Definitions Class Management: the art of carefully preparing, presenting, disciplining and controlling activities. Discipline: is about teaching people appropriate behaviour and helping then become stronger or more in control of his or her emotions and being independent and responsible. Discipline problems are listed as the major concern for most new teachers. What can teachers expect and how can they effectively handle discipline problems? Classroom management combined with an effective discipline plan is the key. Trainee teachers sometimes ask what do you do if...? questions, and are then disappointed when teachers or tutors reply “It depends on the circumstances”. Teaching would be a much easier occupation if all events within certain categories were identical. But, they are not.
Movement: Walk quickly No running Ask first if you want to go to the toilet. Don’t just warder around the room unless you’re getting somewhere. Talking: Don’t talk when I’m talking to you. Don’t talk where someone is answering a question. No shouting out. Work – Related: Working quiet even if the teacher is out of the room. No mobile phones, or if permitted they must be switched off during the lesson.
Presentation: Knowing how to set out work and when to hand it in. Taking care with (...) Safety: No swinging on chair, pushing and shoving. No playing on slippery bents in wet weather. Materials: Keeps the library books No writing in desks or book covers.
Social Behaviour: Show consideration for others. Be willing to share things and cooperate. Don’t take the property of classmates without permission. Show good manners. Clothing / Appearance: Clothing to be neat and clean. Wear uniform properly All clothing to be labelled. Hairstyles, jewellery, studs and rings only as approved.
Approaches to Classroom Management The next seven approaches are presented to establish and maintaining good discipline. All establish clear rules and expectations, all include recommendations for preventive measures, and all are positive and practical. They differ in the degree of control exercised by the teacher and the emphasis on task.
Assertive Approach The Assertive Approach to classroom management expects teacher to specify rules of behaviour and consequences for disobeying them and to communicate these rules and consequences clearly. Students ho disobey rules receive “one warning and then are subjected to a series of increasingly more serious sanctions”. The idea is for the teacher to respond to a student’s misbehaviour quickly and appropriately.
The Canters make the following suggestions for teachers applying assertive discipline: Clearly identify the expectations. Take positions. (Say, “I like that” or “I don’t like that”.) Use firm tone of voice. Use eye contact, gestures, and touches to supplement verbal messages. Say no without guilt feelings. Give and receive compliments genuinely Set limits on students and enforce them. Indicate consequences of behaviour and why specific action is necessary. Follow through regularly. Persist; enforce minimum rules; don’t give up. Establish positive expectations for student behaviour; eliminate negative expectations about students. Gain confidence and skills in working with chronic behaviour problems in the classroom
Business Management Approach The business academic approach, developed by Evertson and Emmer, emphasizes the organization and management of students as they engage in academic work. Task orientation – that is, focusing on the business and orderly accomplishment of academic work – leads to a clear set of procedures for students and teachers to follow. Evertson and Emmer divide organizing and managing student work into three mayor categories: Clear communication of assignment and work requirements. The teacher must establish and explain clearly to students work assignments, features of the work, standards to be met, and procedures. Instruction for assignments Standards for form, neatness, and due dates Procedures for absent students
Monitoring students work. Monitoring student work helps the teacher to detect students who are having difficulty and to encourage students to keep working. Monitoring group work Monitoring individual work Monitoring completion of work Maintaining records of students work Feedback to Students. Frequent, immediate, and specific feedback is important for enhancing academic monitoring and managerial procedures. Work in progress, homework, completed assignments, tests, and other work should be checked promptly. Attention to problems Attention to Good Work The general approach and methods used by Evertson and Emmer are appropriate for both elementary and secondary teachers. The business academic involves a high degree of “time on task” and “academic engaged time” for students. The idea is that when students are working on their tasks, there is little opportunity for discipline problems to arise. The teacher organizes students’ work, keeps them on task, monitors their work, gives feedback, and holds them accountable by providing rewards and penalties.
Behaviour Modification Approach Behavioural modification is rooted in the classic work of James Watson and the more recent work of B.F. Skinner. Behaviourists assume that behaviour is shaped by environment and pay little attention to causes of problems. Teachers using this behaviour modification approach spend little time on the personal history of students or on searching for the reasons for a particular problem. They strive to increase the occurrence of appropriate behaviour through a system of reward and reduce the likelihood of inappropriate behaviour through punishments. The basic principles of the behavioural modification approach are as follow: Behaviour is shaped by its consequences, not by its causes of problems in the history of the individual or by group conditions. Behaviour is strengthened by immediate reinforcements. Positive reinforces are praise or rewards. Negative reinforcements take away or stop something that the student doesn’t like. Behaviour is strengthened by systematic reinforcement (positive or negative). Behaviour is weakened if not followed by reinforcement.
Students respond better to positive reinforcement than they do to punishment (aversive stimuli). Punishment can be used to reduce inappropriate behaviour, but sparingly. When a student is not rewarded for appropriate or adaptive behaviour, inappropriate or maladaptive behaviour may become increasingly dominant and will utilized to obtain reinforcement. Constant reinforcement – the reinforcement of a behaviour every time it occurs – produces the best results, especially, in the new learning or conditioning situations. Once the behaviour has been learned, it is the best maintained through intermittent reinforcement – the reinforcement of a behaviour only occasionally.
There are several types of reinforcers, each of which may be positive or aversive. Examples of positive reinforcers are: (a) social reinforcers, such as verbal comments (“Right”, “Correct”, “That’s good”), facial expressions, and gestures, (b) graphic reinforcers, such as written words of encouragement, gold stars, and checks, (c) tangible reinforcements, such as cookies and badges for young students and certificates and notes to parents for older students, and (d) activity reinforcers, such as being a monitor near the teacher for young students and working with a friend or on a special project for older students. Rules are established and enforced. Students who follow rules are praised and rewarded in various ways. Students who break rules are either ignored, reminded about appropriate behaviour, or punished immediately.
Group Managerial Approach The group managerial approach to discipline is based on Jacob Kounin’s research. He emphasizes the importance of responding immediately to group student behaviour that might be inappropriate or undesirable in order to prevent problems rather than having to deal with problems after they emerge. He describes what he calls the “ripple effect”. If a student misbehaves, but the teacher stops the misbehaviour immediately, it remains an isolated incident and does not develop into a problem. If the misbehaviour is not noticed, is ignored, or is allowed to continue for too long, it often spreads throughout the group and becomes more serious and chronic. Kounin believes that students engagement in lesson and activities is the key to successful classroom management. Students are expected to work and behave. Te successful teacher monitors student work in a systematic fashion, clearly defines acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, and exhibits with-it-nees and overlapping abilities. The successful teacher has a another, so that student attention is turned easily from one activity to another. Similarly, lessons are well paced.
Group Guidance Approach It is based on manipulating or “changing” the surface behavior of students as individuals and groups. Boredom is one of the major causes of disciplinary problems, and it leads to withdrawal, frustration and irritability, or aggressive rejection of the entire group on the part of students. The main representative of this approach is Fritz Redl. Redl holds that disciplinary problems have three causes: Individual case history: the problem is related to the psychological disturbance of one child. Group conditions: the problem reflects unfavorable conditions in the group. Mixture of individual and group causes: The problem centers around an individual, but is triggered by something in the group.
To maintain good discipline, the teacher must understand the group – its needs and interest – and be able to manipulate the surface behavior of the group. Group elements to be considered include the following: Dissatisfaction with classroom work. Poor interpersonal relations. Disturbances in group climate Poor group organization Sudden changes and group emotions. Perhaps one of the most difficult managerial tasks for the teacher is dealing with a hostile or aggressive group. When group members act together to defy and resist the teacher’s efforts, the teacher may react by trying to match force with force. In some cases the teacher’s behavior is the source of the problem – being inconsistent in enforcing rules, yelling or making idle threats, displaying frequent outbursts of emotion, giving assignments that lack challenge, variety, or interest.
Acceptance Approach It is based on the assumption that when students are given such acceptance by the teacher and peers, behavior and achievement improve. This approach is rooted in humanistic psychology and maintains that every person has a prime need for acceptance. It is also based on the democratic model of teaching in which the teacher provides leadership by establishing rules and consequences, but at the same time allows students to participate in decisions and to make choices. The main representative of this approach is Rudolph Dreikurs. He maintains that acceptance by peers and teachers is the prerequisite foe appropriate behavior and achievement in school. People try all kinds of behavior to get status and recognition. If they are not successful in receiving recognition through socially acceptable methods, they will turn to mistaken goals that result in antisocial behavior. Dreikurs identifies 4 mistaken goals: Attention getting: they want other students or the teacher to pay attention to them. Power seeking: their defiance is expresses in arguing, contradicting, teasing, temper tantrums, and low – level hostile behavior. Revenge seeking: their mistaken goal is to hurt others to make up for being hurt or feeling rejected and loved. Withdrawal: if students feel helpless and rejected, the goal of their behavior may become withdrawal from the social situation, rather that confrontation.
Dreikurs suggests several strategies for working with students who exhibit mistaken goals to encourage then and to enforce consequences. To encourage students Be positive; avoid negative statements. Encourage students to improve, not be perfect. Encourage effort; results are secondary if students try. Teach students to learn from mistakes. Exhibit faith in student’s abilities. Be optimistic, enthusiastic, supporting.
Success Approach It is based on the teacher’s helping students make proper choices by experiencing success. This approach is rooted in humanistic psychology and the democratic model of teaching. The most representative of this approach is William Glasser. He insists that although teachers should not excuse bad behavior on the part of the student, they need to change whatever negatives classroom conditions exist and improve conditions so they lead to student success. Teachers use this approach in elementary and junior high schools more than in high schools. Glasser’s view about discipline is simple but powerful. Behavior is a matter of choice. Good behavior results from good choices; bad behavior results from bad choices. A teacher’s job is to help students make good choices.
Glasser makes the following suggestions to teachers: Stress students’ responsibility for their own behavior continually Establish rules Accept no excuses Utilize value judgments Suggest suitable alternatives Enforce reasonable consequences Be persistent Continually review. Glasser makes the point that teachers must be supportive and meet with students who are beginning to exhibit difficulties, and they must get students involved in making rules making commitments to the rules, and enforcing them.
Punishment Punishment is sometimes necessary to enforce rules and regulations. Punishment should fit the situation and take into consideration the developmental stage of the student. It should also be in line with school policy. Guidelines for Using Punishment Learn what type of punishment school authorities allow. Don’t assign extra homework as punishment Don’t punish when you are at a loss for what else to do or in an emotional state. Be sure the punishment fits the misbehavior. Give the student the benefit of doubt.
Know Yourself Your Language Ability. Your Talents. Things that you are good at. You Specialist Knowledge (literature, history, geography). General Knowledge of an English Speaking Country. Your Teaching Skills. Your Attitude to Discipline. Know Your School The Philosophy of the School. Others teachers’ attitudes. Guidelines for Class Management
Know you Students Names Backgrounds Interests Previous Experiences of Learning English Attitudes to English An Encouraging Class Atmosphere Giving a sense of purpose suggestion. Ensuring that English is spoken. Balancing fluency and accuracy. Using appropriate language. Giving encouragement. Involving all the students.
The classroom itself Physical conditions of the classroom. Be Prepared A scheme of work. Lesson plans. Timing. Lesson routing General classroom lesson started Getting the lesson started, hands up. What to bring to class, where notes are made Changes or activity Pair work and group work.
Using audio visual aids. The black / white board. The overhead projector The audio cassette / tape recorder The slide projector / the video recorder.
Last Thought : “Being an effective Class Manager is not a talent which some people just have and others do not – it is a set of skills and an attitude learned throught patience and practice”