As instructors, we can’t blame the class for classroom management issues. If we’re experiencing classroom management issues, it’s time to take a closer look at our delivery of instruction. Somewhere along the way our learners have become disengaged and that’s when the classroom management issue begins. Every group is different. What works well for one class, won’t work well for another. We need to be able to adapt to any changes in instruction that are needed for each individual class.
I seem to be able to keep my learners engaged even using a boring powerpoint. It’s the changes in tone of voice, the voice pauses, the stimulation of group discussions and throw in some humour with the main focus still being on the content of the powerpoint. I also bring in things (skulls) to pass around and discuss when I’m teaching cranial and facial bones. If I find any disengagement starting (chatting) I stop talking until I have their attention. I also take short breaks for students to get up walk around and check their phones. They seem to never check their phones during the lesson because they know that I will give them a break soon enough. This seems to work for the class I’m instructing right now, but another class will always be different.
It shouldn’t be that hard. As instructors we should put ourselves in our learners shoes once in a while if we’re experiencing classroom management issues. We’re all adults and we’re all learners, so we have a lot in common. How would we like to be treated in a classroom? I think we need to remember this more often and there will be no issues.
Andrea mentioned (posted on the forum) that she was having issues with students chatting during instruction, she stopped talking, changing up the lesson plan and that didn’t work. Then she decided to bring up the issue with the students and asked for their input as how to solve this issue together. Students were much more engaged afterwards by solving the issue together. What a great idea.
Clearly setting out some rules early in the class are important as well. This is a great article from Faculty Focus, that sets out 3 simple keys to effective classroom management. Set the tone from day one, model the way and be consistent. It seems fairly straight forward and easy.