By Grace Kibe
Novice teachers aspire to have a great classroom, with students who are well behaved and academically successful. They strive to practice student-centered and culturally responsive teaching practices that meet the needs of all students. To achieve this goal, novice teachers should aim to have effective classroom management practices and high self-efficacy beliefs.
Classroom management encompasses teachers’ commitment to maintain a healthy learning environment through the establishment of rules and expectations that eliminate disruptive behaviors (Reddy, Newman, & Verdesco, 2016). Teacher self-efficacy beliefs are evaluations about teachers’ capabilities to bring about desired outcomes of student engagement and learning, even among students who are difficult and unmotivated (Bandura, 1977). This article seeks to provide amateur teachers with an understanding of how effective classroom management practices and teacher self-efficacy beliefs are vital for their success in the teaching profession particularly the first five years of teaching where teacher attrition is greatest. Further, this article will provide tips for effective classroom management practices.
Novice teachers strive to have effective classroom management skills that contribute to self-development, positive student relationships, and their love and commitment to the profession (Ekici, Gunhan, & Anilan, 2017). However, due to a dearth in teaching experience and pedagogical knowledge, some novice teachers execute ineffective classroom management practices that generate teacher stress and professional burnout, emotional exhaustion, student low achievement, and essentially teacher turnover (Wang, Hall, & Rahimi, 2015). Therefore, it is critical for novice teachers to develop effective classroom management practices so that learning can take place in the classroom, students are active and engaged in the learning process, and teachers are zealous to carry out student centered teaching practices.
Teacher Self-Efficacy and Classroom Management
Teacher self-efficacy in classroom management refers to teachers’ beliefs about their capabilities to organize and execute actions that lead to a positive learning environment (Poulou, Reddy & Dudek, 2019). Teacher self-efficacy for classroom management is a key predictor of effective classroom management strategies (Lazarides, Buchholz, & Rubach, 2018). Highly efficacious teachers employ an effective system of rules to improve student behavior, encourage student autonomy, and student engagement (Zee & Koomen, 2016). Novice teachers should develop high teacher self-efficacy beliefs so that they are able to impart information to students in a manner they can understand to the extent they can transfer the acquired knowledge to address real life problems in their communities and prospective careers.
Tips for Effectively Managing Classrooms
1. Have fun with students. Play ice-breaker games. This will motivate students to be active participants in the learning process.
2. Understand students’ personal lives to enlighten yourself of setbacks that may be a hindrance to their academic success.
3. Use authoritative style of teaching to address challenges in the classroom (Sivri & Balci, 2015).
4. Be humble, open-minded, and willing to learn from your students’ life experiences.
5. Present academic content in a way that recognizes students’ culture as an asset, rather than a hindrance to students’ educational success (Johnson & Perez, 2012).
6. Love your students. Students appreciate knowing that you love them as individuals and not based on their academic performance.
It takes courage, passion, self-sacrifice, and commitment to be an educator. Novice teachers should be recognized for choosing the teaching profession, while at the same time mentored and exposed to diverse pedagogical practices and classroom environments. Essentially, novice teachers will develop effective classroom management practices and high self-efficacy beliefs which are critical for their success particularly the first five years of teaching.
Dr. Kibe is an Educational Psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Alcorn State University. She teaches and advises students in the psychology department. Her passions include culturally responsive practices, social justice, and teaching in community settings.
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