The Five Golden Rules of Good Classroom Management , Rule 1
Are you an ESL teacher with classroom management problems? Have you got a handful of troublemakers who wear you out? Or has the whole class taken over and you find it hard to teach anything?
Why the classroom management problem in the first place?
Firstly, let’s look at reasons why the children might be misbehaving. Are they bored? Does learning English not engage them? Are they fed up with sitting at their desks? Maybe the children find English hard and do not think they can learn it so they hide their lack of confidence behind an excuse of misbehavior. Maybe the naughty child just thinks that the teacher does not like him or her. Or maybe the children are not motivated to be good because they are never praised when they are well behaved.
One thing is for sure; you must be the boss, because, if you are not in charge then the children will be. And that’s the last thing you want!
There are many techniques and strategies for good classroom management and ultimately you have to develop your own personal style that fits with your philosophy in life and that is also effective. In addition, you must comply with the rules of the establishment you work in.
The Only REAL Classroom Management Solution
Rather than a plan, strategy or technique, the vital key to good classroom management comes from the ESL teacher’s attitude and decision to earn the love and respect of your students. Think about it, if students like you and respect you they will naturally behave well and pay attention because they want to please you. So how can an ESL teacher make this happen?
Be a mentor not a friend and earn the children’s trust by being firm, fair and consistent.
Save yourself the humiliation of trying to be the students’ best buddy, they will probably laugh at you behind your back. Rather be their mentor, a model for them to copy, not only in terms of learning English but also in terms of how you expect them to behave. You are someone they can trust and come to for help.
The children will trust you if you are consistent, clear in establishing the rules from day one and consistent in applying them. If you are inconsistent, if you yell at the children or lose your cool, suddenly punish a child unexpectedly, put them down, be sarcastic or embarrass them, they will know that they cannot trust you.