Classroom management is often the process that can make or break a teacher. This process is used by teachers to ensure that classroom lessons run smoothly despite disruptive behavior by students. As the demographics for students continue to evolve, teachers will need additional classroom management strategies.
- Adapt to cultural differences by recognizing specific speaking pattern preferences and norms as a method for improving classroom management.
Black students use several verbal techniques to discover a teacher’s strengths and weaknesses in order to evaluate a teacher’s racial attitudes and locate the teachers’ breaking points to help the students empower themselves in the situation between them and the teacher. If a Black student expects to become the leader, he must be able to keep their cool. If he cannot respond to a challenge from the teacher without becoming frustrated and unnerved, he is not likely to have the respect of other students or remain the leader. In the classroom, Black students power play by loud talking or back-talking to make teachers lose their cool and get the last word in.
- Enhance student learning through specific verbal techniques
Most American classrooms involve teacher-student exchanges in which teachers are clear, direct, explicit, and linear with their instruction and students are clear, direct, and explicit with their responses to questions. Effective teachers vary their voice, movement, and pace to refocus wandering student attention. Effective teachers minimize blameworthy behaviors by criticizing students less while ineffective teachers criticize students more. Teachers are more likely to criticize poor work and poor answers. Teachers who constantly correct students during reading assignments inhibit them from absorbing the meaning of the readings.
- Enhance student classroom management by appropriately using praise
Verbal encouragement by teachers increases student participation and desired behavior. Praise is an effective reinforcement that provides:
- Encouragement to students
- Reinforces behavior performance improvement
- Helps to build student self-esteem
- Helps to build positive teacher-student classroom relationships
Teachers are more likely to praise good answers and good work rather than poor answers or poor work. Praise can reduce motivation if used when students are performing the desired behavior. Philosophical objections to praise result from teachers who desire to develop egalitarian relationships with their students and teachers who want to develop independent thinking in their students so that students are less dependent on the teacher.
- Appropriately use humor for enhanced classroom management
Humor is a positive way to promote positive teacher-student classroom relationships. Humor can build and strengthen teacher-student relationships, especially on the individual level. Humor increases the connection between the teacher and the student. When it reduces tensions between the teacher and the student, it reveals that the teacher is also human. Humor is effective for students who are not interested or motivated in the instructional topic. Humor can motivate students who are bored, stressed, or have negative attitudes toward school and add meaning to the instructional topic. Humor helps students learn when used effectively and appropriately.
In classrooms where teachers encourage laughter, students learn and retain more information. Humor is ineffective when students are already motivated. Teachers must use humor naturally, or else it can backfire. Teachers who use irrelevant jokes and humor reduce instructional time. Teachers can damage students’ self-esteem by joking about a student’s name.
- Avoid the usage of sarcasm which will complicate classroom management
Sarcasm can damage teacher-student relationships. Children believe sarcastic messages are negative. While sarcasm and ridicule may serve as a corrective function in the learning process, the long-term consequence of reduced esteem in the eyes of students may make the immediate gains in terms of behavioral correction not worth the risk.
The outlined classroom management techniques will help teachers to survive the daily trails that can alter their busy days.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D. www.positiveracialrelationships.com PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
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