I came across Rebecca Alber’s blog today which consists of a post about classroom management. Click here for the post. This post discusses five different techniques that she has used in her classroom to keep it under control. The five techniques are the following: 1) Use a normal, natural voice. 2) Speak only when students are quiet and ready. 3) Use hand signals and other non-verbal communication 4) Address behaviour issues quickly and wisely and 5) Always have a well designed, engaging lesson. She goes on to explain each of these different techniques and the results that can arise from implementing them.
I have experienced two of these techniques thus far in my experience as a student. Many of my teachers have used technique number two, speak only when students are quiet and ready, and eventually it becomes successful. I have noticed that when my teachers used this method, it takes a very long time for us students to settled down to realize what is going on. The teacher would stand at the front of the class, not say anything and just stare at us. Eventually, probably max. 5 minutes, we realize what was occurring and would quiet down. It clearly is effective, but is it really worth the wait? I have also experience technique number three, use hand signals and other non-verbal communication, and I feel this works great. Immediately the students realize what is going on, whether it’s done by shutting off the lights, clapping your hands, singing a song, etc, the students realize that they need to follow the procedure and pay attention. These techniques used are beneficial and have been successful in their classrooms, but I believe that they are not the best way one can manage their class.
There are two techniques here that I have heard of but never really have seen implemented in a classroom, which I believe would be an effective way of avoiding doing any classroom management tactics. Technique number five is important, always having well designed, engaging lesson, I believe that if you can create and accomplish this task, you will never have to worry about not being able to control the students. This is always a hard concept to create, but I will and I believe that it is important as a teacher to make every lesson you do as creative and exciting as possible. A way you can make your lesson engaging is to incorporate any of the students’ interests, like technology, or getting them involved in the lessons, up participating at the board. You can also make your lessons relatable to your students, like including real world situations or a topic that interests them. Also, to ensure that students’ don’t get uninterested or annoyed with your lesson, you can easily avoid any bias’ and make your lessons as student friendly as possible. Include all students in your lessons and be as open to any opportunities/questions that can arise. Technique number four, address behaviour issues quickly and wisely, is another important point I find that will be helpful in my future classroom. As Alber explains in her blog, it is important for the teacher to approach the students who are being a distraction immediately, but one should do so in a polite manner. The teacher should avoid being direct with the student and questioning them “why are you off task and talking?” and should rather approach them more friendly and indirectly by stating something along the lines of “it looks like you could use some help.” This way the students will get the hint of what you’re trying to tell them, (to get back on task), but they won’t be caught off guard by the rude and arrogant comment that you state to them that could make them more off task.
It is clear that there are many different ways one can manage a classroom and in the end it’s all based on personal experience and opinion. I believe that it is important one should use the same types of classroom management to be consistent and students will know what your tactic means, but I also believe that a teacher should have many different types of tactics to keep things interesting and fun. I am glad that I stumbled along this blog with the different types of techniques, it will allow me to experiment in my pre-internship and internship and see which ones I like the best/are the most useful.