We are always interested in how well our students conduct themselves and how well they can work with each other. It is this expectation of the school which makes every teacher first learn how to maintain classroom discipline before talking about the students’ academic needs. It is a fact that no teacher can effectively teach and make students learn in an ineffective environment.
‘It is the Teacher who makes the difference not the classroom’
How effective is our classroom management?
Today’s classrooms are filled with diverse learners with varying needs. Nowadays many new teachers and even some experienced ones find it extremely difficult to maintain discipline in their classrooms by following the traditional methods of teaching. Hence we must encourage teamwork, communication skills and use of technology to enhance students’ learning.
Are we managing the classroom dynamics well?
Teachers play various roles in a classroom, but the most important role is that of a classroom manager. If teachers have to perform well, they have to understand class room dynamics. Class room dynamics includes student behaviour, emotions and imagination. It also includes teacher’s ways of presenting academic materials and student interactions. It helps in creating a positive class room culture.
Effective teaching and learning cannot take place in a poorly managed classroom. Well-managed classrooms provide an environment in which teaching and learning can take place successfully; but it takes a lot of effort to create a well-managed classroom and it doesn’t just happen on its own. The person who is responsible for creating such a classroom is the teacher.
Teachers can have a major impact on student achievement. The three major roles of the teacher are –
1. Choosing the right instructional methods,
2. Designing curriculum,
3. Using effective classroom management techniques
The most important characteristic of a good class is not how
hard the students work, but how well they work in groups. This is classroom dynamics. It is about the way the people within a class interact with each other. It is how they talk and how they act; it is how they express their feelings and opinions that matters.
If we have to become better teachers, we need to understand classroom dynamics. Classroom dynamics means building of a classroom community and the creation of an active classroom culture. I believe that class room dynamics is helping students to develop skills in working together and creating an atmosphere in the classroom where students are encouraged to take risks.
The easiest and most appropriate way of boosting classroom dynamics is to make sure that the students have no time to feel bored and instead they enjoy the classes. We can offer a balanced learning environment by adopting a few simple strategies and introducing them as part of our teaching routine.
How can we improve them?
Classroom dynamics mean that students are kept busy with productive activities and projects and there is no time for boredom. It does not mean that the teacher must use more materials, but she/he must simply keep the students absorbed with activities. The more interesting and challenging these activities are, the more absorbing the lesson will be for the students.
Encourages Self learning
A vibrant classroom that offers different ways to cover a topic will always be more effective and appealing. If you introduce a range of teaching techniques such as experiential learning, digital learning or group work, it will make the students learn more. Such approaches will help to engage students and make learning more meaningful and interesting.
Independent learning style
The majority of student learning happens within the classroom. However, it’s up to the teacher to manage and engage the learners by using various learning styles. Students learn best through interaction and inquiry. Some students learn by moving around, others by working in teams. A dynamic classroom enables the students to move around freely while being engaged in a creative project. All of them have special talents and interests which they should be able to explore and use during classes. Offering a dynamic environment will certainly help them to achieve this.
Students are generally very energetic, and the teacher must plan to keep them active, attentive and focused; otherwise they may start to lose concentration and at times become restless. Organizing brainstorming sessions to activate the students and offering them opportunities to express their views during group discussions will help to satisfy their needs. Keeping students absorbed means they will get busy, learn lessons easily and they will understand concepts which we are trying to teach them.
Learning by doing
Whatever may be the topic of the lesson, we must make sure that the students spend some time to learn by doing. They can work individually or in groups and the exercises we give them can be of different types such as experiments, digital learning, work sheets, art and craft and field work. Hands-on learning is one of the best methods to absorb students in tasks, they can explore on their own.
Good examples are group activities where students need to move from one group to another to discuss or work on the said topic. Working area, library work is another great way to make sure students do not sit at their tables all the time. Depending on the students’ needs, we may create theme-based working tables and encourage them to set them up. To promote joy in learning we may also introduce entertainment games and puzzles.
Instead of teaching the students throughout the entire lesson, the teacher could provide some direction during part of the lesson, and then let the students be in control of their own learning and work with their peers.
Use of Resources
Resources and use of Art, Craft and Music will help to keep the students busy and excited. The resources should be useful, and they should not be too challenging for the students. Introducing dynamics in the classroom will not only help us to keep our students active, lively and motivated, but it will also facilitate the overall learning experience for the students and the effectiveness of teaching.
Cooperative learning and group work is another instructional method where students work together in pairs or groups to complete a task. Cooperative learning strategies can work in any classroom regardless of age groups, the subjects taught or the number of students in a class.
By adopting different teaching techniques, we can expect excellent response from the students. They will develop good communication skills and will excel in their learning. It will further enhance their confidence level and help them develop skills of learning.
As teachers, we must face challenges and overcome our fears of trying something new. Ultimately, we will be surprised to note how these strategies have helped our students.
With each new class, the teacher must focus on classroom dynamics from the very first session, which will help in retaining the attention of students and the student’s academic achievement will also rise. Thus, in my view the stress on classroom dynamics is essential for the learning and teaching process.
As it has been rightly said, Education keeps evolving and every student learns differently. It is up to the teachers to keep the students engaged in the classroom.
Padmini Sriraman, M A in History and Economics, M Ed and M Phil, is the Principal of The Hindu Senior Secondary School, Chennai. She is also the Vice Chair person of Chennai Sahodaya Group of Schools.
She received the CBSE National Award in 2012 and the Best Principal Award from the Bombay Stock Exchange. She has also received awards from Mylapore Academy, Rotary Club, recognition from various other institutions and the International School Award from the British Council.
She has written social studies books for Classes 6, 7 and 8, EVS books for Classes 1 to 5 and articles in educational magazines.
She has conducted workshops in Social Science, EVS, Classroom Management, Handling Slow Learners, Life skills, Value Education, CCE, and Study Techniques in various states in India, also at Dubai and Doha.
She has learnt Carnatic music, does oil painting and was a basket ball player during her school days. Her personal vision is to create a positive impact and motivate everyone with a ‘can do and never give up’ attitude; to encourage inspire and motivate everyone to discover and develop their potential while igniting their passion for life and their dreams. Contact – email@example.com mobile –9841131685