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Managing classroom behavior

By Roselyn N. Poquita

Classroom management, which includes both educational and behavioral management, is an important issue for teachers, school leaders, and administrators. It greatly affects teacher competence and wellbeing, and the standards of students’ achievement (Egeberg et al., 2016). The concept of classroom management can be defined as the discipline of students in the classroom or behavior management in a common and traditional sense. In general, classroom management is organizing and carrying out academic and administrative activities required to create and maintain a positive learning environment (Erol et al., 2010). Classroom management is eliminating the obstacles which may affect the teaching process in the classroom, planning the teaching activities, effective use of lesson time, ensuring student participation, selection and use of appropriate course materials, managing the physical factors, resources, relationships, and people (Başar, 2006; Erdoğan, 2001). According to Merrett and Wheldall (1993), effective classroom management affects teacher’s job satisfaction, student success, and therefore the academic success and the school’s outcomes.

Managing classroom behavior has been a long problem of our teachers today; this involves management, motivation and direction of the students in the class. According to William A. Kelly, an educational psychologist, how well pupils learn as well as what attitudes are required towards the school, the teachers and his fellow students are influenced by disciplinary techniques employed by the teacher. The teacher plays an important role in managing, motivating and directing students to learn and enjoy school. Teacher’s role is not only about teaching the necessary skills that a student must be able to acquire. It is not enough that they learn the skills more importantly is that the positive attitude and behavior was developed among the learners. It is a very challenging tasks among the teachers especially at our present time where the learners are very much influenced by the technology particularly the social media. It is very observable that students of these generation if not all but mostly lacks respect to their peers, elders and even to their teachers. What are the contributing factors regarding this issue?

Behavioral theories maintain that learning, in other words, behavior modification occurs mostly through conditioning and reinforcement. Chance (1993) argues that the most effective method in behavior management is external rewarding and that a reinforcement-based rewarding system contributes positively to the learning process of students and increases stability. Garcia and Hoang (2005) state that teachers who sometimes do not pay attention to reinforcing students’ positive behaviors in the classroom 1194 |GULDENIZ KAPLAN Improving the positive behavior of primary school students with the gamification tool “classdojo” - reinforcement is effective in students’ behavior development - focus on students’ undesired behavior and punish but punishment is insufficient in reducing unwanted behavior. They also argued that consistently dealing with problematic students means forgetting students who do not have problems, and this will cause positive behaviors to disappear, and therefore positive reinforcement should be given importance. In this sense, the game and gamification strategies with rules and reward-punishment methods draw attention among the factors that can be used in behavior management.

Managing students’ behavior has been a demanding task that requires patience, dedication and commitment. Kelly identifies three factors to consider in disciplining the students. These are teachers, students, methods and techniques in which the teacher employs in order to secure orderliness and effective control of the classroom condition. The teacher must possess qualities of personality and of character. Personality as used here designates the character and the influence of the teacher. The teacher’s personality should impart conviction to, should inspire, and should vitalize his teachings. Second is students’ factor whose development, behavior, and attitude are to be guided and directed. Third factor is constructive discipline consist of procedure used to secure and maintain orderly conditions and to train self-discipline. Misbehavior occurs when the students feel they do not get real affection from their parents, teachers and significant others. There is no perfect formula or intervention for misbehaved students. The following suggestions may help; First, consider each student a unique individual and therefore should not be compared to others. Every students deserves special attention, it might be challenging for us teachers to focus individually to our students especially if we are handling too may students but we can make it easy by treating them fairly. They should feel that they belong to the group and that whatever they do is appreciated in this manner they will behave the way we want them to be. Because of the attention we are giving each students they will automatically learn the value of respect for each other. Second, there should be consistency and firmness in all your decisions concerning common inappropriate behavior. As teachers we must stand firm with what we says or do. Why? Because they look up to us. Whatever decisions we made as long as it is just and fair should not be changed. There are teachers who easily changes decision at times they feel pity for their students which is not good because we are only tolerating misbehavior if we are doing this. Students should learn and understand that if they are liable for whatever action they made. Always bear in mind that the undesired behavior of students during the lesson makes it difficult for teachers to continue effective classroom management. Third, there should be mutual respect, demonstrating respect is not only an obligation of the students. Teachers must also learn how to respect the students. It is not only about us being respected by the students. There are teachers who easily got mad if they felt being disrespected by the students such as by not greeting them “Good morning mam!,” “ Good Morning Sir!” or by calling them out by name! Have we ever wondered why? Are we replying them as they greeted us? or there are also times we failed to do it? That is what we called mutual respect. Lastly, the language that the teacher is using when disciplining students should be like their second parent. Language of encouragement is effective in managing classroom behavior. Let us be softspoken if we could don’t be too harsh to our learners. Let us make them feel loved for them to behaved positively and definitely this will help us make our teaching more effective.


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