Management of a problematic class Essay

Abstract            Class management is one of the essential aspects of learning process.  It is difficult to have proper learning in a problematic class. The co ordination between the teacher and the students are essential for the proper class management.

A fresh teacher may find it difficult to manage a primary class if he is not flexible enough. This paper briefly analyses the management of problematic class consisting of primary students within the age group of 6 to 12 years.Introduction            “Child disciplinary problems can be stressful for a classroom teacher” (Crothers, et al).  The teacher needs to be adjusted well with the students to manage the class effectively. Adjustment is a process of getting along with one’s own self along with others. It is a process in which a person varies his behavior to produce a better relationship between himself and the environment in which he interacts.

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The teacher should adapt to any situations in a class to manage it successfully.  Discipline in the class is an important requirement for the effective communication between the teacher and the students. “Classroom management and management of student conduct are skills that teachers acquire and hone over time.” (Kizlik) Such classroom management skills will develop only after the teacher acquires some experience. The real classroom experience will be much different from the concept of classroom obtained through teacher’s training.Most of the newly appointed teachers approach the class with enthusiasm and many expectations regarding the management of class.

They may be confident of dealing with a messed up classroom. But in practice, the teacher’s abilities and skills will be tested immensely during the initial periods of his/her work. If the newly appointed teacher happens to be having the charges of primary classes, then his/her patience or temperament will be tested immensely by the students.Primary class managementMajority of the students belonging to primary classes will be hyperactive in the schools especially in the classrooms. They don’t have much idea about the importance of discipline in the classrooms. They will consider the classroom just as a second home for them. So they will interact freely in the classes as in the home. The class, as a group, may be unruly; they move around the room at their own will, talk to one another all the time, and leave a mess wherever they go.

The class also may lacks in initiative: most of them wait until they have direct instructions, on a one-to-one basis, before they begin any new task. If the teacher was incapable of managing such situations, he will be failed in his profession.“The first rule, in the opinion of many experienced teachers, is, “Start by being firm with pupils; you can relax later.

“” (Class Management) The students will evaluate each and every movement and character of the teacher in the initial stages. If the students found that the teacher was not bold enough they will start to make noises and engage in many activities other than learning. So it is better to start the class on tough note.

The students must get the feeling that the teacher is vigilant and their activities are noticed by the teacher every second. Moreover the teacher must take some stern actions against the problematic students during the initial stages of his class in order to stamp his authority.“Monitor students carefully and frequently so that misbehavior is detected early before it involves many students or becomes a serious disruption.

” (Kizlik) Eye contact can play a vital role in managing the problematic students. It is not necessary to punish the problematic students every time to manage the class. Eye contacts and some gestures and non verbal actions can create a feeling among the problematic students that the teacher is aware of their activities and hence they will be punished if they repeat it.

In some cases when the non verbal actions fail, the teacher can call the name of the problematic student and can give some instructions to him to change his behavior.For primary students the teacher can develop some classroom rules for students to; know what he wants and what he don’t wants (Kizlik) The teacher should never make any rule which he don’t want to enforce. The rules must be feasible and should guide the student for better learning. The teacher should make sure that all the students behave in accordance with the rules implemented. He should implement the rules strictly at least in the initial phases of the class.The teacher should take every opportunity to turn any classroom activity into a contest.

Start up by dividing the class into two or more groups. Give each team a name e.g. oranges and apples or red and blue. (Kwiatkowska) Students at these age groups are often interested in contests and the teacher can exploit these attitudes of students for purposeful learning activities. It is a well known fact that learning takes place through teacher-student communication.

In order to communicate effectively the teacher needs to command the respect of the students.“Meaningful engagement has obvious benefits for student learning and performance, but it can also bring some side benefits with respect to student behavior in the classroom.” (Kowalski) One of my teacher friends has once told me an example in which he managed a problematic class effectively. There was a problematic primary class in the school where he has started his teaching career and the he has been assigned the charge of that particular class. The fellow teachers have warned him of the class because of the high percentage of problems in that class compared to other classes and advised him not to take charge of that class because of his inexperience. My teacher friend decided to accept the challenge. He has conducted a case study of the class from which he came to know that though these students were problematic in the class, they were good football players and most of them had immense interest in football.

My friend when enters the class, the students welcomed him with a big noise and started to act indifferently. My friend started his class enquiring about their interest in football and after a brief questionnaire regarding football, the teacher asked the students; “Do you know the famous “God’s hand involved goal” scored by Argentinean football legend Maradona?” The class replied with a big “NO”. The teacher has demonstrated the way in which Maradona has scored that goal against England in a world cup match and the students were absolutely mesmerized by the description and the actions of the teacher. From then onwards the students started to listen his words immensely and he has succeeded in gaining the confidence of the class and he managed that class effectively. So teacher’s methodologies to gain the confidence of a problematic class must be related to the common interests of the class.“Observe and record the frequency and/or intensity of the problem behavior when a new teaching strategy or support is being implemented versus when it is not being implemented.” (Behavioral Possibility) In the example mentioned above the earlier teachers were failed to manage the above class because of their inefficiency in devising a specific strategy for that class.

So case study of the problematic class is important in the management of such a class.“Nothing works better for students than a decent amount of praise. When it comes to kids however feel free to praise them all the time for the smallest things they do or say properly. They might not be able to understand “very good”, “great” or “excellent” but they will surely get “bravo”, “super” or “perfect””.

(Kwiatkowska) Another way of managing problematic students is through praising. Students at the primary level always like praise and they are afraid of punishment. They can be motivated to their studies through rewards and praise.ConclusionMost of the primary class rooms are filled with disturbing student activities because of the hyperactive nature of the children of that age group. The teacher must be competent enough to devise strategies to deal with such children. Problematic class management strategies must be devised based on the study of the behavioral patterns of the class. A strategy successful in one class need not be successful in another class because of the individual differences. The teacher must attain the respect of the class in order to communicate effectively to the students which are essential for the learning process.

ReferencesClass Management, Retrieved on March 15, 2009 from             ;http://www.learningandteaching.info/teaching/class_management.htm;2.      Kizlik Bob, 2009, Education Information for New and Future Teachers, Retrieved onMarch 15, 2009 from ;http://www.

adprima.com/managing.htm;Kwiatkowska Anita,  2008, Ideas on Classroom Management in YL Classes, Retrievedon March 15, 2009 from ;http://www.englishclub.com/tefl-articles/young-learners-management.

htm;Crothers, Laura M. ; Kolbert, Jered B., 2008 , Tackling a problematic behaviormanagement issue: teachers’ intervention in childhood bullying problems Retrieved on March 15, 2009 from<http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-33816774_ITM>Kowalski, 2003Address Problematic Student Behavior, Retrieved on March 15, 2009from  <http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/teach/problemstudent.html>Behavioral Possibility,2006, , Retrieved on March 15, 2009from <http://www.projectlearnet.org/problems/does_not_persist-task_avoidance.html> 

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