Have you ever seen a classroom where the students are unruly and the teacher seems helpless and it lead to poor academic performance?
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see such? A poorly managed class, right? That’s exactly what it is.
Beyond the students’ willingness and ability to learn, the teacher must have the necessary skills to coordinate and keep their students organized and attentive in the classroom.
What is classroom management?
Classroom management refers to the skills and actions teachers have and use to keep their students focused, productive, and organized to achieve learning goals.
Why is classroom management important?
The first statement that should come to mind is that you can’t realize your learning goals if you don’t properly manage learning activities.
Below are some reasons for classroom management :
It determines students’ performance
sometimes, students’ poor performance isn’t tied to their level of intelligence or lack of it, but how well the teacher manages the classroom.
A teacher who has no coordination and organization skills will find it difficult to direct the students.
This will even reflect how they structure teaching and learning in the classroom.
For instance, such teachers will teach last what should be first and vice versa. As expected, this won’t enhance academic performance; most students in that classroom will fail!
It determines how much the teacher enjoys teaching
much emphasis is laid on students in academic environments at the expense of teachers.
Like it takes two to tango, it takes both the students and teachers to work together to achieve learning goals.
If the teacher doesn’t enjoy teaching because they lack classroom management skills, the students will bear the brunt too.
The teacher can’t give what they don’t have. If you want to enjoy teaching, learn how to organize and control the classroom.
It makes learning fun
a teacher can teach because they HAVE to, and students can PASS THEIR EXAMS because they want to meet society’s expectations.
But what about the fun derived from learning? It’s often lost if the classroom isn’t well-managed.
Learning shouldn’t be a bore; it should be an activity both teachers and students look forward to.
Types of classroom management
There are different types of classroom management, ranging from greater involvement of the students to lesser participation of the teacher.
What matters is to adopt what will deliver the best results. Here are the four styles:
It’s the one in which the teacher’s level of involvement in the classroom is low.
This is common with people who aren’t necessarily passionate about teaching but had to take up the job due to economic reasons.
There is no structure in the classroom and students are left to do as they please.
Students’ academic performance in such a class leaves much to be desired; only the proactive or brilliant ones thrive.
In this style of classroom management, students have no power. The teacher determines everything and enforces it on the students.
The structure is rigid and allows for no flexibility. However, experts say this type of classroom management doesn’t create an environment for a relationship to thrive between the students and the teacher.
Besides, adopting this style can hinder students’ growth, affecting their academic performance and removing the joy of learning.
Here, the teacher is highly invested in their students’ growth but lacks control skills.
The students easily build a relationship with the teacher, not as a person of authority but as their peer.
While this encourages students to confide in the teacher, it also allows them to insult the teacher’s authority and take them for granted.
As such, learning won’t be effective. Involvement and control must be balanced.
Regarded as the best style, authoritative classroom management deals with the balance of control and students’ autonomy.
Students are encouraged to relate freely with the teacher without neglecting the structure.
They can collaborate and even suggest learning techniques, but they must respect the rules.
Consequently, students do well in their academics while relishing the joy of learning and the teacher achieves their goals amidst the satisfaction of following their passion.
Can a virtual classroom be managed?
The different classroom management styles aren’t limited to traditional classrooms.
They can also be adopted in virtual classrooms, especially with the necessity for online education.
Learning management systems like Google Classroom, Moodle, etc., have features that allow teachers to control their virtual classes while encouraging students to collaborate and participate.
What matters is to know how the learning management system you are using works to maximize it.
As a teacher, the classroom management style you choose determines your students’ academic performance.
However, you don’t want your class to turn into a marketplace or a graveyard, all in the name of teaching.
Balance is key. While students should be allowed to speak up, collaborate and enjoy some autonomy, the teacher shouldn’t leave the classroom to them completely.
The structure should be respected, but there should be some measure of flexibility. Once again, balance is key!