Proactive Classroom Management Tips

Shivani Gupta

Principal, Mayoor School, Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan

Effective classroom management is a skill that takes considerable time to master. Classroom management skills are a big litmus test that distinguishes a good teacher from an effective one. What the students carry home, is what the teacher ensured through her well managed, hiccup-free class time. The argument for classroom management being one of the foremost skills required in a worthy teacher is cogent, and gaining wider importance due to bloated classroom sizes and abysmal teacher-student ratios.

Effective classroom management means that a teacher is able to carry out the teaching-learning transaction in a fruitful manner, taking along students falling under all categories of the Normal Probability Curve. It also includes ensuring non-disruptive behaviour from those students who are not as academically inclined as the teacher may wish them to be.

The first tip for effective management of students in the classroom is to remain armed with an unlimited supply of tolerance and patience. Any teacher falling short on the reserves of patience is preparing for failure if at all connecting with the students of the day is aimed at. No amount of shouting and scolding has ever been found to be of any efficacy as far as managing inattentive students are concerned. On the contrary, a silent glaring glance, that conveys disapproval, has the potential to unnerve the most ‘hardened’ of the students into docility.

The present times are such that the students have access to various avenues of information, and it is a monumental challenge for the teacher to translate this information into meaningful knowledge. If she succeeds in this, she earns the respect of her students; and thereby a better managed set of students who hang on to her words with rapt attention.

This brings me to a related tip, that is passion and perseverance to polish herself every day to be a more learned version of herself than she was the previous day. Before she starts making the students learn, she needs to be open to learning herself. The more knowledgeable she is, the more regard-worthy she makes herself in the eyes of her pupils.

Engagement of students in classroom tractions is the most effective technique to ensure that the students remain in a teacher’s control. Think of a fountain bubbling out with force. This is our student. Now if this burst of energy is channelised, it acts constructively; if left unharnessed, it becomes a source of disruption and destruction. And hence, instead of monotonous chalk and talk methodology, a teacher needs to innovate her teaching to suit the needs of her students. Customisations in teaching have to be done keeping the content to be handled, along with the grade level of the students in mind. A more hands-on learning approach has been proved to be most effective for students up till class eighth or ninth. Post this, as the concepts become more abstract, the teacher’s own clarity of concepts and their systematic transaction becomes a strong variable in her equation with her students.

A young teacher can do a lot of good to herself by observing some of her seniors and imbibing their techniques which they have developed over the years. Sometimes it is observed that the young teacher is expending more physical energy to manage her class but still failing; whereas a seasoned teacher simply walks into the same ‘unruly’ class and all are settled. This should make it bearing upon the young teacher to actively take tips from her senior and gradually use them in her classes also.

On a final note, I would say, any teacher who is herself proactive and constantly puts her mind into finding effective techniques of managing her students, eventually gains success and skills. It’s an ongoing exercise, year after year. Every new class is different; it’s the combination of the individually different students that makes the class dynamics so unique. And every class thereby requires the teacher to practice a different management technique; some classes work best when highly structured, some want to be let free, yet others somewhere in between.

But let me tell you, dear teachers, making an effort to understand your students and handling them with love, generosity, tolerance and humour go a long way into making you an effective classroom manager along with a well-regarded teacher.

Shivani Gupta

Principal, Mayoor School, Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan