Helpful Hints on Classroom Management

By: Oliver Pointer

Here are some ideas that might help you with that oh-so-noisy class.

  • Establish your role with a crisp start and engaging content from the very start. Having an opening routine with the students will remind them that it is time to start class.
  • Speak clearly and in a louder than normal voice so that the whole class can hear you.
  • Be very clear and explicit about what you are teaching and what you want the children to do.
  • Use the teaching team to control and balance the whole room.  If you are at the front, have your colleagues moving to the back; and vice versa.
  • Don’t let children talk over you.  If they do, stop, give them ‘The Look’, and continue by repeating what you had started to say when they are quiet.  It is worth spending time establishing this early on, even though it feels like wasting time.  It will pay dividends later.
  • Keep the students’ desks clear (other than their English books). This is limiting their distractions.
  • Remember that teaching is a form of acting; you are putting on a show for the children.  And to be appreciated, ie listened to and engaged with, then your performance should be as slick and smooth as possible.
  • Use Total Physical Response (TPR) to focus the children on you at any point in a lesson.  Always end by having your arms folded so that the children automatically do the same – if any do not, give them a hard stare and indicate that they should follow you and the rest of the class.
  • Keep the children busy thinking about the content of the lesson – so that they don’t have time to let their minds wander or start messing about.  At any one time as many children as possible should be actively participating in learning; avoid asking questions of just one child, making the others passive listeners.
  • Create easy classroom rules for the students to follow – post them on the board every lesson as a reminder

As you will have realised by now in your volunteer teaching, there is no simple or easy answer, no magic bullet solution to getting children to behave well in class.  It is a complex and dynamic process.  What will work well for one class, might not work for another – or even with the same class in another lesson.

An effective classroom, where teaching and learning are going well, is one where the socio-emotional climate (as seen by both teachers and learners) is well understood and perceived to be fair.  The trick is create a working consensus which certainly has to do with discipline but relates as much to the learning environment created in the room.  Teachers should certainly appear authoritative to learners so that they know that the teachers are in control and can be trusted and followed along the learning journey of the lesson.  But equally important are points such as lesson content, teacher attitudes and the physical management of the room.

We can provide a Workshop that explores these ideas further for you and your Programme.  Please contact us in the Office to arrange this.  Meanwhile, do remember the Twelve Teaching Top Tips that we looked at during your initial Training afternoon.  There are many good points in there to reflect on and which will help to make your teaching even better.  You can look at the training powerpoint again on the BaiDu cloud resources at:

Good luck!