One of the biggest complaints we hear nowadays from teachers is the lack of discipline inside the classrooms. Although students seem to have more interest in what is going on outside the classroom than what teachers have to say inside the classroom, I repeatedly ask myself this question: Is it up to the students or is it up to us, teachers?
Studies have shown that many students who were failures in the classroom had significant improvement due to the teacher´s classroom management and, on the other hand, many studies have also shown that poor classroom management has hindered brilliant students in their academic life.
Many perceive classroom management as teacher control and discipline. Although it does involve a little of these two aspects, there is much more to it than this. It is the basis of your planning. On occasions it is more important than the subject itself because without it, you will not be able to teach. It is a question of being organised and skillful. It is a question of being flexible and understanding. It is setting the stage for a safe environment for teaching and learning.
Having all this in the back of your mind helps with student behaviour. Good classroom management brings on good behaviour. Bad classroom management brings on indiscipline. In the end, the success of a classroom does depend on the teacher´s classroom management! Student´s learning success does depend on your classroom management.
What is classroom management?
Successful teaching depends on the ability of the teacher to manage the classroom. It´s considered an essential part of the teaching/learning process. Today we know that classroom management has more impact on student achievement than the curriculum itself. It refers to the methods, strategies and skills teachers use to maintain a classroom environment that should result in student´s learning success. Classroom management includes time management, student involvement, student engagement, student autonomy, and classroom communication.
A clear description of common classroom management areas is given by Scrivener (2005):
To learn more about classroom management, check out our site for our online course which is held twice a year.
Scrivener, J. Learning Teaching: A guidebook for English language teachers. Macmillan ELT; 2nd edition edition (31 Mar. 2005)