Classroom management is crucial for any teacher. Without it, you will often feel stressed not only about your students’ performance at lessons, but also about your own work. More importantly, your students’ academic results might directly depend on the strategies you apply during your classes and the environment you create.
Naturally, it is not an easy process to think through and implement a good and working management strategy. Especially, if you combine your work with your PhD studies and want to succeed in both spheres of your life. Anyway, if you ever thought, “who could help me with my thesis paper or do my annotated bibliography for me?”, be sure to address such professionals who could definitely make things easier for you.
Nevertheless, despite the difficulties you can encounter as a teacher, there are some approaches how to manage your class efficiently in order to increase the learning process of your students.
Grasp your students’ attention
It is so hard to teach when no one listens to you. You need to make sure that everyone in your class is interested. Otherwise, you will need to begin or return to some topics several times during your lesson.
You should try finding a way to warm up your students first, capture their attention by asking questions, and interrupting your monologue with a discussion. You could also play with the volume of your voice. Sometimes, the more quietly you talk, the better your audience listens to you.
Do not forget about feedback
If you feel like your classes need some improvement, the best way to do so is to ask your students to give feedback. Surely, some of them would be not reasonable at all, but you could definitely find some valuable ideas to use for making your work better. Some students might be shy to express their opinion freely, so you had better hand out some questionnaires to elicit their feedback. Such approach will also help you get your students’ respect since you show them how important their opinion is. As a result, you will have an atmosphere suitable for learning, growing, and developing.
Here we get to another essential aspect of every teacher’s class – atmosphere. You will need to create a positive and encouraging learning environment. Think through how you want to present your topic and interact with your students, where you are going to stand, walk. A good learning space can be also achieved by making fun in a classroom. Your “fun” should be just opposite to “boring”, since boredom, of course, is counterproductive. Try to make fun classes by applying various exercises, group activities, etc.
One of the hardest things teachers face is to keep discipline during lessons. It is believed that punishment and fear work perfectly in discipline establishment. However, you would rather spoil your relationships with everyone and lose their respect. Be friendly, supportive, and show that you expect the best from your students. Showing such an attitude of acknowledgment, they would never want to disappoint you.
Praise hard work and initiative
To have your students’ performance, self-confidence, and behavior improved, try praising their achievements and efforts. This is also how you might get that positive learning environment. Encourage them in every attempt. That is a great motivational force.
Surely, you cannot go by the plan all the time and there is always a moment for improvisation, but anyway there should be some plan. Share your structure with students so that they know what they are expected to learn. At the end of the lesson, try summarizing everything you achieved together.
Behave the way you want them to behave
Overall, you are a role model, supposedly, for students. If you are anything of “standard” for them, they will follow your lead. Be polite, speak appropriately, and be punctual. Show respect and they will reciprocate. Yet, you can show that you are a human, like anyone else, but within some time.
This is a rather bold and unusual teaching strategy. However, it will entertain and encourage students to participate more. It will help some less confident students to engage and step out of their comfort zone.
The list of ideas can be extended by other ideas. You might be creative and implement something that you feel could work with your class. Do not be afraid to experiment in order to increase your students’ productivity and affect their personal development. As a result, your stress level will reduce, your chances to burnout will lower and your students will be happy to have you as a teacher.