Sunday, December 23, 2012

5 Teacher behaviours for a Positive Classroom Environment

It is a well known fact that learning is more effective when the learning environment permits it. A hostile and undisciplined environment does not promote learning.
Offering a environment conducive to learning relies to some extent on the administration but largely on the teacher. Teachers influence classroom environment by the way they set their classroom, the way they prepare their lesson and the way they behave – both verbally and non-verbally.

Below are few ways in which a teacher can influence positively the classroom environment:

1.      Teachers spend more of their teaching time speaking. Irrespective of the teaching strategy adopted, a teacher has always to speak. It can be for lecturing, for giving instructions or for maintaining discipline. Obviously, the way the teacher is very important. It is expected that a teacher speaks calmly and clearly. The teacher is also expected to use a language that suits all abilities of learners. Talking hastily or using a language not understandable to all learners will rather disconnect the teacher from the learners. Nagging too much will create a rather hostile environment.

2.      Learners generally respect teachers who are firm in maintaining discipline. Usually, learners make a fool of and they do not respect those teachers who bend the rules for discipline too much. It is recommended for teachers to have clear classroom rules known to pupils and reinforce. A great idea would be to post the rules in the classroom.

3.     Teachers are expected to know their pupils just as doctors are expected to know their patients. It is very important for teachers to learn about their pupils and their respective background. It is even more important for teachers to know what their pupils are actually doing in class. This can be achieved by observing, questioning and listening to the pupils. These allow the teachers to identify who the disruptive pupils are, who are the pupils with learning disabilities and what are such learning disabilities. These will also allow the teacher to identify high-flyers. All these will eventually help the teacher plan and conduct lessons that are suitable for all learners.

4.      Teachers who keep on surprising their pupils by using different and interesting strategies and making their lessons fun are those who are loved and respected the most. Though a teacher is not expected to play the clown the whole lesson, some humour from time to time to ease the tensions that may have arisen. Using different teaching strategies like role play, cooperative learning, story-telling and games among others helps students explore things from different perspectives. It also helps relieve monotony of a teacher-centered classroom. Same applies for using different teaching aids like posters, videos, slideshows, audios and internet among others.

5.      Teachers are human beings and so are our pupils. We are of different race, colour, sex, culture, background. We have different manners and attitudes. Given the diversity of pupils, it might be that a teacher would like some more than others or even dislike one or a few. However, teachers are expected to respect all pupils alike. Teachers are entrusted children so that they educate them, irrespective of who they are. Teachers have the responsibility to take care of each and every pupils in the class and to treat each one fairly. This includes being consistent in applying rules, giving opportunities to everyone to talk and participate in class, listening to each pupil among many others.

As human beings, teachers err. Teachers may not be at their best every day. There may be a day when a lesson is poorly prepared, a day when it is hard to maintain discipline, a day when the teacher has not been able to listen to a pupil’s problem. However, these days are exceptions and pupils ignore such days when the teacher generally is one who provides a positive classroom environment to them.
B. Rogers(1990). You know the fair rule: Strategies for making the hard job of discipline in school easier. Pitman.