Classroom Management What is Classroom Management? Wikidepia defines classroom management as “a term used by teachers to describe the process of ensuring that classroom lessons run efficiently despite disruptive behavior by students”. Furthermore, the ability to prevent these disruptive behaviors is taken into account when classroom management comes into play. In his book, A Survival Guide for the Preschool Teacher, Feldman (1990), on another note, states that “classroom management is everything the teacher does to assure that he or she will have a well-organized classroom where children can be successful.
Traditionally, disciple, control, and punishment have served as foundation to classroom management; however, this practice wherein control and order is applied has, since then, been modified. According to Everstone and Emmer (1982), classroom management has been redefined to “establishing a climate of learning”. It not only entails the procedure and requirements needed to create and maintain an environment where teaching and learning can occur (National Society for Study of Education, usa
, 1979 yearbook). Duke (1982) concluded that “the critical element of the teacher’s role thus shifts from control to management-management of time, space, materials, auxiliary personnel, and students.” In the EFL classroom, where the ultimate goal is to create a positive environment for learning, the practice of classroom management has also been modified.
Nowadays the primary objective of foreign language learners, according to Stern (1983), Widdowson (1983), and Littlewood (1984) to mention a few, is to be able to communicate in the learned language. However, this goal can only be achieved through “the actual use of the language” (Chomsky, 1959). Unfortunately, most if not all EFL learners have limited chances of using the language on a daily basis and as a result, their only time for exposure is during classroom activities. An EFL teacher should, therefore, set an environment appropriate for learning rather than focusing his or her attention on control and discipline. This, according to Professor Fan Yi, is the most important task of classroom management. He also states, in his article entitled “EFL Classroom Management: Creating a Positive Climate for Learning”, that an effective EFL learning environment, manifests a number of characteristics which include (1) the learners’ strong desire to use the language in class, (2) opportunities available for the learner to use the language for personal communication, and (3) an environment where the learner feels confident and at ease to participate in classroom activities (Littlewood, 1984). Furthermore, this learning environment is created with the help of elements such as motivation, involvement, a relaxed atmosphere, and fluency prior to accuracy.
In conclusion, punishment in EFL classes ought to be avoided. It should be the last resort for teachers as this may create anxiety not only to the student being reprimanded but all students in the class. “In the classroom, anxiety hinders learning and makes the learners reluctant to express themselves”. In the light of classroom management, prevention is definitely better than cure. According to Bear, G.G. (2008) and his preventative technique, preventive approaches to classroom management is all about creating a positive classroom community with mutual respect between teacher and student.
• “Classroom Management” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved on April 11, 2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classroom_management
• “EFL Classroom Management: Creating a Positive Climate for Learning”. Retrieved on April 10, 2011 from http://wlkc.nbu.edu.cn/jpkc_nbu/daxueyingyu/download/013.pdf
• Feldman, J. R. (1990). A Survival Guide for the Preschool Teacher. New York, USA: The Center for Applied Research in Education.