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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:
Classroom management is the most important part of teaching. If a class is managed effectively then both teachers and students can get the most out of the allotted class time. A well-managed classroom keeps students on task, minimizes behavior and discipline problems, and gives the teacher and students structure and a clear view of classroom expectations. The major elements of a well-managed classroom include high student motivation, consistent classroom discipline and thoughtful lessons. A teacher must know how to motivate their students. In order to know what motivates them, they must first know their interests and needs. Establishing a rapport with students is the best way to get to know what interests them. This can be done through icebreaker activities, long term projects, meeting with students and their families, and offering office hours to meet with students before and after class. Motivation is closely tied to student success. If the material is so hard that the student cannot experience success they will feel discouraged and unmotivated. Providing students with opportunity for success is essential in boosting student confidence. If students experience small bouts of success throughout the lesson they will be more confident and motivated in taking on new challenges. A classroom with a clear discipline policy can make a significant difference in classroom management and overall flow of the lesson. Establishing class expectations and rules is one of the first things a teacher should do with their students. Rules should be clear, fair, and consistent. They should be visible in the classroom for both the students and the teacher to reference since the rules apply to the teacher as well as the students. It is important that the teacher is fair and consistent when disciplining students. If a teacher is not fair or consistent with discipline the students will not respect the teacher or the rules. Consideration of class time, size, and dynamics is a large part of thoughtful lesson planning and teacher preparedness. It is important to consider how much time is available for the lesson. If time is a consideration then the teacher is more likely to be efficient in the selected activities and reduce down time and transition time. When a teacher plans a highly active and engaging lesson it is less likely that students will get off task and be disruptive. Class size and dynamics are also important to consider when planning a lesson. For example, activities like role-play, presentations, and individual speaking time all look different depending on the class size. Sometime there is not enough time for each student to present an individual project, instead small or large group presentations would be more efficient. Managing a classroom can be an intimidating and time consuming task but it is the most important component in maintaining a classroom and a teacher’s sanity. A teacher can have the best lesson planned out but if they do not have good classroom management then it is all for naught because students cannot learn if there are constant disruptions and wasted time. If time and consideration is taken to motivate students, plan efficient lessons, and establish and maintain fair and consistent discipline then effective classroom management will come naturally and classes will flow beautifully.