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In teaching, learning the skill of managing a class effectively is really important to ensure that students have learned or gained a positive response towards learning English. In this unit, I have learned the important pointers in managing a classroom. Students are motivated to learn better in an interesting, enjoyable, and not domineering class atmosphere. Although it takes a lot of time and effort, establishing a good rapport with students can influence their attitude or responses in the class.
In managing a classroom, there are a lot of factors to consider. Making good eye contact is important in establishing good rapport with students. Students can feel that they are involved in the lesson and thus generate good discipline and contributions in the class. Use of international gestures can help convey the meaning of a word or reinforce instructions which could diminishes the amount of time required for explaining. Speaking loudly and clearly enough for students to hear and understand what you are saying is necessary to get students attention and interest in the lesson. It maintains a degree of control in the classroom. Learning the students’ names is good in establishing good rapport with the students as well. Besides getting our student`s attention, indicating who is to answer a question, I think acknowledging their names shows that we also acknowledge and respect their individuality, their ideas, and feelings. It shows our interest in getting to know them and this creates a positive, interactive learning atmosphere in the classroom.
Organizing activities in the classroom requires appropriate grouping of students. It depends upon the class size or activity. We should also consider our student`s attitudes and personality. Be it a whole-class, pair work, students working alone, or group-work, it should allow the students to be comfortable and actively participate. It should provide them opportunities to communicate as much as possible.
Arranging the seats of the students and the position of the teacher is of great importance in maintaining discipline and a better learning environment in the classroom. We should consider the student`s age, nationality, and personality, the classroom space and the types of tables and chairs. The teacher should be able have a good view of the students to see and hear what they are doing and thus address their concerns or needs naturally and easily. The teacher`s position shouldn’t be intimidating but it should create a sense of closeness that facilitates interaction with the students and better monitoring. In this Unit I have learned the different types of sitting arrangement appropriate for a pair work or any group class work activities, its advantages, and disadvantages. The horseshoe or circle is the most effective for smaller groups because it is less dominating and creates a feeling of closeness and intimate interaction. The students are sitting fairly, and they can focus better in the class.
The blackboard is usually the teacher`s primary medium for conveying visual pointers or instructions to the students. The teacher should not spend a lot of time writing in blackboard and just talking to the blackboard. In this Unit, I have learned the things to bear in mind in using a blackboard. I should still maintain the interaction in the classroom. I could ask the students to write in the blackboard or draw for entertainment. I could also make use of a projector or write in advanced before the lesson starts to save time.
In teaching a language, there should always be a balance between the teachers talking time and students talking time. Students want to talk more and practice what they have learned. We should avoid unnecessary teacher talking time. Giving instructions should be simple but consistent. Use mimes, gestures or other visual material or demonstrations to save time, reinforce instructions and ensure understanding.
For beginner teachers like me, I think I will have a tough time managing a class. Classroom management is really challenging. It takes everything in the classroom as a whole. It requires a lot of time and effort to establish a good relationship with the students, to maintain a fair treatment and discipline in the classroom, to keep the class interesting, to engage and motivate students to interact and focus on the lesson or activities, to group students accordingly and appropriately, and such many factors and issues to consider. I have learned a lot from this lesson. When I start teaching, I hope to practice these important pointers. I hope to develop the important skills necessary for managing a classroom effectively.