Classroom Management: Teacher Roles

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Managing a class of students is one of the biggest challenges facing teachers. The article offers suggestions for effective classroom management, including tips for creating classroom systems, organizing your reading program, ideas for room arrangements and activities for students who finish their work early.

Classroom management is a group of strategies that teachers use to help students perform at their highest levels. Teachers should anticipate what skills and work habits students need, and these skills and routines help to make classroom life academically productive and satisfying. By modelling and reinforcing positive behaviours and environments, teachers can facilitate learning and minimize disruptions and distractions.

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Why is classroom management so important? It is all too common sight for many teachers: a classroom full of students who are unable to focus on the lesson. Classroom management techniques may get things back on track. Many experienced teachers know that making meaningful connections with students is one of the most effective ways to prevent disruptions in the first place, and a new study set out to assess this approach. In classrooms where teachers used a series of techniques centred around establishing, maintaining and restoring relationships academic engagements increased and disruptive behaviour decreased – making the time students spent in the classroom more worthwhile and productive. “Strong-teacher- student relationships have long been considered a foundational aspect of a positive school experience “, explains Clayton Cook, the author of the study and a professor at the University Minnesota. When those relationships are damaged, student well-being may be affected, leading to academic and behavioural problems.

Effective classroom management, i.e. organizing the classroom and the learners, is dependent on the teacher adopting appropriate roles. For example, when learners arrive late in class or misbehave, the teacher needs to deal with the situation appropriately to ensure that the learners understand that this is not acceptable behaviour. In this situation, the teacher’s role is primarily to maintain discipline. If, on the other hand, the teacher adopts inappropriate roles, this can have a negative effect on their classroom management. Just imagine a situation where one learner is dominating the interaction in the classroom, resulting in other learners becoming annoyed and being unwilling to participate. If the teacher lets the learner continue in a dominating role, he or she could lose the respect of the other students and will be less able to facilitate their learning. However, if the teacher sets out clear classroom routines and codes of conduct in which learners take turns to participate and listen to each other’s contributions, he or she will build rapport with the class and provide the learners with a more supportive learning environment.

Teachers need to behave in different ways at different stages of a lesson to manage the classroom and to successfully guide learners through the lesson. These different ways of behaving in and managing the class are called teacher roles. Teachers adopt a number of different roles in every lesson. Teacher roles vary depending on the teaching approach used and on the teachers’ and learners’ preferred learning styles and learning needs.

Here are some roles teachers often adopt.

  •  Planner- the teacher prepares and reflects on the lesson before teaching, anticipates problems and selects, designs and adapts materials.
  •  Manager- she organizes the learning space, makes sure everything in the classroom is running smoothly and sets up rules and routines for behaviour and interaction.
  •  Monitor- she goes around the class during individual, pair and group work activities, checking learning and providing support as necessary.
  •  Facilitator- she provides opportunities for learning, helps learners to access resources and develop learner autonomy.
  •  Diagnostician- she works out the causes of learners’ difficulties.
  •  Language resource- she can be used by the learners for help and advice about language.
  •  Assessor- she evaluates the language level and attitudes of the learners by using different means of informal and formal assessment.
  •  Rapport builder- she tries to create a food relationship with and among learners.

And we notice how teacher roles match with different aspects of teaching and with different stages of a lesson. We can be planners before the lesson, rapport builders during the warm-up and lead- in phase, language resources during the language input and practice phase, monitors during role-play, pair work activities or writing, and assessors during the lesson, both formally and informally, and after the lesson when we are correcting learners’ work.

There are several common situations in which a teacher has to adopt his or her role as appropriate to encourage smooth classroom management. These include learners not completing homework, monitoring learners during pair and group activities, learners failing to understand instructions, learners chatting during the lesson and not focusing on the task. The teacher roles we adopt have to be appropriate for the teaching and learning context, the teaching approach, the lesson aims, the stage of the lesson, the type of activity and the age, level and attitude of the learners. However these teacher roles are not so appropriate for a teacher using a communicative approach. Teacher roles more suitable for a communicative approach include facilitator, resource, provider of language, prompter.

The roles that teachers adopt also depend on the needs of the learners. With young learners, we might take on the role of a parent or a friend when a young student is unwell or unhappy. With teenage or adult learners, two of the key teacher roles are those of motivating students and maintaining discipline. With adult students the teacher’s roles are often those of facilitator, language resource and diagnostician. It is important to be flexible in teacher roles. Sometimes roles need to be changed because of circumstances in the lesson. For example, when we are monitoring a task and realize that learners have not understood the key language, we take on the role of language resource to clarify the language point so that learners can continue with the task. And some problems with classroom discipline, classroom management and facilitating learning are a result of teachers not adopting appropriate teacher roles.

Effective teachers want to spend their time on teaching, not dealing with classroom disruptions.

And there some classroom management tips to help the teachers to settle problems or prevent them from occurring, so that they can spend more of the classroom hour on teaching and learning.

  • Take charge of your class. Get everyone’s attention before beginning class. That means the lesson won’t be started, the lecture won’t begin, and nothing will be written until everyone is in his or her seat paying attention. It doesn’t take a shout of “ Let’s be quiet “ or “ I won’t start until everyone is ready” to get them to focus on you. It can be just as effective to walk in the class and engage them with something interesting to them.
  • Focus on the disruptive students. If students aren’t paying attention or busy with doing other things, get them focused by using nonverbal signals of disapproval. If they are talking, pause and look forward them. If it is in front of class, continue with the lesson but walk toward the problem students and stop near their seats, while still teaching. Having you so near , usually stops the unwanted activity as the rest of all students’ attention is directed toward the misbehaving students. If there is a discussion going, direct a question to the student who is not paying attention or misbehaving. Remember to use his name when you begin to speak, otherwise, he may not hear the question.
  • Let students choose their seats. At the beginning of school year, let the students sit where they want. When students choose their seats, they have ‘ ownership’ in those seats and tend to behave well in order to avoid being moved.
  • Give incentives to do their best on assignments. If an assignment will not be collected and graded individually, students may feel they have no reason to make an effort to do a good job on the no- credit assignment. For instance, a teacher will often do an ungraded warm-up exercise to begin the class hour. If the student has not made a real effort, then that student will be given a short homework assignment. Another strategy to motivate students to stay on task would be so easy and they have to get the reason to complete the task.
  • Keep an eye on your students. Class goes so much better when you can see your students. When teaching, try to be facing students as much as possible. While doing their tasks, you should control the whole class.
  • Establish consequences for misbehaving. Good classroom management starts the first day of school. Once students learn there will be consequences for misbehaviour, they usually come around. There are three steps to set up consequences. First of all, determine what consequences will be effective with your students. Ask yourself what students do not want to happen for example, adolescent students hate staying after class, being moved from a seat they have chosen or receive the disapproval of their peers. The reverse is also true, ‘ Find out what students want to have happen and make that possibility’. Classroom management does not have to be negative. Then, tell the students that there will be consequences for misbehaviour. You will put their name on your paper. Tell them that how long they stay after the class depends on the rest the hour goes. They now control their destiny. If they cause the problems, they will stay longer. And if they begin to behave well, now you can erase their names.

We use learners’ names for a number of reasons, for example to get their attention, to make them feel we know who they are, to make sure that different learners answer.

Follow through with consequences for misbehaviour and show students that you are serious and they will take you seriously.

Classroom management, especially with elementary and junior high age students, never ends. It is an ongoing process, but once the foundation is laid, it only takes occasional reminders.

Showing the students you care about them helps create positive, supportive relationship and helps build an environment where learning can develop. And you are modelling behaviour that you want your students to learn and emulate. Listen to your students and help them express who they are and how they want to be treated. You should teach students the ways to show they care about another person. And also the teacher should work with the parents to show the interest and concern for their children. Improve your practice by learning something new, including getting feedback from students.

Most teachers care about imparting knowledge to students. But the best teachers also care about the relational aspect of teaching. They take time to establish a trusting and caring connection with their students, who in turn become more receptive to what’s being taught. They get to know their students’ interests, talents, and needs which helps them prepare lessons and helps students feel the partnership of the learning experience.

In this issue, educators tell how they make negative situation positive and food situations better. They don’t all do it in the same way. Some offer positive support for good behaviour; others adopt the stance of a ‘warm demander’. Some concentrate on directly teaching positive behaviours, still others teach students how to fight realities.

Learners are often lacking in confidence and shy about speaking in front of the class. We can encourage them by using language which makes them feel positive about what they can do and which reduces their level of anxiety. We sometimes also have to tell them what to do.

Prompting can sometimes be quite similar to encouraging. When we prompt we provide words, phrases, ideas or even time to help the learner continue or remember what to say. This means we sometimes leave our utterance unfinished for the learner to finish it for us.

After all, most teachers go into the profession to help members of the younger generation fulfil their hope for the future.

Summary

This article is about on the classroom management and teacher’s roles.

Classroom management is the most important part in teaching process. Because the teacher should control the class, students behaviours, their tasks and their attendance. For the effective lesson, the teacher should manage the classroom, lesson time, routines, relationships, physical condition of the class. And the most important thing is how to prevent discipline problems.

Teachers need to behave in different ways at different stages of a lesson to manage the classroom.

Teachers’ roles vary depending on the teaching approach used and on the teachers’ and learners’ preferred learning styles and learning needs.

What we say, how we say it and what we do make our teacher roles clear to learners. When planning lessons, it is useful to first identify the roles we are going to take on during the lesson and then to think about what we are going to say and do to convey that role clearly to the learners.

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