence.
13. Encourage group activities and peer teaching
Students involve more in work and actively engage in projects when they are divided into groups. Forming groups for projects will speed up the efficiency of the learning process. It also enhances relationships and peer-to-peer teaching and learning. Working in group projects builds leadership skills among students.
14. Incorporate sufficient playtime
Sports and games are a great way to teach time management, build team spirit and provide confidence. Like adults, children also go through stress and anxiety. Include slots in the timetable for games and sports. Conduct games in class, crack jokes, organize sports competitions, and train your students in outdoor and indoor games. Engaging in games will improve their concentration and encourage a spirit of competition, which will make them learn to make extra efforts.
15. Keep a tab on the student’s mental health
Poor mental health hampers the productivity of the mind of a student. Since mental health is rarely discussed in schools, prolonged ignorance can make things worse. You need to recognize your student's mental health issues. Many students might be dealing with social anxiety, eating disorders, trauma caused for being bullied by others, emotional and physical abuse. Lend an ear to their problems, recognize their symptoms, and act as a friend while giving them advice. Conduct regular workshops, projects and let students practice yoga and meditation for healing themselves.
16. Build and sustain relationships
Building and sustaining relationships with students on a personal level is a positive classroom management technique. Children consider their teachers as their first role models. They pay attention in the classes of teachers that they aspire to be like, and listen to the advice of teachers they admire. Work on creating a pleasant teacher-student relationship where you both can wholeheartedly trust each other.
17. Avoid punishing the whole class
Punishment is a way to make someone realize their mistake and reform their behavior, not seek revenge. Reprimanding the whole class for a single student's fault can harm classroom management in the long run as it can hurt the students who have not committed mistakes. Do not punish the whole class. Instead, call the misbehaving student and ask them if they have a question or if they need help. If you want to punish him or her, ask them to make a project or presentation that can be used as teaching material for the students. That will ensure productivity and continued learning.
18. Create excitement for the content
Do not jump straight into the topic. Start the class with a sneak peek of the lesson plan. Create an aura of suspense and excitement in the class by starting with a brief quiz or riddles. Make the students write or speak a few words about a topic related to what you will be teaching for the day for creating engagement.
19. Give tangible rewards
Rewarding students will motivate them to put effort into assignments and projects. You can also give small incentives for reaching milestones in learning or for good behavioral conduct. You can also reward best-performing students at the end of each lesson. Give the rewards in front of the class so that other students can be encouraged to do the same.
20. Hold class parties
Throw classroom parties every month to motivate your students and allow them to get along with each other on a personal level. Tell students that they will need to demonstrate good behavior to earn future parties. Ask specific students to take responsibility for helping in the arrangements and ask a different set of students in the next month. Organize fun games like charades and musical chairs.
You may follow all these 20 techniques for effective classroom management and also design your guidelines and strategies. You may also experiment with these strategies and start by trying these rules for a week or two. Even if it works out for one or two students, it indicates that you may use it for class-wide management.