Introduction to classroom management Chapter 2-1 Edited by Alice LU “ Learning teaching” 10 March 2010
to recognize options available to you to make appropriate decisions between these options to turn them into effective and efficient actions
① A student says I don ’ t want to do this exercise .
◆ You could say fine. ◆ You could say loudly Do it! ◆ You could ask why the student doesn’t want to do it. ◆ You could offer an alternative exercise or activity. ◆ You could explain the point of exercise . ◆ You could ask other students for their opinion .
② You are expected an activity to take five minutes. It has taken twenty so far and the students still seem to be very involves. There is something else you would like to do before the lesson ends in ten minutes.
◆ You could stop the activity. ◆ You could let it continue (postponing the next activity). ◆ You could announce a time for finishing (e.g. two more minutes). ◆ You could ask the students how much longer they need. ◆ You could offer the students the option of stopping and doing something else.
③ The next activity involves students working in groups of five. At the moment all the desks (which take two people) are facing forward in rows. They are movable, but it takes a few minutes of chaos to do it.
◆ All the students could move the desks. ◆ A small number of students could move the desks while you give instructions to the others . ◆ You could do the activity without moving the desks. ◆ You could ask the students whether it is a good idea to move the desks.
④ the students are working in groups of three. Two groups have finished the task you set them and are now sitting looking bored. The other groups still seem to have a long way to go before they finish.
◆ You could tell the groups that have finished that they can chat or do something else while the other groups finish. ◆ You could give the groups that have finished a short extra task to keep them busy until the rest finish. ◆ You could set a time limit (say two minutes) for the others to finish.
◆ You could bring the groups that have finished together to compare their answers with each other. ◆ You could invite the finishers to join other groups and help them or listen to them.
How to become a more effective teacher ● Reading books like this ● talking to other teachers ● observing other teachers at work ● getting feedback from observers of your lesson
What influences your decisions? ▲ What is the aim of activity? ▲ What is the objective of the whole lesson? ▲ Is what we are doing useful?
▲ What is hindering the effectiveness of what we are doing? What influences your decisions? ▲ What have I planned to do? ▲ What would be the best thing to do now?
What influences your decisions? ▲ Is it time for a change of mind or pace? ▲ Are we using time efficiently? ▲ How do students feel? ▲ How do I feel?
What influences your decisions? ▲ What are the possible outcomes of my doing something? ▲ Ignorance/avoidance of other options ▲ the teacher’s own attitudes, intentions, beliefs and values
a teacher asks a student to write on the board to involve students more in the routine duties of the class trusting his students more and sharing some responsibility with them
① The teacher includes a lot of student to student communication activities in her lessons.
possible options ◆ That it is useful to give students opportunities to speaker to one another ◆ That people learn by trying to do things themselves ◆ That activities like this promote more fluent use of English
possible options ◆ That the students will get to know one another better ◆ That it will give more students time to speak than if the whole class did something together ◆ That it gives them a chance to listen to someone other than the teacher
② The teacher uses tape recordings of native speaker conversations.
possible options ◆ That listening works is more important ◆ That students need practice in listening to real, conversational English ◆ That they need to hear a variety of voices and accents
③ In every lesson the teacher includes at least one game that involves students moving around the classroom
possible options ◆ That a lesson needs changes of pace and mood ◆ That a game is a good way of adding variety to a lesson ◆ That sitting still in one place for a long time can be difficult ◆ That getting people to do physical things can be a good way of waking up their mental powers.
The teacher comes into the classroom at the start of the lesson. There are twenty-five adult students in the room. About half of them seem very involves in a loud discussion (in their own language—not English) about a current political situation.
(a) The teacher shouts out OK, OK, let’s start the lesson; you can continue that later. The room questions down a bit; some people continue whispering animatedly to each other. Now today we are going to look at ways of talking about the future , continues the teacher.
possible options ◆ The teacher sits down and waits for the class to conclude the discussion in its own time, waiting until they indicate that they are ready for her to start. ◆ The teacher joins in the conversation, but using English.
◆ The teacher joins in the conversation using English and subtly manipulates the discussion so that the students are involved in using the language she was planning to work on in the first place. possible options
◆ The teacher stands in front of the class in a way that indicates that she wants their attention (making eye contact with as many people as possible, looking authoritative, etc) and waits for silence. Having established silence, she puts to the class the decision about what to do— we can either continue the discussion or do what I have planned to do. Which would you prefer? possible options
One student asks, but this subject is very interesting. Could we continue the conversation of we use English? (b) The teacher says, I’m sorry, but I have to get through Unit 9 of the book today. Perhaps we can have a discussion next week. Open your books at page 47.
possible options ◆ The teacher says OK ◆ As in the fourth option above, the teacher asks the class to make the decision about what to do.
possible options ◆ The teacher explains her aim for the lesson and then offers the possibility of continuing the discussion after some work. She suggests allowing ten minutes at the end of the lesson and asks the students for their opinion.
Ⅰ . the whole class working together with the teacher Ⅱ . the whole class mixing together as individuals
Ⅲ . small groups (three to eight people) Ⅳ . pairs Ⅴ . individual work
1a . It is more important for learners to listen and speaker to the teacher than for learners to listen and speaker to each other. b. Students should get most conversation practice in interacting with other learners rather than the teacher.
Commentary 1a: time spent talking to another learner is not particularly useful time.
1b: instead of two minutes’ speaking time in a whole lesson, they all get a lot of speaking practice within a short space of time. The teacher could use this time effectively. Commentary
2a. People usually learn best by listening to people explaining things. 2b. People usually learn best by trying things out and finding out what works.
Commentary 2a/2b: the most efficient way of learning is for a student to be really involved in a lesson.
3a . The teacher should speak as much as possible in classroom time. 3b. The teacher should speak as little as possible in classroom time.
Commentary 3a/3b: Neither the extremes of a nor b , but closer to b than a .
some ideas of Maximizing student interaction in class ◆ Remember the characteristics suggested by Carl Rogers for creating an effective learning environment. Be as honestly yourself as you can be. Respect the learners. Work on seeing things from their perspective as well as your own.
◆ Encourage a friendly, relaxed learning environment. If there is a trusting, positive, supportive rapport amongst the learners and between learners and teacher, then there is a much better chance of useful interaction happening. some ideas of Maximizing student interaction in class
some ideas of Maximizing student interaction in class ◆ Ask questions rather than giving explanations. ◆ Allow time for students to listen, think, process their answer and speak.
some ideas of Maximizing student interaction in class ◆ When you want students to discuss something, ask ‘open’ questions (e.g. where, what, who, why, how, when questions that require a longer answer) rather than ‘closed’ questions (e.g. verb-subject questions that require nothing more than yes or no). For example, instead of ‘is noise pollution a bad thing?’ (Answer = yes or no) you could ask ‘what do you think about noise pollution?’.
◆ Really listen to what they say. Let what they say really affect what you do next. Work on listening to the person, and the meaning, as well as to the language and the mistakes some ideas of Maximizing student interaction in class
some ideas of Maximizing student interaction in class ◆ Use gestures to replace unnecessary teacher talk.kes ◆ Increase opportunities for STT (Student Talking Time). ◆ Allow thinking time without talking over it. Allow silence.
some ideas of Maximizing student interaction in class ◆ Make use of pairs and small groups to maximize opportunities for students to speak. ◆ Allow students to finish their own sentences.
some ideas of Maximizing student interaction in class ◆ If possible, arrange seating so that students can all see each other and talk to each other (i.e. circles, squares and horseshoes rather than parallel rows).
some ideas of Maximizing student interaction in class ◆ Remember that the teacher doesn’t always need to be the front of the class. Try out seating arrangements that allow the whole class to be the focus (e.g. teacher takes one seat in the circle).
some ideas of Maximizing student interaction in class ◆ Encourage interaction between students rather than only between student and teacher and teacher and student. Get students to ask questions, give explanations, etc to each other rather than always to you. Use gestures and facial expressions to encourage them to speak and listen to each other.
some ideas of Maximizing student interaction in class ◆ Encourage co-operation rather than competition. ◆ Allow students to become more responsible for their own progress. Put them in situations where they need to make decisions for themselves.
some ideas of Maximizing student interaction in class ◆ If a student is speaking too quietly for you to hear, walk further away, rather than closer to them! (This sounds illogical-but if you can’t hear them, then it’s likely that the other students can’t either. Encourage the quiet speaker to speak louder so that the others can hear.)