The Five Golden Rules of Good
you an ESL teacher with classroom management
problems? I hope not, but if you are reading this, it might be the
case. Have you got a handful of troublemakers who wear you out? Or has
the whole class taken over and you find it hard to teach anything?
article proposes 6 golden rules for good
classroom management to help you create your plan or strategy with your
young students learning English.
the classroom management problem in the first place?
let's look at reasons why the children
might be misbehaving. Are they bored? Does learning English not engage
them? Are they fed up with sitting at their desks? Do some of them have
behaviour problems such as ADD and disrupt the class for others? Maybe
the children find English hard and do not think they can learn it so
they hide their lack of confidence behind an excuse of misbehaviour.
Maybe the naughty child just thinks that the teacher does not like him
or her. Or maybe the children are not motivated to be good because they
are never praised when they are well behaved.
thing is for sure; you must be the boss,
because, like a young puppy that will try to become pack leader, if you
are not in charge then the children will be. And that's the last thing
you want! Some newly qualified ESL teachers go out into the classrooms
today like so many sacrificial lambs! They want to be nice, fun and
friendly, but they fail to establish class management rules and
boundaries from day one and the children stampede right over them. This
can be a bit of a shock!
are many techniques and strategies for good
classroom management and ultimately you have to develop your own
personal style that fits with your philosophy in life and that is also
effective. In addition you must comply with the rules of the
establishment you work in. If your school or institution has rules that
you do not agree with and you cannot change them then look for another
job! The school should be your ally not your foe.
Classroom Management Solution
than a plan, strategy or technique,
the vital key to good classroom management comes from the ESL teacher's
attitude and decision to earn the love and
respect of your students. Think about it, if students like
you and respect you they will naturally behave well and pay attention
they want to please you. So how can an ESL teacher make this happen?
Classroom Management Rule 1
a mentor not
a friend and earn the children's trust by being
firm, fair and consistent.
yourself the humiliation of trying to be the
students' best buddy, they will probably laugh at you behind your back.
Rather be their mentor, a model for them to copy, not only in terms of
learning English but also in terms of how you expect them to behave.
You are someone they can trust and come to for help. Err on the side of
being strict, especially at first. It is harder to become strict if you
have been casual and lenient.
children will trust you if you are consistent,
clear in establishing the rules from day one and consistent in applying
them. Refuse to go on teaching until your rules are applied. If you are
inconsistent, if you yell at the children or lose your cool, suddenly
punish a child unexpectedly, put them down, be sarcastic or embarrass
them, they will know that they cannot trust you.
Classroom Management Rule 2
your EFL / ESL pupils that you care about them.
the same time as being firm and fair in class
find opportunities to talk to your ESL students informally outside of
class time – for example sharing a walk over to the canteen or down a
corridor. When you get the chance ask the children how they are, what
sports they like, who their favourite band is at the moment and so on.
The children will feel special because you have taken some of your time
to speak to them. If the children feel that you know them, you know
what they like, what they can't wait to do when they get home and so
on, they will truly feel that you care about them. Now tell me,
seriously, how much more likely are they to behave when class time
comes round? In fact they could even feel embarrassed for playing you
way to communicate that you care is to
look at your pupils, make eye contact and smile at them. If you have
some ESL pupils you do not like in your class put yourself in their
shoes and do whatever it takes to replace your negative feelings with
feelings of compassion for that student.
Classroom Management Rule 3
closer to your EFL / ESL pupils.
spend a full class up at the board or at the
front, behind your barrier of a desk. Instead, perhaps during an ESL
writing task, take some time to sit in next to different students and
ask them how they are, ask them if they have anything in particular
they would like to ask you that they have not understood, or just tell
them that they are doing well and put a couple of ticks on their work.
Classroom Management Rule 4
and encourage good behaviour.
respond far better to praise than
criticism, which only makes them shrivel up inside and feel worthless.
Never ever, ever use destructive criticism. Far too many human beings
have a lack of self-love, as it is, without propagating it further in
the classroom. There is so much good that you can do as an ESL teacher
by increasing your pupils' self-esteem through praise and encouragement.
you listen to a rather shocking number of
parents, they spend their whole time telling their children to stop
doing this or stop doing that, and the whole dialogue is negative. Be
conscious and make sure you do not fall into that trap. Focus on the
positive in order to draw more attention to it and apply the universal
law of "you attract what you focus on".
sure you give plenty of praise and
encouragement to ESL students who are well behaved. For example, give
out tasks to students who are being good, thank them for being well
behaved or for doing something quietly. If children are vying to get
your attention say; "I'm picking Sarah because she has been so good
a student is being naughty avoid using his or
her name. Children love the sound of their own names – it means they
are getting attention. If Johnny is talking say, "I'm listening to
students is all part of the process.
This does not mean taking them out to pizza. I personally am against
rewarding ESL students in this way. To me it belittles the teacher to
have to resort to such things, not to mention the fact that ESL
teachers are usually not properly paid for the work they do without
having to spend part of their salary on bribes for the children.
use ideas that confer responsibility or
distinction on the pupil such as: verbal or written praise, a positive
note to take home to parents, a star on the work, displaying a
particular student's work on the wall, being given a seat of honour,
being named the student of the day or week, being given a special
responsibility such as running an errand for the teacher, doing the
role-call, helping the teacher with a class activity, collecting or
giving out materials, leading a group activity or tutoring another
Management Rule 5
Make your teaching style interesting and varied.
into all the different ESL learning styles so
that you reach all students in your class. Just standing there talking
at the board is not going to interest many children anyway, but aside
from that, you'll miss the children who mainly learn from tactile and
kinaesthetic experience. By using a wide variety of ESL classroom games
you will by default dabble in auditory, visual, kinaesthetic and
tactile skills and thus engage all your pupils at least some of the
other advantage to ESL classroom games is that
they engage and motivate the children. It's obvious; if a child is
enjoying the learning process then he or she is FAR more likely to pay
attention! It important though to choose appropriate games for your
class size and classroom configuration.
Golden Rules for Good ESL Classroom Management
six golden rules will ensure that your ESL
pupils trust you because they know what your rules are and that you
will apply them. Your pupils will like you because you show them you
care by taking time to talk to them and by getting close to them
physically. They will like you because you make them feel good about
themselves and learning English through your encouragement and
enthusiasm. Finally they will respect you for your stimulating teaching
through the use of ESL
games, ESL stories, songs or ESL plays that tap into all
Vernon has inspired thousands of esl
teachers with her games. Receive the free games
ESL Games from the author.