Today even some of the most controlled teachers tend to lose control of their class. All it takes is a single “untamed” kid in the class, and before you even know it, you will be sitting on your desk, unable to regain the control that you just had five minutes ago. Where classrooms offer a safe place for students to learn without any interruptions or distractions, it becomes important as well as necessary for the teachers to know how to control a classroom. Challenges come for teachers in various forms, and it takes one to sustain their discipline towards basic values such as patience, tolerance, and adaptability, in order to successfully overcome such chaotic instances. Every academic institute requires that their teachers possess sound knowledge about the institute’s policies and regulations, and these come in handy during troublesome situations.
Tips to Control a Class:
- First things first, be silent and never speak over a group. It will be far more effective to continue speaking and lowering your voice if required. Always make the words, “very important” audible, which can be heard clearly and will whisper the remaining sentence. Usually this will elicit the attention of the students. If you want, you can simply stare at the class and stop whatever you are doing. Just keep your mouth close and watch them silently. Natural human instincts cause everyone to know when someone is staring at them and this will make them react. Make sure that you scan the classroom, browsing through the eyes of all the students, especially those who are talking or doing anything else than listening, and keep staring them until they cease their sub-activity.
- Try using colorful paints for the walls of the classroom – this is one of the best ways for stimulating students. However, make sure that the colors that are used for the classrooms help create a soothing environment, where you are able to ramp up or as needed by the stimulation. Keep the colors to a soft shade, like light blue or pale green, and in between you can add splashes of bright colors. Always remember that the overall feel of the class should be calm and relaxing.
- Establish some rules for the class, and start the year by discussing them with the students. It’s a good practice to get feedback on them from your students, so as to find out whether they agree or not. Now, you can gather everyone to a united perspective. Mention it to the group of students that you do not have the intention of giving them severe punishments for their mistake.
- Always keep one thing in mind that strategic seating arrangement is very important for class control. Legend shows that kids sitting at the back of the class usually have discipline problems. You can consider an L shape design for your class so that everyone is sitting in the front or make sure that you visit the back rows frequently.
- Always explain to them that you want them to learn, but they are the only ones who can control that part of the equation. Make them understand that there is no tolerance for anyone creating a disruption, which prevents others from learning. If they do not wish to follow along with the rest of the class, then they can daydream about anything they want to, but they are not allowed to make noise and disrupt the rest of the class.
- Always remember that you should never place a student in a corner, you must give them choices. If a student is acting in a bad manner for instance, you can offer him or her choice of going in the book area and reading silently. You must always try to handle situations yourself, and not go to the principal’s office over and over again. It should be clear to everyone that you are in control of the situation.
- Give your students mini breaks during the class. Young students tend to do a short burst of activity in your direction, while older students will simply go for their break. You must always try to refrain from taking away their recess as students always want some time to work off their energy.
- Allow all your students as many water and bathroom breaks they need. Tell your students that they will have to mention the time on the blackboard when they leave the class and they will not have to ask. When they enter the class they will have to mention the time of re-entry as well. The amount of time they used for their bathroom or water breaks need to be recorded and close attention paid to ensure that they don’t take too long, in which case you may demand them to to wait after school hours for the amount of time they’ve wasted, as a penalty. If a child wants to use the facilities, then this won’t be a deterrent to him or her, and do not embarrass them by forcing them to take your permission every time, that method is too childish for a teacher to adopt.
- Treat all your students like students. Always be professional, but be friendly and make sure that you have conveyed your respect and care towards them. Keep yourself calm whenever you ask a student to leave the class and wait outside. Tell the student in a firm tone that you will be outside in a moment to deal with the given situation. Remember, you must never tell the students that you are planning to deal with the situation and never follow them outside the class immediately. If needed you can walk him or her outside the class and ask them to stand in a specific spot. Don’t cross the lines, don’t ask them to face the door or the wall etc. There’s no need for such additional drama, for it’ll only breed hate in him, and you definitely don’t want to be the source for it. The more specific you are and the longer the punishment goes on, it will automatically become dramatic, and the remaining students will come to know that you have control over the classroom.
- Choose a class leader and ask them to help you in controlling the classroom. Always remember that every member of the class is special in their own unique way. The class leader does not have to be the best student or the most accepted student in the class, but someone whom others tend to follow. A leader is someone who will be able to find a way, win all the students, and use his abilities for your advantage. Keep in mind that you must always acknowledge the strength of every student in your class.
More tips for controlling a classroom:
- If a student gets very difficult to control and is not responding, then you will have to hold a conference with the student and his parents, to discuss what needs to be done for resolving the problematic situation.
- You will have to maintain your composure at all times, especially when you are controlling the class. Always remember that you are an adult, and you must never mention your weakness in front of the class, which can be used against you. If a child has made a cutting remark towards you, then before you react, examine the remark and decide for yourself whether it actually matters so much. Don’t punish them, instead make fun of them, not with an intention of embarrassing in front of the class of course. That way, at least they would think before they repeat the same mistake.
Don’t expect to have total control over your classroom and your students from the first day itself. Patience and persistence will help you a lot in achieving full control of your classroom.