Have you encountered “challenging students” in your classroom? Have you been bothered by a noisy classroom? Whether you are a novice or an experienced teacher, classroom management is important for student engagement and effective instruction. In a Chinese classroom, effectively managing your students can increase student motivation and lead to the success of learning. How do teachers nowadays view the issue of “challenging students” in the classroom? What strategies do they have for effective classroom management? As a language teacher, what are some aspects that you need to pay attention to for your classroom management? Here's a collection of classroom management tips from various Chinese language educators. We will also summarize some components for teachers to consider while managing their classroom.
Establish your classroom framework from day one and keep it consistent
“What is extremely important, especially when dealing with young learners, is creating a framework for your class. During the first class, provide students with a set of rules they should all observe. Being consistent also plays a great role. Young learners should know and understand the rules. A pretty good idea is to create a set of rules for both the students and the teacher and put it either in the notebook or as a poster in the classroom.” — Discussion respondent
Knowing your student is essential for effective classroom management. As a Chinese teacher, it is your responsibility to know each student's KWLs (what I Know, what I Want to know, and What I Learned). You can also conduct a survey to better understand your students’ learning style and their personalities. For example, if most of your students are kinesthetic learners, you can use the Total Physical Response approach and design activities with more physical activity, such as the Chinese version of “Simon says”, Chinese Bingo game, etc.
Assign roles to your students and keep them engaged“Ever since that I realized that children want to be like us, their teachers. Give them an important job, praise them hand then a clip board with a check off list and tell them they are your assistant.” -Discussion respondent
Challenging students are not always disruptive when they have something important to do. Give challenging students more tasks and responsibilities to keep them engaged. If you have a noisy classroom, you should reflect on your teaching and the tasks that you designed. Well-sequenced tasks with effective grouping strategy could increase learners’ motivation and yield effective learning outcomes.
Things to consider in classroom management
To effectively manage your classroom, there are many aspects that you need to consider including what your class is, who your students are, and what roles you need to play.
As is demonstrated by the list above, managing a large classroom is different than managing a small-sized classroom. The ideal size for a student-centered classroom is 12 (Jones, 2007), which could be divided into 6 pairs (pair work), or 4 groups of 3, or 3 groups of 4, or 2 groups of 6 (ideal for a class debate!). You can also engage your students by having them sit in a circle where they can see each other, or creating different stations for differentiated instruction. In addition, timing is also key to effective management. As is stated by one of our discussion respondents, “You should first manage your class with such a pace and involve students, so they won’t really find a lot of time to misbehave.”
In your classroom, how do you manage your students? How do you deal with challenging students? Share your tips with us by leaving a comment.
Jones, L. (2007). The student-centered classroom. New York: Cambridge University Press.