Classroom management has long been an issue by elementary teachers nowadays. Though there are particular revitalized instructions in all learning areas that are improved and updated, more important than these all equipments is the TEACHER who is the best facilitator of learning. The teacher can be an effective facilitator of learning only when there is discipline and proper classroom management in the teaching-learning process.
Classroom management is an integral part of teaching and techniques of managing students both can and must be acquired by teachers. Teachers’ personalities, philosophies and pedagogical practices directly affect their managerial and disciplinary approach (Visitacion 2002, p. 250) However; there are problems that are encountered by teachers such as the lack of classroom rules. Pupils today lack discipline when it comes to rules and regulations. The effective strategy in this kind of problem is the teacher’s proper disciplinary actions and consistency of administrative planning for existing rules and regulations. Right at the beginning of the class, teachers must set up standards of behavior and allow no exceptions. Consistency should be done firmly so that pupils will know that the teacher is not kidding on the matter of class rules. Proper explanations should be considered and should be done by the teacher. Examples of class rules are silence during class interactions, mobilizations and other activities inside or outside the classroom, completion of assigned tasks such as tests, quizzes, projects, seat works, assignments, etc., proper behavior at all times, and the observance of school rules and regulations such as wearing of school uniforms if necessary, ID’s, etc. The students must observe correct habits (Romulo, 2004, p. 14). Habit refers mainly to an extensively practiced and well-established manner of behavior. The physical environment of the classroom must also be put into deliberation. Furthermore, having a well-organized room is not only very impressive but could give ease, comfort and effectiveness in everyday classroom tasks (Reyes 2004, p. 319)
Organized time schedule should also be practiced to achieve an effective classroom management. Otherwise, the whole plan might get ruin in the process. According to Aquino 2006, the time management is such a vital element in creating an environment conducive for learning. There are also principles that should be taken into account in managing an elementary classroom management. Focusing, Direct Instruction, Monitoring, Modeling, Cueing, Environment Control, Low Profile Intervention, Assertive Discipline and Positive Reinforcement are those principles in administrating a classroom (Flores 2006, p.357)
The role of the learners is that of an active participant. The teacher becomes the guide, motivator, adviser and consultant at the same time. Teacher should aim not only to impart knowledge but also to develop creative abilities of the children. In connection, teacher must separate personal self from professional self. Thus, in rule setting, pupils must also cooperate. They should be involved in this situation because they are the one who will perform those rules. Another problem that deals with the proper classroom management is the pupil’s performance in routinely activities. In this kind of problem, teachers must establish and implement routine procedures. It should be done so that pupils will not be confused as they go on the process of learning. For an instance, teachers must tell their pupils the proper behavior as soon as they enter the room, with or without the teacher. Pupils should also know how to check attendance, home works, books, etc. Proper placement of their things such as bags and books should also be guided accordingly. Pupils should also learn how to take part in class activities and how to listen attentively to the teacher or to anyone reciting. They should know when to ask questions politely, to stand when they are called, and to do seat works independently and quietly. Teachers must also tell the pupils to avoid unnecessary movements and unnecessary talking and noise. Pupils in this time lack interests in studying their lessons. Therefore, teachers must consider this as a problem to be solved. Teachers must make classroom recitations or activities meaningful, purposeful, relevant and profitable. The best way is to relate classroom discussions into real life situations. The teacher must be lively with much enthusiasm and encourage creative and critical thinking. The pupils must be free from self-expression and must possess confidence and creativity especially those who are in primary levels. Pupils learn better when they are motivated on their own and challenged to put farther their best effort. (Gonzales 2006, p. 320) Thus, in managing a classroom, the children must be motivated and they ought to receive a positive reinforcement during the process of learning. The use of positive and negative reinforcements could also be helpful in establishing proper classroom management. Examples of these are self-reinforcers, adult approval, peer recognition, privileges, activities, token, tangibles and consumables. In self-reinforcers, pupils give points to themselves for behaving well. They say positive things regarding what they have done. Next is the adult approval, in here, the teacher recognizes the child who behaves appropriately. Adult approval could also be done when the teacher taps the back or shoulder of the child who is doing well. In addition, teacher communicates with the parents or guardian of the pupil regarding the child’s performance whether good or bad. On the other hand, peer recognition allows the pupils to recognize their classmates’ appropriate behavior. The teacher also informs other students by saying: “The Award for Student of the Day goes to the outstanding improvement in behavior demonstrated by (student’s name).” Privileges give students free time after displaying appropriate behavior. Pupils are also allowed to serve in key roles after demonstrating outstanding behavior. Another example of reinforcer is the “Activities”. Here, students can perform an activity they like after they complete their assigned tasks. Then tokens are items that can be exchanged for something of value. Tangible, on the other hand, refer to rewards that are desirable objects to students, but usually not objects they can consume. Examples of these are toys, paper, crayons, pencils, erasers, etc. Tokens can be exchanged for tangible reinforcers if the children want to. Tangible reinforcers could also be used to reward the class. Lastly, the consumables refer to rewards that are desirable objects to pupils that they consume. Examples of these are raisins, candies, etc. Using praises and incentives for proper behavior are reasonable. Hence, the use of sanctions for bad and negative actions must be done fairly. It must commensurate with the child’s wrongdoing. The teacher must punish the wrong act, not the person. The pupils must understand why they need to undergo such things. They should know why they are scolded, reminded or warned. But the teacher must always remember to not ostracize or use corporal punishments.
Aside from giving reinforcements to pupils, the teacher must always provide wholesome, non-threatening classroom atmosphere. The pupils must feel secure, that the classroom is a haven – not a prison or a torture place. As we all know, some children may come from homes full of problems, cruelty and punishment. It will be spiteful if in the classroom they will be meeting the same or worse. So to have a successful classroom environment, the teacher must provide a beautiful place where the children could feel that they are loved and protected. Dealing with children is not really hard to do. Teachers, in establishing an effective classroom management must consider appropriate and well-developed strategies to connect with their pupils. Teachers must know each child to be able to understand his/her actions and reactions, to be able to empathize and to know how to deal with problems like broken homes, lack of love and attention.
The teacher’s personality is an effective strategy in dealing with pupils. The teachers might create a personality that will eventually help in dealing with pupils of any kinds (Ngayawon 2004, p.394). Today, pupils lack interests with their studies because of terror teachers. In line with this, the teacher must develop a well-rounded personality to encourage a successful teaching learning process. The teacher must talk clearly with proper pace, in a well-modulated voice, using correct language or grammar. The teacher’s voice is very important equipment in teaching pupils especially in the intermediate levels. The teacher must be a model of standards of behavior. They must develop pleasing, respectable authoritative but approachable and non-threatening personality to meet a successful learning environment.
Classroom management has never been easy especially with the elementary classroom. However, the success of it lies mainly on the hands of the teachers. It depends upon how the teacher faces various kinds of situations that require his/her skills. Furthermore, the success of an effective classroom environment also depends upon the pupils who are the prime reason why teachers create an effective and successful classroom setting. Hence, the problems regarding classroom management could only be solved through the help of teachers, pupils, parents and other professionals.
Aquino, Nimfa Norie, Classroom Management and Discipline, The Modern Teacher February 2006 issue, Vol. LIV No.9, pp. 358-359, 647 P. Paterno, Quiapo, 1001 Manila, Philippines
Flores, Eulalia, Classroom Discipline: The Key to Classroom Control, The Modern Teacher February 2006 issue, Vol. LIV No. 9, p. 357, 647 P. Paterno, Quiapo, 1001 Manila, Philippines
Gonzales, Analiza, How to Become Effective in the Classroom, The Modern Teacher January 2006 issue, Vol. LIV No. 8, pp. 320-321, 647 P. Paterno, Quiapo, 1001 Manila, Philippines
Ngayawon, Celestino, Situational School Management, The Philippine Journal of Education February 2004 issue, Vol. LXXXII No. 9, p. 394, 175 Alfonzo XIII San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines
Reyes, Jeolfa, 10 Ways to have a Well-Organized Room, The Modern Teacher January 2004 issue, Vol. LII No. 8, p. 319, 647 P. Paterno, Quiapo, 1001 Manila, Philippines
Romulo, Rosita, Classroom Management, The Modern Teacher June 2004 issue, Vol. LIII No.1, pp. 14-15, 647 P. Paterno, Quiapo, 1001 Manila, Philippines
Visitacion, Ronnie, Teachers’ Classroom Management Styles, The Philippine Journal of Education Nov. 2002 issue, Vol. LXXXI No. 6, pp. 250-253, 175 Alfonzo XIII San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines