How to Manage the Classroom

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Perrone (2000) in his book Lessons for New Teachers tackles the necessity of classroom management. The author defines classroom management as the need for discipline in classrooms.

Perrone then proceeds to outline ten principles in developing and maintaining productive classrooms: 1) Be well-prepared for each day; 2) Use challenging ideas and materials; 3) Be reasonably consistent; 4) Be clear about what really matters; 5) Show respect for the students; 6) Know the students; 7) Be physically present; 8) Maintain calmness; 9) Be culturally aware and sensitive; and 10) Keep rules to a minimum.

These principles, of course, are largely based on common sense and accepted practices in maintaining control of students inside the classroom. Perrone believes that what makes classroom management more complicated is the fact that “administrators often judge teachers by how well they control student behavior”. This need to control behavior could be counterproductive as it inhibits the practice of real teaching and learning within the classroom.

Going a step further, Perrone suggested that reviewing the materials in advance and visualizing how you deliver it inside the classroom are important elements to success. Also that “challenging ideas” allow the students to have a healthy “wonder about their world” making them make “connection” to it.

The work that teachers do is definitely awe-inspiring. Perrone’s process : preparation, using challenging ideas and materials, knowing the students, being culturally sensitive and avoiding too many rules are the key to effective classroom management.

Renner (1994) in his book “The Art of Teaching Adults: How to Become an Exceptional Instructor and Facilitator” outlines a dozen techniques to make teaching a more interesting endeavor. These include: group discussion, case studies, role-playing, small group tasks, individual assignments, field projects, learning journals, and even lecturing.

Renner discusses in Chapter 9 the need for instructive questions which encourages “careful…and thorough habits of thinking”. The new line of questioning changes the focus from teachers to learners. The teacher then plays the role of facilitator instead of monopolizing discussions. This way, the students will become increasingly responsible for their own learning.

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