Classroom management is defined as the methods and strategies an educator uses to maintain a classroom environment that is conducive to student success and learning. Although there are many pedagogical strategies involved in managing a classroom, a common denominator is making sure that students feel they are in an environment that allows them to achieve.
An important part of classroom management is respect. Before any instruction begins, a mutual amount of respect must be developed between student and teacher. Students must understand that there are certain rules that they must follow to ensure their success. Similarly, instructors must understand that students are not necessarily willing to give respect to an instructor without feeling they have reason. Setting guidelines for the classroom will help develop the respect that is needed so students can do their best.
Order and organization make a classroom run smoothly. Having a consistent set of procedures and routines that the students are familiar with will help the classroom run like a well-oiled machine. Many educational experts, including Harry Wong and Fred Jones, emphasize the importance of having a set of procedures that are practiced and revisited from day one. This might include having a procedure for lining up for lunch or handing in papers. The less time that students have to be off-task the more likely the teacher will be able to have quality classroom management.
Proximity helps instructors manage what is going on in the classroom. Walking around the room and standing next to students who may be causing a problem will usually eliminate the problem quickly. It is important for instructors to know that their standing in one place in the classroom will make students feel as if they are allowed to do what they would like.
Classroom management can be affected by how the seats are arranged in the classroom. The instructor needs to think about the order of the room and how it will affect what their expectations of the students. For example, if the instructor chooses to put the desks in pairs or groups, they need to be realistic about the fact that there is bound to be some amount of socializing. The seating arrangement also needs to be organized in a way that the instructor can easily move around the room and monitor student behavior.
Any style of classroom management is going to involve some trial and error. Finding out what works with students and allowing the class to develop into a safe and secure environment takes time. The most important element of classroom management is allowing your students an opportunity to understand that your rules are a part of giving them the best education possible.