Classroom management cannot be defined through a fixed formula because it is another form of people management. Just like grown-ups, each child has a different temperament, unique individuality and what’s more, they constantly evolve. Therefore, what worked in the term I will not necessarily work in term II. However, there is a linchpin that holds the entire machinery of class together, and that is a teacher and student connect/relationship.
If the relationship between student and teacher is strong, the relationships between teachers and parents will naturally flourish and create the most effective environment for the child to thrive. This is true for a face to face classroom, as much as it is true for a virtual learning environment, unavoidable in the context of the pandemic. Let us sum it up through the four letter-bond. Bonding with students is the most effective way of classroom management in the virtual environment. If you are wondering how to achieve this objective, then read on…
- B-Break the ice by making an introduction video of yourself. Not a bland introduction but something that captures your personality within a one-minute video. You could be gardening or baking or doing yoga to show how children can also do several things within the confines of the house. Keep it simple and natural so that your students relate to you even though they don’t get to see you in person
- O-Omit all excess content in the virtual mode. This is very critical and must be done collaboratively under the guidance of a curriculum expert. You cannot replicate the content of face to face teaching in virtual mode. Select what is essential and omit anything that only revolves around a one-way dialogue. The more interactive your classes are, the less you will have to ask students to turn on the camera or participate in class. They will do so happily.
- N-Be nimble and agile in integrating the right balance of technology and talk. Orient yourself on several apps that support online teaching and make it very interactive. For instance, jam board, padlet, quizzes, Kahoot etc. Gamification of teaching in a virtual environment is a necessity, not an option.
- D-Discipline in a virtual environment is again to be role-modeled by the teacher. This means you do not log in late to class, turn on your camera all the time, place it correctly at eye level, dress formally and end the class on time. Create a fixed, clean and neat workspace with a professional backdrop and inspire your children to do the same. Additionally, the school must have a customized discipline policy for classroom management in the virtual mode to ensure the cyber safety of children and teachers
I strongly feel that if students’ and teachers’ bond/connection is meaningful and positive, you do not have to work on compliance. That is anyway a natural consequence of a safe, happy and supportive learning environment.
Oakridge International School, Bengaluru