Categories : Weekly Blog
Classroom management continues to be an integral part of teaching, as classrooms are places of learning and engagement with their own unique challenges.
In a recent survey, we asked over a dozen teachers what their greatest obstacles in the classroom are. Be not frightened during this spooky season and read on to see what they said and how these challenges may be overcome:
At a base level, meaningful engagement means engaging students in a way that is both entertaining and educational. Achieving one of these goals by itself is often easy (watching a movie vs. reading a textbook in class, for example) but the best activities are the ones that combine both. Some good examples are educational games, watching videos and writing about them, as well as essays about topics that the students find interesting.
Each student has their own needs, but a classroom can have up to forty people. How can you manage each individual student with such large groups? The sad truth is that there is no clear, simple answer. One of the best methods, especially with younger students, is to keep swapping between activities, making sure everyone gets a chance to learn exactly the way that is most efficient for them.
Want students to write in class? Reserve ten minutes for it, then discuss the writing process. Want to truly engage students and put them at the helm? Try educational games, which by their nature are engaging and a versatile medium.
Sometimes changing technology and new innovations can seem like a burden. If you’ve done your teaching a certain way for years and it is working, why change? Fortunately, this is only the worst-case scenario. Usually technological innovations in the classroom are a great help once you master them.
Take, for example, our TeacherGaming Desk. The Desk essentially works as a bridge that brings together educational games, analytics for grading and tools that are easy to use and accessible. Nothing is stopping you from planning your own lessons from scratch, curating games and using them in the classroom, but it is far less time-consuming to just use a readily available service.
Running out of time in the classroom can be a major problem, especially if you have students that are noisy or otherwise disruptive. According to our survey, many teachers consider time a significant problem in their classrooms. This all naturally ties to student engagement: if you can engage students, they are more likely to pay attention and let you carry on teaching without interruptions. One way to artificially give you more time in the classroom is simply assigning more homework and activities at home, letting you take your time in the class.
This also has its own disadvantages: there’s no way every student it going to cope with increased homework. Finding a balance between homework, classroom engagement and time can be challenging, even for experienced teachers.
There isn’t bound to be any single educational solution that provides the perfect classroom management tool. As mentioned above, the fact is that individual students have different strengths and needs and teaching with only a single method will inevitably favor some students over others.
The best way to deal with this problem is to give students options with their activities, such as the choice between an exam and an essay. There are two problems with differentiation: it requires more planning and work, and it is more difficult to compare student performance.
Perhaps the greatest nightmare of all regardless of which classroom you’re talking about is money (nearly every teacher in the survey complained of budgets!). All the coolest methods and gizmos will never be available for a single classroom: you have to make choices.
When possible, it’s a good idea to try out an educational service for free before committing to anything. After all, even if such a service is good but not really suited to you or your classroom, shouldn’t you know before you commit? Many contemporary teaching solutions offer free trials, and you should definitely take them up on the offer.