BY MR EGBAGBARA BLESSING (JP)
THE classroom as the basis upon which the success and failure of the educational industry lies. It is as important as the surgical theatre of the medical industry; where the hope of the patient undergoing a surgical operation is hinged. As curriculum planners, have proved beyond reasonable doubt that the curriculum is made up of the child who is the learner, the learning environment, the teacher as the facilitator of learning, a factor that facilitate learning. The importance of the classroom if not managed properly, the effect on the child could be very disastrous as the huge budgetary allocation of the government to education at the three tiers, become economically wasted and sabotaged.
Before going indept into what the concept of classroom is, I will want to register my appreciation, to Chief John Signor Egbagbara, Aduviekaye Grace Egbagbara, my parent, who labored and deprived themselves of certain privilege to make sure I see the four walls for the classroom, I am going to talk about its good management, Pastor Mrs. Mercy Otuokena, who made me to see the light and usefulness of Education, Profs. L.O. Eboh, P.A Muoboghare (Hon. Commissioner for Higher Education Delta State) of Delsu, who are friends I made from good classroom management and interaction and of course my delicious children Miss Oghenekobiruo Miracle and Master Peniel David Oghenemise Egbagbara for their patient and tolerating my continuous absent from homes, Mrs. Julie Adjarho Egbagbara my wife, who always sit with me and burn the mid night candle with me anytime I have a discourse of this nature to present, Comr. Chiefs Ohwoekevwo David (JP), Odjoji Irene (Mrs.) my branch chairman and Treasurer whom, I served with for two (2) tenures as Secretary Nigerian Union of Teachers Ughelli North for their encouragement, Comr. Vincent Enayemo, Obominuru Bridget, Shaka Rosemary, Salami Laurence (Treasurer NUT Delta State Wing), Eterigho (National Rep. NUT Delta State Wing), Titus Okotie (Chairman NUT Delta State Wing), for their interest in me and my write-up. Chief Abafe Benneth (a.k.a Brokojo) my mentor for always coming to my aids in cause of printing of my write-up. Mr. Sam. Ovuevuraye of Jesus is Light Computer Afiesere and Christabel Kesiena Abafe to all of you I am grateful and God bless.
Back to the subject of this discourse, good classroom management, which I shall attempt to defined and examine some methods of achieving good classroom management in four area viz the classroom, the instructional preparation, classroom discipline and the teacher’s personality. Classroom management has always been one of the foremost problems for teachers, indeed the adequate control of a class is a pre-requisite to achieving instructional objectives and to safe guarding the psychological and physical well being of students. To understand the concept of classroom management, two key terms must be defined classroom and management.
The Classroom:- is defined as an institutionalized setting for teaching. In its most common form, it is a place where a teacher and at least twenty or more students meet regularly for a designated period of months. It operates under a form of rationality which specifies that activities involving all students must go on during meetings and those activities must have an educative justifications.
Management:- on the other hand is that function of an organization that concerns the co-ordination and co-operation necessary for goal attainment. The main managerial function identified in the literature on industrial and educational management include planning, organizing and coordinating, directing, controlling and communicating.
A. Classroom Management:- put together could be defined therefore as planning, management and execution of the school programme, as it affects teaching and learning in the classroom. The teacher manages the physical as well as the psychological environment to create an atmosphere that is conducive to learning.
HOW TO ACHIEVE GOOD CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT
As a teacher, who is always in contact with the students, is supposed to know that a stimulating classroom environment is a constructive force for a healthful living and functional learning in the education of the children. The physical facilities of the classroom contributes much in setting the stage for instruction. Teachers should therefore endeavour to improve the physical condition of their classroom. The first thing to do in this regards is to make the classroom clean, orderly and attractive, the chairs, desks and equipment should be neatly arranged to ensure that the sitting arrangement of the students makes for harmony in the classroom. Students should be allowed to sit where pleases him, only when such an arrangement disrupts the unity in the classroom that they should be prevailed.
Positions for shorter and handicapped students should be at the front of the classroom. The classroom should also be arranged in such a way that the dull students be mixed up with the intelligent ones. The class captain be allowed to sit nearest to the door so that movement in and out of his seat when necessary be easy, as well as monitoring the movement of other students in and out of the classroom. An essential considering in seating, students either at table or desks should be the healthy and comfort of the individual students.
Question that is paramount to the teacher to ask himself, should include, if the students feet touched the floor and the adjustment of the seat to give him leg room? He should also consider the comfort of the student in writing and reading as well as seeing and hearing.
The compatibility of the students as well as the working relations with those he sits with. The teacher should equally create an educative classroom environment by decorating the classroom by display of pictures that are educative.
Classroom discipline one of the most serious problems tending to undermine the provision of quality education in Nigeria is that of indiscipline among students the question that always comes to one mind, is what is responsible for this indiscipline in the school system cum the classroom and how do the teacher solves this problem to achieve his goal of creating an atmosphere favourable to effective learning. In order to succeed in achieving a good classroom management, a teacher has to analyze the situation in his classroom. He should realize that the classroom is an artificial situation somehow for the students. The students came from different backgrounds culturally, economically, socially and are all subjected to the same learning situation within the confines of a single room, such an unnatural situation is bound to result into one form of disorder or the other. The first thing to do is to understand the cause of the student’s behaviour. The teacher should know that there are some under lying cause for anti social behaviour and he should search for such cause. The primary causes of the antisocial behaviour of a given child may stern from an undesirable home situation, physical peculiarities, medical deficiencies or continued association with a tense unhappy teacher. Among the mal-adjustments that may result from these conditions and caused anti social behaviour are over protection, rejection, fatigue, hypertension, frustration, malnutrition, undue fear, anxiety and diseases. A child suffering from any of the aforementioned maladjustments acts in a manner which offer some hope to him for relieving the conditions.
Classroom Disorderliness:- Disorderliness among students in the classroom manifest in various ways. Inattentiveness and restlessness are among the most common ones. The school age is usually a period when children possess so much energy that they never like to keep passive for so long. In attentiveness in class could also be as a result of tiredness (physically & mentally) and thus is closely linked with poor preparation or delivery of a lesson.
Lessons which are boring often results in inattention. Noise is one of the most common disorders in the classroom in Nigeria today. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but certain amount of noise is bound to be associated with some activities and a good laugh is beneficial to everyone from time to time. Noise can only constitute a disorder when it efficiency.
If student are left idle, when the teacher leaves the classroom, they are bound to be noise in between two lessons, this noise could originate from either private or group argument that could lead to quarrel and a great deal of noise. Another source of disruptive noise come from over eager children who may want to answer a question in the class or who want to be chosen for a particular activities. Noise that upset a good classroom management may come from comments by children about something they have just be asked to do or about an exercise or test that has just been returned to them resulting into a loud buzz of conversation which is disturbing. Deliberate naughtiness in class is another source of disorder. This can manifest in different forums such as rudeness, disobedience, lying, stealing, and so on. But it is always an expression of some kinds of rebellion in the child. The actually cause may be deeply buried in the child nature or it may be a superficial expression of the independence that growing children like to assert. The teacher should always try to find out the cause and remedy it as much as possible. While it is important for teacher to understand the cause and nature of students anti social behaviour in the classroom, it must be admitted that mere knowledge when they occur, one should therefore consider principle and techniques that teacher could employ in clearing with problems of indiscipline in the classroom to ensure effective learning.
B. Instructional Preparation:- Part of the preparation for effective classroom manager is preparation for effective instructions. This was shown clearly in a programmatic set of studies on classroom management conducted by Kounin and his colleagues, which revealed that important differences between successful and unsuccessful classroom managers were not in response. Instead they were in the planning and preparation that goes into effective instruction and disruption as opposed to the desist technique used to response after these problem occur.
Instructional preparation includes both preparation of materials for use by teachers and students and preparation for presenting information during lesson, Kounein reported that the lesson of effective teacher’s proceeded smoothly and a good pace, but the lessons of a teacher, who had management problems lacked coherence usually. Students inattentiveness and bad behaviour were traceable to problem of discontinuity in the lesson, which in turn were traceable to inadequate teacher’s preparation.
Students who were attentive and involved when lesson were going on and followed a logical structure, pace and moved at a good space, but problems began to increased sharply teachers began to; (A) wander for no apparent reason (B) repeat and review material that were understood (C) pause to gather their thoughts or prepare materials problems occurring outside of the group or to deal with other concerns that could have been postponed. The implication here seems clear. The teachers will minimize classroom management problem, if they conducts smooth and well placed lessons.
C. Strategies for dealing with students behavioural problems:- Based on experiences from educational theories and researches, drawn from various school of thoughts philosophies and psychological perspectives, which have provided the teacher as an educational administrator and classroom manager, with a magnitude of principles and practices that can be used in establishing good classroom disciplines.
This include the following; The teacher should keep his lesson moving along smoothly and avoid unnecessary slow down involving either over dwelling or fragmentation. He should keep the students at alert by using suspense, random recitation, mass unison responses and presentation of unusual material, (Application of this principle will depend on the type of age, class and subjects). He should pay close attention to the behaviour of any students, so that he can punish the right deviants, acts promptly and control major deviances.
He has to remove from the classroom as many as distraction as possible, effective routines for taking care of the daily chores be established and should held students laugh when tensions are high. The teacher should equally ask question to remind the students of their goals and help them understand the probable effects of their misbehaviours. He should be sure of his control techniques clearly specific the deviant, deviancy and all acceptable alternative behaviour and be firm about reprimands and follow through with appropriate consequences. He has to avoid rough over emotional reaction to schedule misbehaviour. The teacher should equally eliminate strongly abrasive punishment based largely on revenge. To make punishment work better, he should be sure that students know exactly what behaviour they are being punished for, and make clear to the deviant, the behaviour, he should do. he should also praise desirable behaviour in the classroom using positive verbal and non-verbal response and should develop a reporter of motivational techniques and try to motivate the students and involve them in the establishment of procedures for the welfare of the class. Above all, he should treat the students with respect and politeness, as Ginots says “A wise teacher talk to the children the way he does to his own children and visitors at home”.
THE ROLE OF THE TEACHER
The teacher’s roles in promoting good classroom discipline has been described severally but most importantly is the influence of teacher’s personal attributes in effective classroom management that it deserve independent treatment. If a teacher is to succeed in controlling his classroo effectively, his standard of ethical and social conduct should be beyond approach. He should be morally sound, and emotionally stable, neatly dressed, knowledgeable in his subject area and punctual. He should also be capable of exercising authority effectively and should be transparently, honest and just in his deals with the students.
Good classroom management is inevitable, if the goal of our national policy education are to be achieved. In this discourse, I have highlight some critical areas of classroom with disciplinary problems that might undermine effective and learning in the classroom.
MR. EGBAGBARA BLESSING (JP)
Principal Consultant (Mersmars Consult Ughelli).
(Educational Management, Guardian, Career Consultant and Analyst/Chairman, Nigerian Union of Teachers Ughelli North Branch, Delta State.