First a disclaimer. My students have discovered my blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth and use it for some reason or another against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. On to blogging.
Classroom management is one particular aspect of teaching a teacher must face. I never dreamt of becoming a teacher. I had to learn this the hard way. In my twenty years as an art teacher, I've experienced teaching from Grade one to fourth year high school. We were still an integrated school and since there were only four art teachers then, my assingments shifted from one level to another. Its different now. We now have a different Principals for the HS and in the GS. While a teacher can be transferred from the HS to GS or vice-versa, it is not common anymore.
Students in each grade level have their own particular characteristics and I had to learn how to deal with them by reading (not everything is helpful, though) and most of all, from experience. Not having educational units in college, I had to learn the hard way. I've learned that one deals with the students of different levels differently. I've employed lots of tricks in order to keep the class in tow. I've used magic with numbers, psychologized them, even used, to a minor extent, intimidation.
For me, the hardest would be teaching the lower level, say from Grade one to grade 4. They're just too active and wouldn't seem to listen or understand what you're saying. I remember one time when I was sending them off to their classroom from mine, there was a drizzle and knowing they had to pass by the covered walk which was slippery when wet (I couldn't take them to their classroom as my next class was on its way) I made sure they wouldn't run. "Class, the covered walk is a little slippery so I don't want to see anybody running, is that clear?" As in a chorus, they shouted, "YES, SIIIIIR!" Contented that they understood, I said, "Okay, you may go." And off they went. Literally, that is. Each one running as fast as he could trying to outrun his classmate. I tried to overtake them but with my built? No way was I getting even close to the one ahead of the pack. From that time on, I told my boss, "Please, don't ever give me the younger levels anymore." Well, in fairness, they're cute and very honest. But it's just not for me.
Anyway, I digressed. I was talking about classroom management. The key is to get the students to work and keep them busy all the time. Of course, with a class size of 39 individuals, there will always be different types of students you have to contend with. Never mind the intelligent ones. They don't need a teacher. Give them a good stimulus and they will respond accordingly. Allow me to talk about the ones that will cause problems. The ones you don't want to get, most specially, are the lazy. These are the people who just won't respond to any degree of motivation you can employ. You could tremble in desperation or hatred and still this kind of student won't badge. If s/he does, it would only be to humor you, and turn in a hapharzardly work.
There's the smart alecky type who springs to his/her feet to embarrass you everytime you commit a mistake, and believe me, you will commit a mistake. Another would be the comic type which comes in two kinds - the irritating and the loveable. I can't explain it but there are certain individuals whom the class find very funny but no matter what you do, you couldn't get the humor. Nakakainis! On the other hand, the loveable type is someone whose antics you just can't resist smiling at. The class begins to suspect s/he is your favorite. Of course not but you what can you do?
The talkative is another pet-peeve of mine. How can one learn, or, in my case, do the project if one talks incessantly with the seatmate. Moreso, when one talks, it will involve more students because they'll need, no make a demand for a listener and would oftentimes require feedback.
If there's anything I learned, it would be that a teacher will never get his way by snapping in class. While it may work the first few times, it will not after the fourth. The students begin to see the pattern and they learn to accept your ramblings in one ear and let it pass to the other. They become numb and begin to loathe you and talk behind your back. (which is not good, as a matter foct, very bad, students)
Ah, teaching. I've been feeding my family from the labors of this trade. Still, I'm a happy man.