When it comes to teaching, classroom management is a fundamental skill to master. To learn effectively, students need a positive classroom environment, free of distractions. They need to follow rules and have respect for their teacher, their peers and themselves. Just as strong classroom management can help a child to succeed, poor classroom management can interfere with your child’s ability to thrive and learn.
In a busy classroom, some classroom noise is inevitable, whether it’s from sharpening pencils, zipping and unzipping backpacks or blowing noses. However, when teachers do not control the level of noise in a classroom, the effect can be detrimental to students. For instance, a study in the Applied Cognitive Psychology journal found that background noise significantly affected a child’s ability to perform complex cognitive tasks. If your child's teacher allows students to chat while she’s teaching, listen to music during silent reading or use their pencils to constantly tap, tap, tap on their desks, this behavior can set the bar low in terms of how quiet they’re supposed to be during class. As a result, their ability to concentrate and, subsequently, their academic performance, can suffer.
Just about every teacher has encountered students who seem to make disrupting class their main priority. They may talk constantly, shout out answers, yell random phrases in the middle of class, hop seats or bully other students, hoping to get a rise out of their peers and teachers. Without swift action from the teacher, this type of student behavior can infect an entire class, prompt other students to join in and prevent students from learning, because they’ll likely be paying more attention to the class clown than they are to the teacher. If your child tells you that she’s having trouble learning or paying attention because of a disruptive student, don’t be afraid to talk to her teacher about the situation. If, after a period of time, nothing has changed, you may need your child’s principal to intervene.
Lack of Effort
Throughout a school day, students complete a variety of assignments. Some are graded, and some are just to practice a skill or concept. In higher grades especially, students may not put forth an effort if they know that an assignment is not being graded for points. Without an incentive to work, students may refuse to complete a task or participate in class, and this lack of effort can spread like a virus through a class. Not only should incentives for working be established, but penalties for not working must also be set. Even if your child is typically a dedicated student, she may stop putting effort into her work if she sees that lazier students are not being penalized for skipping assignments or turning in shoddy work.
Routines and Procedures
Effective classroom management starts on the first day of school, when teachers discuss class rules, routines and procedures with their students. When students know what is expected of them, their behavior improves and they are more equipped to concentrate on their lessons. For starters, students should know what is expected of them when they first enter or leave the room, what they should do if they need to use the hall pass or when they need help from their teacher and where they can find supplies. If your child’s teacher has not established basic routines and procedures, students will lose valuable instructional time, which can certainly hinder their academic performance and create stress and frustration. If your child seems frustrated by the lack of routine in her classroom, talk to her teacher.