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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
Classroom ManagementClassroom management is essential for any teacher, regardless of the skill level of the teacher, the students level, or even how many years the teacher has been in the classroom. Classroom management also does not stop midway throughout the school year. The teacher has a responsibility not only to the students, but to the school itself (its employer), as well as to him/herself. Despite the stress sometimes included with the making and organizing of lesson plans, activities, and overall class structure; classroom management is a fundamental, vitally important aspect of being a successful teacher. When you have a new class of students, it is important to evaluate each students skill level, as well as their learning style. The more knowledge you have of each students learning styles, the more successful you will be as a teacher. A good teacher knows his/her students. This evaluation is the first step in successful classroom management because it directly affects what you spend your time doing in class. If you have a class of learners that have had extensive training in reading in writing, but they were never allowed to speak, they will have considerable difficulty having a conversational english discussion regarding sports or the weather. Your classroom management would now need to adjust for extra time or activities that used their current knowledge base to verbally express what they could already read and write. On the contrary, if you had just been given a class of students that had no formal training in the english language, but you lived in a multilingual or multicultural society, the likelihood would be that they could carry on a simple conversation in a second language. The ability to speak does not mean they would have knowledge of grammar, or know how to read and write. This is especially true for languages such as Korean or Thai that do not use the standard ABC alphabet. Now we would need to adjust for other types of activities, working on simple phonetics, or why the words that we (the class) know, sound like they do. The style of classroom management also has the ability to keep the students engaged, or be a very effective alternative to sleeping pills. We as teachers obviously prefer the former, so lesson planning and appropriate managing of the classroom should always be done, and occasionally evaluated as to its effectiveness. The way we divide up our lesson, the props, the teacher resources (worksheets, internet, blackboard, etc.), and overall format of class are all a part of our management, and all work for or against our teaching goal. Teachers also need to understand that a class is for teacher-student interaction. This does not mean that the only role of the teacher is to lecture, nor does it mean that we have to be directly engaged with every student during every activity. Obviously there are parts of class and activities that are better suited for student-student interaction as well as private study. However, the classroom setting does offer guidance and mentorship that is different from independent study or online courses. Effective classroom management will know these areas and successfully balance their involvement.