TEFL Gilsum New Hampshire

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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:

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Classroom management is a very important aspect of teaching, especially when teaching a class of english learners. Some may believe that the way a teacher manages a classroom determines just how successful he or she is as an educator. There are several ways that a teacher can effectively manage a classroom, as illustrated by Tony Murphy in his article, “guidelines for Good Classroom Management Practice.” Murphy proves how important classroom management is by describing various techniques that a teacher can use to establish authority in the classroom, and thus create an effective learning environment. In his article “guidelines for Good Classroom Management Practice” Murphy argues that the best way to manage the classroom is to use a variety of strategies that give the teacher ultimate control. One important technique that Murphy recommends is making a good impression during the first week of class. As Murphy states, “It is during this period that the effective teacher will establish the expected ground-rules for classroom behavior” (Murphy). The first impression that the teacher makes on his or her students is absolutely crucial because this is the impression that will stick with the students for the rest of the semester or year. If students believe that a teacher is too easy or lenient, they will constantly push their limits, and this could lead to continual disruptive behavior. Yet if students believe right away that a teacher is too harsh, they may shy away from participating in class, and they could close themselves off from the teacher. It is important for the teacher to make a good, yet authoritative impression and to set a positive tone for the class. Another strategy for classroom management that Murphy discusses is the importance of establishing rules on the first day of class. Murphy states, “establish a set of classroom rules to guide the behavior of students at once. Discuss the rationale of these rules with the students to ensure they understand and see the need for each rule” (Murphy). It is very important for the teacher to set up classroom rules in order to manage the class most effectively. Students need to know how to behave, and if they participate in the creation of the list of rules, then they will feel like they have had a say in how the classroom environment should feel. Also, making the students part of the rule making will hold them responsible for maintaining the rules; if they act inappropriately, the teacher can simply refer back to the rules that the students themselves helped make. Overall, it is extremely necessary for the teacher to form a set of rules in order to maintain proper classroom management. It is not only important for the teacher to establish rules to control the class, but also to learn the names of every student. Murphy insists that “calling a student by his or her name early in the year gives the student an increased sense of well-being. It also gives a teacher better control of situations” (Murphy). If a teacher calls a student by his or her first name when giving a command or instruction, it will be very effective and personal, and the student will be more likely to respond. Many students want to feel like they are special and they want to be treated as individuals, and calling them by name will help the teacher earn respect in this regard. If the teacher does not take the time to learn each student's name, the students may feel unappreciated and disrespected, and they will not care to follow directions or pay attention. Thus, it is of the utmost importance that the teacher gets to know each student by name in order to truly manage his or her classroom. In conclusion, Murphy demonstrates how important it is to properly manage a classroom, and he suggests several strategies for achieving control. It is obvious that if a teacher cannot manage his or her classroom, he or she will not be able to provide students with the kind of supportive environment they need for real learning. If students feel that the teacher is in control of the classroom, they can feel more secure and more focused, and they will best be able to respond to the teacher's lessons.