It is said that it takes only one badly behaved student to spoil the best prepared lesson – and this is no understatement. What then, can you as the novice EFL teacher do to prevent disruptive behavior? Here are 5 suggestions which will help you to manage your class much better.
Make a good lesson plan. If you want to keep your students interested in the lesson, then make sure that you have prepared it well. Always keep your students occupied. If the work finishes early, make sure that you have a few good lesson fillers to finish off the lesson: for example, a game of hangman.
Make a seating plan. Making a seating plan doesn’t simply mean knowing where each student is sitting in the classroom: it is a way of managing the class without the students realizing it, and it gives you the opportunity to learn their names quickly. By insisting that each student sits in the same place, you will be able to better control disruptive behavior because you will know the name of the person you are speaking to – rather than using “you”. Initially, you can keep a copy of the plan on your desk for easy reference.
Control your behavior and dress appropriately. You must conduct yourself and dress in a way that reflects your position as someone in authority. You should never swear, or use abusive language. Always keep calm, and try to project an image of yourself as someone who is confident and knowledgeable.
Be firm but fair. When you first start with your class, do not try to be popular: this is a recipe for disaster. Conduct your lessons in a pleasant but firm manner. Never punish the whole class for the behavior of an individual or small group of miscreants. Never make threats that you don’t intend to (or can’t) carry out. Never be cynical – this is really hated by students. Never have favorites – this is something that will really be detested by the other students.
Establish a classroom regime. The students should know the ground rules: so state them right from the beginning. Put your hand up to answer a question. No talking while I am talking. Don’t leave your seat without permission. Don’t eat in class.
Undoubtedly, one could add many more tips, but if you follow these basic tips – you should see a great improvement in your classroom management.