This post was originally written in 2009 on this blog which was very very new and had very few readers.
I have updated it with two videos of a Pecha Kucha which was inspired by it and you will find them at the end of the post. Both post & original talk and PK's are spoof, delivered tongue in cheek and I particularly enjoyed doing them. I hope you will find some use for them.
This short post includes my notes from a presentation I did some years ago at a conference for Foreign Language School Owners in Greece where I was specifically asked to present a workshop on good classroom management.
This inspired me to use Gilbert's model, in some cases with phrases lifted right off his table (p.87) and in many cases, adding my own ideas to categories of teacher behaviours typically associated with good classroom management.
The idea generated this worksheet. The participants were, at some point during my workshop, involved in commenting on the statements below and, of course, turning them into positive, empowering teacher behaviours.
Handout given to participants:
Rapport – classroom atmosphere
Scowl and frown as often as possible – this should make you look serious and busy
Never smile or show warmth – familiarity breeds discontempt
Encouraging smiles are for young classes – adult classes don’t need such nonsense
Avoid jokes and humour – the classroom is a place for work
Create an atmosphere of high anxiety
Threaten students with spot tests and low performance ratings as often as you can
Setting up activities: guidelines to students
Make your guidelines as confusing as you can
Never check to see whether your students have understood your instructions
Don’t bother to help or support students or groups who are lost
Avoid explaining the purposes of activities – you were not meant to give your students free teacher training!!
Give them as little guidance as possible and only if pushed against the wall
Never show them how to perform well
Hide what is expected of your students as much as possible
Never tell them what you expect them to do in case they might get smart
Don’t mix or match groups according to levels of ability or personality
Make sure the loudest, most domineering students are working with the shyest ones
Never allocate tasks in group work – your students should already know how to work in a team
Training your learners
Leave training to chance – you are there only to explain grammar & vocabulary
Your students should already know how to participate in class activities – so they are OK
If you decide – against all good judgement – to do some learner training, make it unnecessarily difficult
In that case, also make training irrelevant to your students’ needs and objectives
Never give your students choice – this means you might have to do more work
Design activities and materials without ever consulting with your learners
Schedule difficult activities for times when your learners are not at their sharpest
Avoid using activities that your learners could find motivating or pleasant
Teacher’s Position and Movement
Always remain seated behind your desk – learners must know where to find you
When you do move, pounce! This should keep them on their toes…
When the students are working in groups, butt in and participate
In fact, that is an excellent time to tell them some choice episodes from you personal life
Eye Contact & Attention Spread
Avoid looking at all the students; too much eye contact breeds familiarity
You should only look at your favourite students – ignore everyone else
When a student is talking, do something useful, e.g. write on the board
Always ask your best students – ignore the rest
Ask your weaker students questions you know they could never answer
When a weaker student is talking, remember to glare and show disapproval
Your Language & Using your Voice
Treat your learners as if they were five year olds – talk to them simply and very loudly
Call them ‘children’ as often as possible – establish your authority
Being polite is not in your job description – you need to assert yourself over them
Avoid using simple language everyone can understand – show off your knowledge of terminology
The more abstruse and vague you are, the more respect you will inspire
Giving Students Feedback
Give your students misleading information about their overall performance
Never let your students know how well they are performing
If anyone makes a mistake, do not neglect to comment on their low IQ
Name students who made serious mistakes and laugh at them to motivate them to study
Correct everything – preferably while a student is talking, for a lasting effect
Never correct any of your favourite students – praise them warmly instead
Make sure that poor performers get the same marks as good performers
See to it that good performance gets punished in some way
Please feel free to use this as a handout for your workshops or discuss during teachers' meetings on the subject.
Finally, someone who has recognised, applauded and wrote a follow up post to highlight my words of infinite wisdom.... A Model for Classroom Incompetence by TEFL Tradesman - what other laurels would I need? Edublog awards, eat your heart out!
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