Unit 2 – Classroom Management

Classroom management is a term used by teachers when they talk about how they organise and control the classroom environment. In more concrete terms, we mean how we set up the desks in the classroom, how we set up an exercise so it runs smoothly and how we keep discipline. Classroom management also directly influences motivation, involvement and ultimately the students’ effectiveness to learn

Maintaining control in a classroom is never easy for any teacher. With all the problems any regular teacher has, each one is intensified for TEFL teachers because we have the added complication that students may not have the English skills necessary to understand what we want or what we mean.

Unfortunately, confusion or misunderstanding from students can often lead to the teacher losing control of the class. In the worst case of scenarios, this can lead to children and teenagers starting to misbehave or just switching off and becoming uninterested.

Some of the more common signs of a teacher losing control are:

  • Students start speaking to each other in their native language;
  • Students’ body language becomes closed and negative;
  • Students start playing with their phones;
  • Students stop making eye contact.

Teaching English as a foreign language is not an exact science so it’s going to happen that you may see some of the signs mentioned above. There are many things a teacher can do to regain control, which we will discuss later, but, as a general rule, it is much easier to keep control than to try and regain it.

For new teachers there are so many things to think about when you first enter a classroom. We think that by learning the simple processes in this unit a new teacher can make their life so much easier. From our experience, if a teacher has control of a lesson and is maintaining discipline, then everything else starts to fall into place. The good news is that it is common sense and straightforward.