Role of Teacher as Classroom Manager
By:Aijaz Ahmed Gujjar
It is universally recognized that the teacher is the key person in an education system. He/She enjoys the high esteem and prestigious status sometimes denied to kings and emperors and he/she plays pivotal role. Around him, whole system of education revolves.
According to Lemlech (1988) classroom management is the linchpin that makes teaching and learning achievable. The author further defines the classroom management using the key components that affect success in the classroom:
Classroom management is the orchestration of classroom life: planning curriculum, organizing procedures and resources, arranging the environment to maximize efficiency, monitoring student progress, anticipating potential problems.
According to Honeyford (1982) a major limiting factor in any classroom is the teacher not only do his character, personality and competence play a large part in determining the atmosphere of the lesson, the sort of relationships which exist, the styles of communication and the rules and regulations governing the formalities, but the teacher also performs a key role in influencing the pupils’ view of himself and the sort of progress he/she makes.
Successful classroom management has been defined as producing a high rate of work involvement with a low rate of deviancy in academic settings (Laslett and Smith, 1984).
To some considerable degree teachers control their instructional effectiveness in the classroom. The passive teacher simply relies on the same old teaching techniques day after day. However, the active teacher who varies his/her day planning different teaching strategic and techniques tends to achieve more success in teaching. Not only does this practice of different teaching techniques provide change for the teacher, it also serves as a motivation for students (Dhand, 1990).
Good managers also carefully arrange their classrooms to minimize disturbances and make sure that instruction can proceed efficiently; they set up their rooms according to the following principles:
i. Teachers should be able to see all students at all times.
ii. Teaching materials and supplies are readily available.
iii. High – traffic areas should be free of congestion.
iv. Students should be able to see instructional presentations.
v. Procedures and routines should be actively taught in the same way that academic content is taught.
Well-managed classrooms did not result from magic, but that carefully established and maintained procedures were at work (Sadker and sadker, 1997).
Time management skill
Academic learning time in the classroom has emerged as an important variable. Studies have shown that the amount of on-task behaviour can vary as much as 40 percent from one classroom t the next.
Even how quickly a teacher calls the class to order can vary all the way from one to ten minutes. Thus, how efficiently you have your lessons, how long you take to get started, how you handle digressions, off-task behaviour, discipline and how you handle transitions will have an effect on student learning(Walberg,1988).
Students soon learn the importance of putting on a good face in order to protect their privacy. As a result of these and other factors, time is an important necessary condition but far from the whole story. In measurement terms the efficient use of instructional time has been an impact equal to 38 percent of one standard deviation. Basically, academic achievement was moderately affected by the efficient use of time (Sprinthall et al., 1994).
Student who spends more time pursuing academic content learn more and receive higher achievement scores. Although it is obviously important to allocate adequate time to academic content, making time on the schedules is not enough. How this allocated time is used in the classroom is the real key to student achievement. In order to the study use of classroom times, researchers have developed the following terms to allocated time, engaged time, and academic learning time.
Allocated time is the amount of time a teacher scheduled for a subject for example, 30 minutes a day for mathematics. The more time allocated for a subject, the higher student achievement in that subject is likely to be.
Engaged time is that part of allocated time which students are actively involved with academic subject matter (really listening to a lecture, participating in the class discussion, writing a composition, and working on mathematics problems).
Academic learning time is engaged time with a high success rate. Many researchers suggest that students should get 70 to 80 percent of the answers right when working with a teacher. New studies are demonstrating that a high success rate is positively related to student achievement. How effectively teachers provide for and manage academic learning time in their classrooms in the key in determining student achievement.
Effective classroom managers are nearly always good planners. They do not enter a room late, after noise and disruption have had a chance to build. They are waiting at the door when the children come in. starting from the very first day of school, they teach the rules about appropriate student behaviour. They do this actively and directly, sometimes they actually model the procedures for getting assistance, leaving the room, going to the pencil sharpener, and the like, the more important rules of classroom behaviour are written down, as are the penalties for not following them (Sadker and Sadker, 1997).
Activity structures vary in the extent to which they elicit and sustain cooperation. Similarly, arrangements of space and furniture in ways that bunch students together or obstruct the teacher’s view make it more difficult for a teacher to detect behaviour task initiations early (Duke and Rehage, 1979).
Seating arrangement must depend on type of lesson to be taught, and the type of classroom furniture. Whether using traditional serried ranks or desks of less formal group tables, each teacher needs to establish who sits where. Not only does this avoid an undignified scramble to sit nearest to or further from a particular child, the possession of a seating plan helps the teacher to learn names more rapidly (Laslett and Smith, 1984).
Proper arrangement of furniture also contributes to the functionality of classrooms. Furniture is arranged so that students are oriented to the primary source or sources of information (e.g., the teacher, audio-visual materials), while at the same time having access to other sources are activities (e.g., work areas, computers) without disturbing in the classroom (Nitsaisook and Anderson, 1989).
According to Anderson (1991) desks, chairs and tables can be arranged in a variety of ways; light and temperature can be increased or decreased. Paint wall coverings, art work and plants can be used to enhance or detract from the attractiveness of the physical classroom environment.
Discipline in the classroom
Callahan (1996) explains that the best classroom environment is one that results in efficient learning. Discipline involves employing guidance and teaching techniques to encourage students to become self directive and thus to create an atmosphere conducive to learning.
Effective planning for classroom control begins with an analysis of the individual students that compose the group to be taught. At the level of thought not at all level of action, the teacher must examine the causes of behaviour in the unemotional light of reason. Then he can plan intelligently how to forestall disciplinary infractions before they occur. When infractions do happen, as they inevitably will, appropriate steps can be taken so that as little injury as possible is done to the learning process.
A teacher establishes classroom rules either with his or her students or before the school year begins. There is no research that one approach is better than the other. Rules are best if they are few in number, simple and easy to understand, and fair.Also rules should be posted in the classroom for all to see, and the teacher should go over the rules on the first day of school.
According to Arif (2003) in order to create a classroom environment with maximum productive time utilization, the teachers must establish and maintain it through following teaching and managing practices so that instances of student disruptive behaviour are reduced. They remain mostly involved in learning oriented actions and activities.
(i) Keep students motivated by keeping the students motivated in learning, teachers set the stage for creating positive class environment. Motivating students is the first step toward preventing discipline problems in classrooms because a student involved in learning is not usually involved in clash with others at the same time.
(ii) Meet basic needs. Teachers must try to meet students’ basic as well as age related needs. Make students feel physically comfortable, safe, welcome, socially accepted and valued. Otherwise, they more likely to face learning difficulties and disruptively.
(iii) Exercise moderate degree of control. The degree of class control must be moderate. Student learning is great in classroom where teachers exercise neither too much nor too less control. Too much control may be effective on memory tasks but it is harmful for learning involving critical and creative thinking.
(iv) Empower the students make them responsible for their own learning through group and individual learning activities so that they ultimately become independent learners. This is one of the purposes of good classroom management.
(v) Keep instruction at the student level. Keep instruction at the students’ development level so that they neither experience discouragement nor boredom. Otherwise, they might behave disruptively.
(vi) Develop healthy and professionally sound relationship with all the students by being friendly with them. Learn their names and some positive information about each to greet them.
(vii) Communicate interest in all the students and show concern for each of them. The interest and concern is communicated through brief eye contact with all and through supporting gestures and facial expressions while teaching.
(viii) While instructing, ensure physical closeness with all the students by roaming around the class.
(ix) Avoid labeling the students with negative adjectives, which are likely to lower their self-esteem. Labeling influences teachers’ quality of interaction with the students, which further influences students’ expectations and actions negatively.
(x) Describe the behaviour of the misbehaving student, not characterize the student. Instead of saying, “you are rude” say “your comment was rude”. By criticizing the personality of the students, he is less likely to change his behaviour.
(xi) Increase the “engaged time” by keeping the students involved in the learning tasks through, wittiness, overlapping, smooth transitions and group focus.
(xii) Teach role and routines to the younger students in academic fashion with a lot of explanation, examples and practices during initial classes.
(xiii) Develop a set of few general classroom rules applicable to variety of situations. These rules should be displayed in the class.
(xiv) Be assertive, rather than passive or aggressive, in enforcing discipline. Apply the rule forcefully fairly, consistently and calmly.
(xv) Create business like climate in the classroom. Where students understand that they and the teacher have a commonly shared goal of accomplishing such activities that promote learning.
In order to handle misbehaving student, the following suggestions may prove helpful:
(i) Deal with the present, current problem immediately, not with the past instances of the student misbehaviour.
(ii) Talk to the student directly, instead of talking about him with others.
(iii) Don’t be harsh and provoked. Stay calm and address firmly. Anger, empty threats and physical handling must be avoided.
(iv) If the student is hostile, defuse and diffuse his hostility by responding with concern in calm, soothing tone. The feeling of the students must be acknowledged in order to calm him down.
(v) If the student’s misbehaviour is blocking the teacher in teaching, “1- statements” be used by explaining to the student why you are upset by his behaviour.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study were:
1. To investigate the competencies of secondary school teachers in classroom management.
2. To indicate the strength and weakness in the competencies of secondary school teachers in classroom management.
3. To suggest measures.
The results of the study indicate that all the respondents were of the view that the secondary school teachers were aware of national goals and objectives and they properly manage the classrooms, efficiency in management skills is very important for secondary school teachers. Management skills not only maintain the discipline in the classroom but also make the teaching an interesting activity. So majority of the respondents reported that secondary teachers were found fully equipped with management skills and they are playing their role as classroom managers. Effective teachers must be highly competent in planning and organizing instruction as well as in managing in classroom environment, if their students are to be academically successful (Dilworth, 1991). It was reported that teachers did not apply educational psychology in the classrooms. It was also reported that secondary school teachers were found very weak in test construction. The reason is very obvious that they were not properly trained in the area of measurement and evaluation; therefore, their competency in test development was reported to be very weak. The course on measurement and evaluation be enriched and made compulsory in all teacher training programmes (especially in B.Ed).