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7 Critical Characteristics of a Classroom Manager
You might be a zealous teacher dedicated to your teaching ardently teaching your students, making sure that there is no gap in their learning process.
Keeping the dedication and passion aside, what you must also remember as a voracious teacher, is that you have to be an excellent classroom manager.
A classroom manager is a term used to describe a teacher who adopts a process whereby she/he employs a certain plan that is meant to manage the classroom, including daily lessons, student behavior, co-curricular activities etc in an organized and a structured way. A teacher is the one who teaches, guides, influences and along with it is also effectively manages a classroom.
As a teacher, you must remember that effective teaching and learning, that is the one of the sole purposes behind teaching, cannot take place in a disorganized, unmanaged classroom.
If the students are disorderly, disrespectful and chaotic, with no rules that govern their behavior and no apparent organization of classroom materials- teaching and learning both on the part of the students and the teacher becomes extremely difficult. Teachers strive to teach but without success and learning on the part of the students are much less than expected.
On the contrary, a well managed and planned classroom provides for an environment that allows the processes of teaching and learning to thrive. A well managed classroom allows learning and development in all its true essence to take place. However, a well managed does not appear out of the blue- it rather takes the magic of a teacher to conjure up a well managed and a planned classroom.
We live in an era, where research points out, that the teacher is one of the chief and significant factors affecting student achievement. This point makes it clear, that a teacher along with the art of teaching must also possess expertise in the art of managing.
Hence, let’s look at some the most essential characteristics that a teacher must possess in order to become a great classroom manager:
- The skills/ characteristics that good classroom management encompasses can be easily learnt, set of skills. So as a teacher aiming to acquire spick and span management skills, you also have to be a good learner.
When you are teaching a class, your student will always try to test you, but the best part is, that they will also want you to pass. So they might create difficulty with disruptive behavior. You, as a teacher, have to understand the vibe in the environment and act accordingly. Being too harsh or too meek in this situation, may both prove to be highly unsuccessful. Hence classroom management is something you can learn not only by:
- Opting for a course that teaches you effective classroom management skills,
- But also by a keen observation and understanding of your students’ daily behavior.
- The art of preparation and time management is an essential characteristic of a good classroom manager. The two most necessary qualities, of a good classroom manager are being prepared and managing time tactfully. Preparation means not only having a lesson plan at the ready, but also ensuring that the teaching materials and aids are in place and classroom is well prepared for the lesson. Have your supplies, handouts and notes ready, so that while teaching there is no gap because you use that time to get all these things ready. Thoroughly check the computers and projectors and all other technological equipment, that will be used as teaching aids, so that while teaching there is no glitch that interrupts the lesson.
- Another quality you should posses as a classroom manager is the ability of establishing a positive relationship with your class. With a class of diverse students, you have to be ready for some students being more disruptive than others, some students not being disciplined enough in their lessons etc. As a classroom manager, manage the situation with tact and wisdom. For instance, do not blame the entire class for the disorderly behavior of one student. However do not reward the disruptive student with too harsh a punishment. Tact and wisdom are your keys to the lock of an effective classroom manager
- A very crucial quality of a classroom manager, is that you should outline and clearly state and post academic and behavioral expectations at the beginning of the very first class. If the teacher as a manager clarifies the academic and behavioral expectations, from the students at the very beginning of the first class, then the students will exactly how they should behave and how disciplined they should be with their lessons, lest they annoy the teacher. Posting these expectations, on a soft board for instance, will further act as a reminder to the students.
- Outlining posts and consequences is a corollary to the fourth characteristic that entails that students will stick to academic and behavior norms only when they know, what consequences will consist of failure to meet that standard. The classroom manager has to clarify the consequences of non- compliance to norms and post these consequences in the classroom. Posting these acts as a daily reminder, preventing students to not only behave in a way expected of them, but comply to it more, or else they have to face grave consequences.
- A planned curriculum at hand and possession of proper teaching materials is another characteristic that defines a good classroom manager. As a manager, learn to create a well thought out curriculum that ensures an efficient and an effectively managed class. Further always have your teaching materials ready before time. Planning a curriculum and proper material development helps in maintaining a flow in the lesson preventing any kind of lags.
- The last quality that characterizes a good classroom manager is her/his transparency to students. Be transparent to your students, allow them to know you, allow them to give a feedback about you- only then can they effectively follow your rules of classroom management.
From the above points, we can come to an inference that, being a good classroom manager is as difficult and as important as being a good teacher. Herein, what becomes important is the need for training to succeed in effective classroom management. Thus, it will be a very wise decision on your part to opt for courses, such as classroom management courses or class room material development courses- as both can help you immensely, in your venture of becoming an excellent classroom manager.