Classroom management is the ability of a teacher to have control over their students’ behavior and general classroom environment. Classroom management is an important aspect to grasp, especially for novice teachers. Having control over your class is important for a conducive learning environment. Experienced teachers all had a challenging first year at the start of their careers. However, over the years, they were able to improve their classroom management strategies. A number of factors have been identified to aid novice teachers in overcoming the challenges. As a novice teacher, these management strategies will assist you to create a conducive learning environment and at the same time have control over students’ behavior.
You need to be approachable. Be kind, exercise fairness, and create a sense of friendship while maintaining your authoritativeness. When addressing your students, smile. Nothing creates a negative attitude like a frowning teacher. Looking into the eyes of your students and smiling while addressing them will make them comfortable around you. Being likable will make your students want to please you and ultimately exercise good behavior in the process. So, smile, be friendly, and polite. A little bit of kindness never hurt anyone but remember to maintain your authoritativeness.
Set Clear Boundaries
Setting clear rules will minimize confrontations between you and your students. Having your students understand the rules that you’ve set will encourage them to adhere to them. Rules are important in any educational institutional setting. It is important for any novice teacher to realize that the rules protect every student’s right to learning, and they also ensure that they get to enjoy school. You can have the rules, but without enforcement, it will all be in vain. Therefore, set the rules and ensure that they are strictly adhered to. Also, ensure that the rules are put in writing.
Mistakes Have Consequences
Novice teachers should follow through with consequences when mistakes are committed. Why is this important? Students should realize that mistakes often result in punishment. Always follow through with issuing punishment accordingly when errors are made. This is a particularly useful way of making your students take you seriously. Other than that, the students will also have respect for the rules set. They’ll understand that breaking the rules has consequences. Reasonable punishment isn't a violation of students’ rights. It acts as a good way of letting them know that when mistakes are made, consequences are inevitable. When you have students adhering to rules, you have order in the classroom.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Therefore, don’t make your lessons be all serious without a few moments of fun. Students are more receptive when the learning environment is a bit more relaxed. However, exercise caution when trying to make your lessons fun, be sure not to overdo it. The consequences of overdoing it can make your students get distracted and lose concentration. Yes, be fun but in regulation. An advantage of making your classes fun is that it gets your students excited about your classes, and it even minimizes misbehavior among students.
Live Up To Your Promises and Assurances
Teachers are often mentors to their students. So, as a novice teacher, be cautious of how you behave with them. Ensure that you live up to the standards that you have set. Good examples include keeping time and attending to your lessons. How you treat them is also as important. Be polite and kind, respect their ideas and opinions. Remember, time-management is a good trait your students can emulate. Make them realize that time is invaluable.
Let Your Students Get To Know You
The best way to make people have some trust in you is by identifying yourself. The same applies to your students. During your first meeting, have a brief introductory session with your students. Every individual says their names and a gives a brief summary of who they are. When students create some familiarity with their teacher, it has been found that they become more receptive during lessons as compared to when being taught by an individual who has not made themselves known to them. The most valuable thing about making your students know who you are and giving a bit of information about yourself is that it builds their trust and confidence in you.
Be Prepared For Your Lessons
Always be prepared! I don’t know how much more I can emphasize on this. It’s common knowledge that we should always be prepared before we pursue any activity. It’s part of the curriculum that a teacher should write a lesson plan for the entire learning term. Other than having a long-term plan, ensure that before you proceed to class every single day, you’ve gone through the lesson and prepared all the necessary learning materials. This will make your lessons flow and make your students learn to also prepare for class. So, always create a system for yourself that ensures you are thoroughly prepared for your lessons every single day.
See the Good in Every Student
Don’t form preconceived perceptions of your students. Forget what you have been told and get to know every student individually. Don’t be judgmental! Give every student the benefit of the doubt. See good in every student. Every human being has some good in them. Seeing the good in every student, allows you to help them grow, exploit the talents they might have, and even motivate them to perform better in class.
Our bodies speak too. It’s not just about the words that come out of your mouth but also what your other body parts are communicating. These include eye contact and your hand movements. Excellent communication that promotes better learning depends on what you are saying, how you’re you saying it, eye contact, and hand gestures. Hand gestures are of particular importance as a way of signaling your students. Good communication skills create a better learning environment.
Deal With Issues There And Then
Human beings are quite good at procrastinating stuff, including matters that could have been sorted right there and then. In class, should a case of indiscipline behavior arise, what are your expectations? Deal with the matter right there and then. Letting issues pile up affects the learning environment by creating a negative atmosphere. What I’m trying to say is, when confronted with challenges, learn to solve them as soon as they arise. Let your students see you as strong-willed and wise. Dealing with issues as they arise will make your students have respect for your authority, but remember to exercise wisdom in your decision making.
Don’t sweat being a novice teacher. You will soon get over the challenges that you’re facing. Understand that your students, just like every other human being, prefer being treated with respect. Showing kindness and appreciation to your students will go a long way in making your classes easy. Don’t be all work and no play by creating a stressful learning environment. Learning environments have to be calm and relaxed. It will even make your students eager to come to your classes. Enforce the rules; order is just as important. Without rules, nothing much can be done in the classroom. So, as novice teacher you have the skills, just ensure you create a good rapport with your students, and the rest will just fall into place