Effective management in the classroom maximizes learning opportunities for children. On the other hand, an overburdened, complex, and potentially chaotic classroom environment can create problems that negatively affect student education. For this reason, school psychologists believe that promoting the concept of a positive classroom is very important.
In order to structure and organize a classroom well, we must first understand how it works. To do this, we need to clarify which influences can cause problems in the classroom.
Supportive and problematic influences according to Walter Doyles
The psychologist Walter Doyle described six characteristics that reflect the complexity of a classroom. He also explained how these relate to the manifestation of problems. Knowing about these influences helps us understand the class and infer how a teacher can manage it.
- Classrooms are multidimensional: Classrooms are the starting point for a wide range of activities. Of course, they involve educational activities (reading, writing, math, etc.), but also social activities (games, talking to friends, etc.).
- These activities take place at the same time: In a classroom there are always several activities taking place at the same time. For example, one group of students can work on an essay while another group discusses the assignment with the teacher. On the other hand, one student may be bothering another while others are simply talking to each other.
- Events are often unpredictable: even if teachers are well organized and carefully plan their daily activities, unforeseen events will occur. For example, an alarm can go off, a computer might not work, a heater might fail, etc.
- They happen quickly: classrooms are often haywire and some events require an immediate response. As experienced teachers know, multiple conflicts can occur at the same time without notice.
- There is little privacy: due to the fact that classrooms are public spaces, everything that happens there is watched. The way in which the teacher organizes the class is constantly being assessed by the class itself. Value judgments about the fairness or injustice of the teacher’s actions affect the class.
- Classrooms have history: students have memories of what happened in the classroom on previous occasions. In this context, it is necessary for teachers to reflect on how to manage their classes today in order to promote tomorrow’s learning.
How to organize a class
A teacher has to use the first few days and weeks of the school year directly to try to organize his class properly. During this time, he should do two very important things:
- Talk to the class about the rules and procedures planned for the school year to encourage collaboration later
- Have students actively participate in all learning activities as this will create a positive learning environment
Management in the classroom requires a year-round effort
But having a good start is far from being enough. Throughout the school year, the teacher must react to all events and problems that arise. If this does not happen, a decline in discipline, for example, hinders the students’ learning. In order to accomplish this task, teachers must have two main goals:
- Help students spend more time studying and less time on pointless activities. Indeed, managing school time is essential for both the teacher and the student. There can be a lot of distractions in classrooms that cause students to lose time and miss the boat. The teacher must encourage students to stay motivated and not engage in activities other than studying. There are breaks for that.
- Prevent students from being left alone with problems. Students are prone to academic, emotional, and social problems. An emotionally cold and detached classroom can make you feel isolated in such a situation. In addition, it must be taken into account that the occurrence of a developmental disorder affects both individual and group performance. Therefore, classroom management also consists of creating a positive environment in which students can gain confidence.
Finally, an evaluation system has to be designed in order to be able to assess whether the set goals will be achieved or not. Continuous and comprehensive assessments help the teacher identify possible mistakes and correct them quickly. It would be irresponsible not to adequately monitor that classroom management is meeting student needs.