Controlling a Classroom – Are Teachers up to It?
Back in the days when I was in school, I used to look up to my teachers as if they were demigods who could do no wrong. In my eyes, they were perfect and I strived to do my best for them because I wanted to please them in every possible way. It was only as I grew older that the sheen lifted from my eyes and I realized that teachers were human as well. But within the confines of a classroom, any teacher worth his salt has a demeanor to uphold, one that portrays dignity and knowledge. They come across as learned in their subject and wise in other areas as well.
For example, teachers who handle younger students are often able to read children even though they are not trained psychologists. They have a knack for picking out trouble makers and isolating them from the rest of the class so that any impending chaos is nipped in the bud. And professors in college know that they’re not really responsible for the moral behavior of their students and as long as their classes are not disturbed or interrupted, they don’t really worry about their students’ performance.
But even though the best of teachers appear to be unflappable most of the time and seem in control of any situation, there are times when their human nature tends to come out and affect the way they control their classroom:
· When their personal lives are affected: My fifth grade teacher was the best in the business, so when she broke down in the middle of a lesson on the first day of a new term, we were all stunned to say the least. She had always seemed so cool and controlled, never exceeding her limits of friendliness that were couched in a teacher’s veneer. We later learned that her husband had passed away during the vacation, in a boating accident. That was the day I realized that personal tragedy can overcome even the staunchest of us in any situation.
· When they cannot regain control of a classroom: Most teachers know how to control their classes, but when one or two rogue elements succeed in creating havoc and causing a ruckus, things get out of hand and the teacher does not really know what to do. So they resort to shouting and screaming, all of which is to no avail. Then comes the loss of temper and the total helplessness which forces them to sit back and do nothing other than wait for the class to settle down on its own. The only way they can regain control is if they appeal to a higher authority or use their powers to threaten the students in some way.
· When they don’t have the support of the school management: And finally, teachers who do not have the backing of the school management always find themselves at the receiving end in class, no matter how good they are at their job. Troublemakers know that they are helpless, and so take great pleasure in disrupting their classes and causing mayhem.
The bottom line - a teacher must be knowledgeable in much more than the subject – only then can he or she be king/queen of the classroom.