Teachers face a lot of challenges when it comes to managing a classroom. They have to make a balance between using digital technology in their learning system and assisting students via different methods of their own. Thus, the focus is not only on educational technology but also on using the right learning strategies.
An influential role played by mentors is laying the foundation for a student\’s future. It is a relationship that is built upon trust, encouragement, courage, and constant support. Teachers must maintain their expertise and their experience in order to keep up with this constantly changing learning culture.
Here are some of the ways to help teachers troubleshoot the common classroom challenges and get into a speedy improvement loop :
1. Classroom Challenges of Managing Students
Every student in a class has a different ability to grasp things. Everyone has a different observing power, and some subjects/chapters might be rocket science for some students. In addition, different kids would require different kinds of attention, motivation, support, and encouragement. To build a better learning environment, a teacher must be perceptive and familiar with the ways to provide easily understandable information and guidance.
No matter how much time a teacher is going to invest in his students, every student can benefit from multiple teachers having expertise in different fields, diverse talents, and abilities to teach.
Co-teaching is an effective way teachers can use to provide comprehensive learning to their students.
The focus must not be on attempting to be a clone of one another but on effectively sharing a different set of realistic responsibilities. Students on their part could be divided into different groups, and skill-based learning should be given.
A teacher couldn\’t always be accessible to students, and every student requires a different amount of attention; that\’s why teachers should opt for a cooperative learning environment. Teachers now adopt more effective cooperative learning instead of grouping together students with the same ability. Instead, students with mixed abilities are put together in the same group so that one can influence the other and provide the necessary peer guidance to each other.
2. How To Collect Assignments, Provide Study Materials, And Take Regular Class Tests:
Teachers face challenges in providing learning materials to every student at the same time. It is not easy to keep records, take regular class tests and do well with the documentation process when your classes are more than standard-size or with a larger number of students. Teachers, on their part, can leave traditional strategies and use various educational technology and tools to enhance the process of learning, keeping a record of students\’ performance and dealing with classroom management problems.
3. Learning Management System
Using a learning management system is a better approach in the area of e-learning as it can provide great help to students in just a few minutes.
A learning management system is a server-based software application that helps to teach instructors to communicate and interact with their students, create course-related content without mastering HTML, track students\’ activity, and keep records of their performance. It\’s one of the most effective ways to provide online training and create a virtual learning environment.
4. Using Google Classroom
Google classroom is another online teaching resource intended to serve teachers and students by helping them create multiple classrooms in a single application.
Teachers can provide the students with assignments and keep a record of their submissions. It keeps everyone on track with student to-do and teacher to-review pages and due dates that automatically appear on student calendars when classwork is created. Overall, this platform assists students in achieving quick and active learning and helps teachers to make a more productive and interesting distance learning path.
Teachers can arrange classroom meetings, provide quizzes, PPTs and projects across multiple classes, and can set a deadline. It helps instructors to Keep grading consistent and transparent with rubrics displayed alongside student work. Also, Students can submit a picture of their paper homework quickly and easily.
Communicating With Parents And Asking Their Support
Sometimes, families complain about their kids without even understanding students\’ needs, weaknesses, and reasons for low performance. Cases are there when guardians blame teachers for not paying enough attention to their kids, question lesson plans, challenge disciplinary decisions, or threaten to tell the principal when they are equally important to make the educational process productive and meaningful. These are some digital education tools teachers can use to keep the parents updated about their child\’s performance:
ClassDojo is an effective classroom management system that helps teachers, parents, and students to create a community inside and around every classroom. The main features of this mobile application include ease in providing instantaneous assignment and grading of a student\’s behavior, quick and direct communication with parents through easy-to-generate invitations, providing data collection forms and graphs on a student\’s behavior.
6. Google Forms:
Google Forms is a free online application and the easiest way for communication and classroom management. It provides ease in creating electronic grading assessments, parent/student sign-up sheets, quizzes, reading logs, and any classroom document. In addition, instructors and teachers can create a parent questionnaire/survey to know more about the students and Gather information from parents about their contact information, information about their child, volunteer opportunities, etc. Also, administrators can create a teacher report card on google forms.
7. Having A Class Blog:
A Blog is usually a personal diary to share one\’s activities, routines, or field of interest. Nowadays, Blogging has been evolved to serve a variety of educational purposes. The administrator or mentor is the operator of a blog and posts updates on daily activities, assignments, resources, and class announcements. This helps in keeping everyone updated about the learning environment of that particular class.
Class blogs are an excellent way for parents to find out what is happening in class and what their child is learning. Parents will get regular updates about the activities and don\’t have to ask teachers personally about the classes. Students can also participate by creating their blogs using online platforms such as Edmodo or WordPress.
8. Create A Positive Classroom Environment
Gallup (2014) found that 46 percent of teachers reported a high level of stress during the school years, which is the highest rate among all occupational groups. The major cause of this stress is the behavior of some mischievous students. Some teachers avoid conflict; some invite retaliation, and some use guilt giving and expect students to reciprocate goodwill. Of course, respect and discipline must be maintained in the class, but it\’s of equal importance to have a good relationship and be approachable to the students.
Teachers should establish authority by giving interesting lessons. An effective classroom manager knows how to use praise to encourage good behaviors and apply appropriate methods to prevent misbehavior. Educators should create the best possible physical environment to ensure that their students have a comfortable, pleasant atmosphere of learning.
Listening to the student\’s concerns, encouraging their questions, and setting examples of respect must be practiced. Don\’t always feel surprised by their reaction; you can\’t expect somebody to change; you can just show them that you believe in them. The teacher can tell his student that he expects so much from them and believes that he will perform well. This can provide them with another choice.
- Always Be Fair To Every Student:
There are no personal relations when it comes to imparting the same knowledge to every student. Therefore, teachers should check whether everyone is interacting or not. Have a list of the students with you, organize activities and see who participates actively and who is a shy one.
Use Mood check-Ins for students to keep them engaged even before starting the class. Teachers must accept the vulnerability of the students and teach the whole class how to respond to a particular emotion.
Using mood check-ins will enable a teacher to bring a comfort level and make it easier for the students to share opinions. Ask students to support classmates having a bad mood and celebrate someone\’s enthusiasm and happy mood.
- ClassDojo To Reinforce Positive Behavior:
As per many educational instructors, ClassDojo plays a significant role in reinforcing positive behavior in both individual students and the class as a whole.
It helps teachers to keep track of the positive and negative behaviors in a class. Then you can personalize or use the pre-programmed positive and negative behaviors. Very simple and quick! It gives points to the students based on their attentiveness and positive behavior. Dojo also makes a sad sound when points are lost, and this almost immediately catches students\’ attention. Dojo also encourages team spirit and self-assessment among the students.
Through ClassDojo, parents can also have insights into their child\’s activity in the lessons. They can easily keep track of their child\’s progress, and teachers can send e-mails on the positive or negative feedbacks in just a few minutes. In addition, teachers can award the students with Dojo prizes as an appreciation reward. Students having consistently negative points on Dojo have to sign the discipline logs. Having signed multiple discipline logs could lead to a conference with the parents or eventually referrals to administration.
- TAKING TIME FOR COLLABORATIVE TEAM PLANNING
Collaborative planning in the education area is when a group of teachers make joint efforts to plan their lessons, engaging activities, curriculum, or units, including classroom-based assessments. Teachers face a lot of difficulties when it comes to managing time while creating and planning the content. However, this activity is an essential part of the education system and ensures sustainable improvement in teaching strategies. Most of the time, teachers have no choice but to put extra effort into planning so many things in so little of a time.
- Google Hangouts:
Google hangout is a videoconferencing tool like skype; it can be used to connect teachers with students worldwide as well as make it easier for the teacher to connect with other teachers. It has various free tools available like it allows up to ten webcams for group video calling. Along with that, various resources and materials are also available for teachers, and they can share their screens and documents to plan the curriculum. Teachers can also invite families online who missed the previous meetings and have a conversation with them. Another Google tool, \’Hangout In Air,\’ provides a free tool to record the sessions and share them on Youtube.
- Google Calendar:
It\’s another Google Application used by teachers to keep their students organized. But its functions aren\’t just limited to this. For example, a calendar can help teachers, administrators, and other staff members schedule meetings, keep track of collaborative team sessions, and plan their work according to their convenience.
Google Calendar could also make it easier for teachers to communicate with parents, schedule conferences, and keep track of current homework assignments, field trips, and other important events.
This article\’s basic focus is to help teachers realize the importance of digital educational tools in the modern era of e-learning, help them troubleshoot the common classroom challenges, and motivate them to be courageous to set an example for their students.
This will help teachers focus both on their personal and professional growth by having a broad perspective towards the solutions of various problems to contribute to creating a better learning environment while evolving with technological advancements.