As a new teacher
, one of the biggest challenges to overcome was learning to manage my classroom. Anyone who's taught a classroom full of twenty, five and six year olds knows to what I am referring. Understanding how to organize and use the space in my classroom, make use of groups and independent study time, as well as establishing rules and agreements in a positive manner can be difficult. Studying at University and taking tefl courses
can only take a person so far. I learn best through experience and once my book and course knowledge was put to the test I was forced to implement measure I thought would help manage all aspect of my class.
One of the most important things to do, especially with young learners
, is to create a fun, happy, exciting and welcoming environment. Allow students to feel like they are excited to learn and be apart of your classroom. In the Oxford Seminars Training Manuel, it explains one of the ways to create such an environment is by “learning something about each student's personal interests” (78). By showing genuine interest in your students' lives outside of school, you are telling them that you care. I believe this opens the door for other things like, respect. When respect is established in a classroom it is much more manageable.
Another important aspect in classroom management is how a teacher
makes use of the space. How a teacher
structures the classroom can really impacts how well students and teacher
s alike are able to perform (Oxford, 78). I found that organizing and arranging a classroom is just as important as lesson plans. I've learned to provide adequate space depending on what the task I have planned requires such as group work or rotating corner activities. Also, decorating a room with students work not only shows them that you care and are proud of their work but it also gives them a sense of ownership in the classroom therefore making them take pride in keeping their own workspace clean and tidy.
After looking back on my first year of teaching, I realized one of the things I did not focus on or provide enough repetition or consistency in was classroom rule and agreements. I've learned that rules, or agreements, and consistency are vital to classroom management. Establishing routines and procedure will help a classroom run smoothly and efficiently. In the Oxford Seminars Manual it states that rules, procedures and “consistency is essential for effective classroom management” (78). As I entered my second year of teaching this was immediately implemented and I saw a great difference in how my year went.
Upon reflection, I can see how important learning about and implementing classroom management techniques are to establishing and maintaining a good learning environment where students want to learn and excel in english
. These techniques can be put to use no matter the level or age of your students. I have come to believe, through my first two years of teaching, that it is always important to learn from mistakes made in the previous years and try to be more effective in the next school year.
Oxford Seminars. tesol
Course Training Manual. Oxford University Press canada