Classroom management may not be a term you hear very often in educational programs.
Though many programs do offer some instruction on the subject, most people, myself included, find that not enough time has been given to the subject before graduation. Learning to manage a group of students is challenging, and many teachers find that when they really begin to learn it is after they walk into the classroom. But if our educational programs aren’t stressing classroom management, is it really important? The truth is, teachers with good have many unique advantages, and so do their students.
Why is Classroom Management Essential for Educators
Effective teaching is the first result of good classroom management. Good classroom management can’t ensure effective teaching but will create the environment where good and effective teaching can happen. Imagine a classroom where students are talking, acting out or failing to pay attention. Just how much can those students be expected to learn? But with good classroom management, those same students would be paying attention, engaging in activities, and making efforts to absorb the information the teacher presents. When that happens, we teachers are more effective. Students learn better and learn more, and it’s all because of the way we run our class.
Like effective teaching, good classroom management won’t eliminate behavioral problems, but it will significantly decrease them. Fewer students will act out or fail to engage in class. And when students are engaged and interested, the feeling is contagious. Your students will feed off one another’s energy and will find themselves engaged and learning because their classmates are. In addition to this contagious desire to learn, good classroom management, which decreases misbehavior in students, also reduces the number of distractions that result from that misbehavior. The positive circle of contagious behavior will increase and the negative cycle of contagious distraction and misbehavior will decrease. It’s the best of both worlds.
Even the best of teachers find themselves frustrated and short of patience at times. Teachers new to the classroom can find themselves feeling that way even more frequently. With good classroom management, your own feelings and attitudes about work in the class improve along with your students’. You are less likely to suffer from frustration and burn out when your students are engaged and behaved. As a result, you will be a better communicator and teacher, and this is another way that your teaching effectiveness will increase.
Fewer Learning Difficulties
Studies have shown that teachers with good classroom management will be more effective in teaching students with learning difficulties. Most obviously, these difficulties stem from learning disabilities and behavioral problems. But don’t forget that language barriers are a type of difficulty for students. If you teach ESL students in a mainstream class, having good classroom management will help them overcome the special difficulties that come from the language barrier. Even if your class is entirely made up of ESL students, having good classroom management in an English only classroom will diffuse the difficulties associated with learning in another language. Therefore, the better your classroom management, the better your ESL students will learn. And when your students are learning more easily, your teaching effectiveness will again increase.
You may not have had much education in classroom management, so it’s up to you to make efforts to learn how to implement it in your classroom. If you do, it will make you a better teacher and help your students learn more effectively. Even if you did receive instruction in classroom management before you had your own class, this is one area where you can’t know too much. Since classroom management directly affects student behavior and as a result performance, your success as a teacher will in part be determined by how well you approach and apply classroom management.