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Τετάρτη, 1 Νοεμβρίου 2017

  General Principles of Motivation



It is teacher’s task to enhance students’ motivation

It has been acknowledged that the learning process is a complicated area that demands sophisticated approach and focus. However, it is in the teacher’s hand to eliminate students’ apathy by promoting  a well-organised course that will enhance student’s motivation. Thus, even if the student does not have any initiative to learn, a good teacher can increase the probabilities for learning to occur.

            ➢Making learning enjoyable
In order to ‘create or facilitate’ desired motivational patterns some general strategies have been developed, which become very effective in particular circumstances. First of all, it is  a gift for a teacher to make learning enjoyable. By creating a warm atmosphere, a teacher will promote continuous effort and approving attitude towards learning.

Ensure students’ active involvement
A very crucial factor for teacher to consider is to make use of students’ creativity and to ensure their active involvement in the class. Generally, teachers should excite students’ curiosity about the tasks that runs throughout the sessions. Interesting visual aids, posters, games, role-plays, board drawing, all are variables that can actually be rich sources of discussion and humor in the classroom.

Praise and feedback
Beyond any doubt, praise and, in general, prompt and positive feedback, are factors of particular importance in the process of motivating students. Students can often become ‘dismotivated’ when they have put a great deal of effort but finally do not receive any corresponding reward. Teachers should always give some indication to the students how well they have done and what they should do in order to improve themselves.
In addition, praise is usually a signal that students have succeeded and therefore increases their motivation and competence. This is the most powerful motivator that advances self-esteem. As Geoffrey Petty argues, ‘making a success  is the engine that drives the learning process.’ Once students feel that they have succeeded, they become further motivated and enthusiastic about learning.
It can be argued that in various cases praise and grades can also lead to negative results, such as conformity, competition and other undesirable outcomes. However, the teacher should avoid competition becoming severe, since this could also be an obstacle within the classroom.

The organization of the instructional material
Furthermore, ‘motivation is enhanced by the way in which the instructional material is organized. Useful material can be a driving force to learning. This is the reason why making the information meaningful to individual is an effective strategy for sustaining students’ motivation. A teacher should ensure that there are certain connections between students’ interests and taught material.
Moreover, teachers should ‘underline throughout the sessions the purpose of learning the taught material. Besides this, the relevance of the material, its appropriate level within the capacities of learners, as well as the variety of given information, enriched with appropriate and understandable examples, are additional variables, which contribute to the successful organization of the class.

 Setting Realistic goals
A basic principle which should direct teachers planning is setting general objectives that are realistic and correspond to the level of the class. This can be only achieved, if the teacher has the capacity to assess students’ readiness and progress. Moreover, the level of difficulty should be ordinary so that it can increase the probability of students’ success. Undoubtedly, all these are significant aspects of effective planning that induce high levels of motivation.

Rapport
However, above all the previous strategies, the overwhelming factor within a learning environment, which inevitably affects motivation, is the rapport; thus the relationship between teachers and students. Having in mind the variability of individual students as well as their needs, the teacher should focus on the rapport. As Scrivener emphasizes, ’rapport is not a skill or a technique that you can mimic. It is not something you do to other people. It is you and your moment-by-moment relationship with other human beings. A great majority of teachers believes that the most important condition for increasing students’ interest in the classroom is the effective relations with their students. Let us consider Marslow’s hierarchy in which the need for friendship and affiliation are of great importance. This is exactly the relationship that will encourage  or discourage students’ cooperation within the class.



Teacher’s personality:

Teacher’s enthusiasm about his subject
It is worth mentioning that teacher’s enthusiasm about his subject acquires significant role in motivating students within the classroom. On the one hand, if a teacher is bored or apathetic, students will imitate his/her behavior. On the other hand, a motivated and enthusiastic teacher, who works with his/her students and is aware of individual feelings and thoughts within the class, will apparently guarantee students motivation and success.

Teacher’s authenticity
A necessary presupposition to teacher’s effectiveness is his authenticity, hence being himself with honesty and respect. Gaie Houston (1990) has written that ‘the foundation of rapport is to learn yourself [as a teacher] that you know what style you have and [if] you are truthful to yourself. Beyond any doubt, the nature of teacher’s behavior seems to be closely connected with students’ motivation patterns. Consequently, motivation and rapport are two variables strongly connected under the umbrella of effective teaching.

Clarification between intrinsic and extrinsic motivated learners
A clarification should be made between intrinsic and extrinsic motivated students. Allowing for internal motivation, therefore self directed, it can be argued that ‘it lasts longer than external motivation.’ Moreover, the former has to be ‘facilitated’; however, the later must be repeatedly reinforced by the teacher, with praise or concrete rewards. Consequently, ‘learning is more effective when an individual is ready to learn, that is, when one wants to know something’. However, even if a teacher is among highly motivated students, he should not rely on their good will, yet he/she should continue to encourage their motivation.

It can be argued that teacher has a significant role in advancing students’ motivation. This should be classified among the basic priorities of classroom management since motivation is the driving force that promotes learning process. This is the reason why before entering the class, the teacher ought to have in mind, how to create a learning environment in which motivation will be the dominant issue.


Conclusion
In our attempt to explore motivational patterns in an educational organization, we have basically concentrated our focus on teachers and students, the core of school environment. Bearing in mind the previous analysis, it is essential to mention that motivation is a crucial concern for school managers and teachers towards their ‘subordinates’. Forced by individual needs, people are motivated and this is reflected through their behavior. More specifically, in a school, teaching staff can be activated by the motivational environment that managers have set. In the same way, teachers can create the appropriate conditions, in which students’ motivation will be increased. In concluding, an effective school, which will promote individual progress, can be created only when people ‘do their best’, as a consequence of their motivation.


Despina Grivaki
Director of Studies & School Owner

BA in English Culture and Language Studies
MA in Organisation Planning and Management In Education



References
Petty,G., 1998,Teaching Today, 2nd edition, Cheltenham, Stanley Thornes Ltd.
Scrivener,J.,1994, Learning Teaching, Oxford, Macmillan Heinemann Ltd.
Internet Resource: http://www.hcc.hawii.edu//internet/committes/facDevcom/guidek/teachtip/motivate/htm.



Τετάρτη, 14 Ιουνίου 2017

Motivation - Part 1

Motivation - Part 1 



Motivation plays a substantial role in both an individual’s and an organization’s performance. The importance of motivation also applies to the school community, where teachers’ and students’ achievement define the effectiveness of educational process. The desire to explore, understand and learn is in the human nature and constitutes the main motivator of the educational process. According to the Motivational Systems Theory, the concept of motivation is defined ‘as the organized patterning of an individual’s personal goals, emotions, and personal […] beliefs’. In particular, the concept of motivation is classified into two basic types: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. As far as intrinsic motivation is  concerned, it is associated with personal needs and development. However, extrinsic motivation functions as a means to achieve setting goals.

Part 1.Motivating Teaching Staff
The following section will briefly present the basic theory –Maslow’s Theory-that is adopted in order to motivate teachers, who are the main resource that the school possesses. It is the responsibility of the school manager to energize others into action, thus motivating teaching staff to be committed to the school’s achievements. Undoubtedly, problems such as poor and insufficient quality of work arise from low motivational patterns. It is the task of the manager to create the conditions, in which teachers’ motivating needs, can be fulfilled.
Definition of Motivation
Before looking at what a school leader can do to support the motivation of the teaching staff, it is essential to give a brief definition of motivation at work. ‘Motivation is what drives individuals to work in the way they do to fulfil goals, needs or expectations.’ When thinking about motivation, the needs that motivate the behavior of the staff in the organization should be taken into consideration. ‘Motivation [is seen] as an intervening variable between human needs and behavior.’
   →
             Human Needs            Motivation    →    Behavior
Indeed people have different needs and are motivated by different things. This is the reason why school leaders should find appropriate strategies corresponding to various need.


An introduction to Maslow’s ‘Staircase Model of Motivation’
It is worth mentioning that various theories on motivation have been developed, however, our concentration will be drawn on the most important, Maslow’s theory. In order to understand how to motivate human beings, we should primarily familiarize ourselves with Marslow’s ‘Staircase Model of Motivation’ (1943). The force that drives people to join an organization and work towards the goals that have been set, is a hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, ‘most people needs [are] satisfied in an ascending order through the staircase, […and hence], [people] are motivated to attempt to satisfy the higher needs only when the lower lever needs are no longer demanding attention.’





Psychological    →     Safety  →     Social    →    Esteem    →     Self-Actualization






Analysis of Maslow’s Theory
Psychological needs
As the diagram indicates, as soon as man’s needs are, to some extent, satisfied, another need appears in its place, as a motivator. To start with the lowest level, we observe the Psychological needs, which satisfy good working conditions. It is of great importance to say that ‘a manager’s first step in motivating his [staff] should be to create an organizational climate which emphasizes and rewards appropriate achievement.’ In such a positive environment,  teachers will give a better performance.
In addition, goals that are set by the leader do play a main role in advancing a motivating organizational climate. ‘If there is no goal in place, extant emotional energy will be expended aimlessly and unproductively, like a car idling in neutral.’ In fact, in motivational terms the goals setting is an effective way of increasing performance.
It has been argued that an educational environment promoting training is an important factor for teacher’s development  and improvement. It is reasonable for a teacher, to be motivated enough and perform successfully, if the educational organization provides him useful training sessions.

Safety needs

Once the basic psychological needs are satisfied, then the Safety needs emerge. Undoubtedly, job security is important to school teachers. ‘[…]the assurance of life tenure and a guaranteed pension may be strong motivating factors in their participation in employing [educational] organizations.’
Needless to say, financial security is probably the most effective way of motivating staff. However, it does not mean that offering money always increases motivation. It is true that in various cases performance is not linked to earnings, however, in others, the low income is a reason for the insufficient performance of the staff. This is why it is not wrong to say that people are primarily concerned about the amount of wages they earn. This is the point where Maslow’s theory comes to agree, by stressing the priority to fulfil the lower needs in order to extent personal interest to a higher level.

Social needs
When the above needs are satisfied, teachers have a strong need of belonging to the school environment and to be accepted by the school manager and the colleague, as important motivators in their organizational behavior. Furthermore, relationships, created within the school, constitute an important part of hierarchy. If this rank is unfulfilled, teachers may have low levels of interest and commitment to goals on which a big part of achievement depends.


Esteem needs
Beyond any doubt, progress through the hierarchy is more likely as more important needs are satisfied. Hence, moving up the hierarchy of needs, teachers are motivated by the needs for esteem, respect, achievement, status, recognition or approval from others. Esteem needs reflect the desire to be regarded by others. In that point, we should say that by involving teachers, school managers give their recognition and to a further extent, increase their responsibility. Moreover, participation in making decisions, as how some issues should be done, is a motivating factor. Through that way, teachers feel personally accountable for the results of their work, develop their status and are lead to reach high  levels of achievement.
In addition to the above, appraisal is one of the central staff management functions. It has the objective of developing teacher’s skills and motivation.  Appraisal is connected with respect, recognition and praise. Being admired and respected, gaining recognition for a successful job, encouragement and praise, are means through which teachers can be motivated.
Moreover, teachers cannot make progress towards their goals in absence of relevant feedback information. Feedback, which facilitates improvement, is a crucial element in motivating teachers. Teachers need to know how well their job is being performed. In addition, headteachers should reward good performance and give them guidelines instead of criticizing poor performance. When teachers receive feedback on work performance, they will possibly increase their expectancies concerning their development.
Although teaching, as an occupation, does not offer a big opportunity for advancement, it remains one of the most important aspects for motivating staff. ‘If one wishes to advance in teaching, he must leave teaching for a related education profession such as [administrators, headteachers, etc]’. Through the process of advancement, an individual is elevated to a higher status.

Self-actualization

Having satisfied the above mentioned needs, self actualization is the highest level of needs in Maslow’s view. In that point, we deal with the desire for self-fulfillment, personal development and growth. This final stage constitutes the consequence of achievement goals and being successful at work.

Classification of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators

As the above theory indicates, a person is motivated by a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Variables such as involvement, responsibility, personal growth and recognition enforce the staff to act effectively within the school environment. However, organizational climate, training, feedback, performance, appraisal are considered to be some of the main extrinsic needs which can motivate teachers in school environment.

In concluding, it could be argued that whatever steps school managers take to motivate teachers, they should have in their mind that the latter work at their best, when they achieve satisfaction from their work. Motivational techniques such as payment, earning of privileges and personal growth increase the expectancy and productivity of the teaching staff.



Despina Grivaki
Director of Studies & School Owner

BA in English Culture and Language Studies
MA in Organisation Planning and Management In Education









References
Bush,T. and J.Burnham, (1994), The principle of Educational Management, London, Longman Ltd.
Dunham, J.(1995), Developing Effective School Management, London, Routledge Ltd.
Ford, M.E.(1992), Motivating Humans; Goals, Emotions and Personal Agency Beliefs, London, Sage Publications.
Owens, R.G., (1987), Organizational Behavior in Education, Prentice-Hall, Inc., USA.

Robertson, I. and M. Smith (1985), Motivation and job design: theory, research and practice, Bradford on Avon, Dotesios Printers.

Motivation - Part 2

Part 2. Motivating Students


Definition of Motivation
Sandra teaches mathematics in a comprehensive school. She spends years trying to teach elementary arithmetic to Terry, a slow learning pupil. She claimed very little success, and the boy left school without even a minute qualification in mathematics. Two years later Sandra came across Terry doing calculations such as 501-(17+11+[2×19 )in his head. Terry had no difficulty with this; he could complete such a calculation accurately. He could complete such a calculation accurately in seconds. Sandra could barely keep up with him. She asked him how he had learned to do in his head, in two years, what he was unable to learn how to do on paper in five years.

Comments on the introductory Task
Judging from the previous example we could argue that Terry was not motivated enough to learn in Sandra’s classroom. He really had the capacity to learn but he did not have the incentive to develop his cognitive ability. It was only his interest for playing darts that gave him the opportunity to become motivated in learning mathematics. This example lead us to consider the elements that constitute motivation as well as the factors that encourage students to become self-motivated, thus active learners.

Introduction
According to Ericksen’s argumentation ‘effective learning in the classroom depends on the teacher’s ability to maintain the interest that brought student to the course in the first place. Beyond the type of motivation that a person acquires, some basic principles of motivation exist that are applicable to  learning in any situation. Before analyzing these strategies it is worth mentioning the basic reasons that enforce students to want to learn.

Reasons for wanting to learn:

Ø  What I am learning is useful to me
Following Geoffrey Petty’s argumentation, many students are motivated to learn things that are considered to be useful to them. Thus, someone can be motivated to learn French since he wants to study in France. In addition, some students obtain a long-term aim, such as getting qualifications for a successful career, which is powerful implement that keeps them motivated.

Ø  The anxiety and the fear of an implementing failure
Needless to say, someone does not remain motivated under the pressure of a persistent failure. It is true that the anxiety and the fear of an implementing failure is another factor that keeps student motivated. Indeed, the fear of failure is an equal and sometimes more motivating force than the desire to succeed. Students often lose confidence due to continuous failures and therefore their performance is deteriorated.
Ø  Success and self-esteem
Furthermore, in the circle of learning process: target-success-reinforcement-new target etc. the desire to obtain success, particularly, high grades, is the motivator for setting a new target and thus confirming the sustained interest in the learning process. It is worth mentioning this point’s relation to Maslow’s theory, where self-esteem is a necessary condition for an achievement.
  Ø Advancing self-esteem through teacher’s and peers’ acceptance
Moreover, the desire to maintain a high level of self-esteem towards the teacher and the peers often reinforces students to participate in classroom effectively, even though the task does not inspire their interest. Following Maslow’s theory it is true that recognition and respect from the teacher and the peers can lead the student to a higher level of self-esteem.
    Ø  Learning activities are just fun
The students can also be willing to participate effectively in the classroom, even though they are not particularly interested in the task, if the learning activities animate great creativity and enjoyment. The completion of various tasks ‘is just fun’ and this is an adequate incentive for them to participate essentially.
    Ø  Satisfying curiosity through interesting learning
Last but not least, our curiocity is often satisfied through learning. Various questions that draw our
interest can be answered during the sessions. Consequently, this is a further reason for us to want to
learn.


Despina Grivaki
Director of Studies & School Owner

BA in English Culture and Language Studies
MA in Organisation Planning and Management In Education
  

References
Scrivener, J.( 1994), Learning Teaching, Oxford, United Kingdom, Macmillan Ltd.
Petty, G. (1998), Teaching Today; 2nd Edition, United Kingdom, Stanley Thornes Ltd.
Ericksen,C.L. (1978), “The Lecture”;Memo to the Faculty,no.60.University of Michigan, Ann Arbor: Center for Research on Teaching and Learning.
Skehan,P.(1989), Individual Differences in Second-Language Learning, London, Edward Arnord.
Internet Resource:
http://www.hcc.hawii.edu//internet/committees/facDevcom/guidek/teachtip/motivate/htm.











Παρασκευή, 9 Ιουνίου 2017

Effective Classroom Management - Part 1

Effective Classroom Management - Part 1



Part 1. Effective teaching
Whenever the bell rings and the schoolroom’s door shuts, nobody can actually imagine how the lesson is run and whether the teachers perform their duties accordingly. Various critics have pointed out that the concept of classroom management is a very complex issue.
The theory of school effectiveness incorporates a number of different levels within the organization of the school, out of which, the classroom level is the most important. In order to examine the concept of classroom management it is essential to focus on the idea of effective teaching and learning that constitute the wider sense of a successful classroom.
It is true that all of us have attended numerous hours of lecturing where the teacher is the predominantly active person in the classroom. However, judging from my own experience, I can scarcely remember things the teacher said in the classroom. What I can really recall from my school memories is my active participation within the classroom, the extensive discussions and speculations that we had with our teachers.  
It is true that an effective teacher is someone who works with other people, basically students; therefore, creating warm relationships and a pleasant atmosphere within the classroom. In a further interpretation, effective teachers view themselves as people who create the conditions in which learning can take place, not only for students but also for their own personalities.
In fact, teaching is only one factor in what is learned. A teacher should always keep in mind how to encourage students in order to participate in the classroom and to be interested in learning. As Geoffrey Petty emphasizes in his practical guide towards teachers, ‘the greatest challenge that many teachers face is to make their students want to learn’.
Undoubtedly, motivation is a crucial factor for effective learning. In all essentials, what a teacher can do is to sustain the interest of ‘internal[1] motivated students, or to increase the interest of ‘external’ motivated students, to participate in the sessions by repeatedly encouraging them.
                       
There are a number of factors that can establish an effective rapport, hence create an effective learning atmosphere in the classroom.  However, the driving force in this process is the personality of the teacher that establishes the positive environment, in which effective learning can take place. As an English proverb indicates ‘no one forgets the good teachers’; this should be the enforcing factor for teachers, to look how to become effective, thus remarkable and unforgettable to their students.
Following Scrivener’s argumentation, effective teachers really listens to their students by showing respect to them. In addition, an effective teacher always gives clear and positive feedback. Moreover, they have a good sense of humor that always accompany their teaching. They are patient and know their subject well. This is the reason why they inspire confidence to their students. In addition, they trust them and emphasize with their problems.
The way in which the teacher plans the lesson as well as organizes the material is a further reason for inspiring an effective way of learning. Moreover, another important aspect for the teacher to consider, is the difficulty of the teaching material’s level, that should be within the learning abilities of the learners. This is the reason why teachers should not complicate things unnecessarily; however, they should encourage students to be successful.
Finally, respect, empathy and authenticity are suggested to be three core characteristics, which a successful teacher should have, in order to promote an effective environment. Teachers should not be hidden behind the mask of their role, but they own to be themselves. From a students’ perspective, a teacher should not be considered as being ‘omniscient’, however, students should always keep in mind that their teachers are human beings, who also enrich their experience through their position.
As the previous analysis indicate, a stimulating environment, in connection with active participation within the classroom, can provide the basis for a constructive approach to management and control in the classroom. Consequently, the main concern of a teacher should be ‘how to create the proper conditions, in which students will be able to learn.’
Unquestionably, the fundamental step towards success would be students’ active involvement. The teacher, as an instructor, should enable student to work at their own initiative. Moreover, teachers should avoid giving long explanations and instructions and above all, they should enable students in evaluating their own work. Generally, the engagement of students in the learning process is the priority that should direct a teacher’s mind. Last but not least, a teacher’s goal is to help students become self-controlled, self-reliant and self directed. Positive and frequent reinforcement as well as encouragement, in combination with close observation, are key strategies in promoting effective learning.

References
Scrivener, J.( 1994), Learning Teaching, Oxford, United Kingdom, Macmillan Ltd.
Petty, G. (1998), Teaching Today; 2nd Edition, United Kingdom, Stanley Thornes Ltd.
Fry, H.,Ketteridge, S., and Marshall, S., (1999), A Handbook for Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, Great Britain, Longman
Internet Resource:http://www.osr.state.ga.us/bestprac/classroom/cmp-2htm,p.1



Despina Grivaki
Director of Studies & School Owner

BA in English Culture and Language Studies
MA in Organisation Planning and Management In Education




[1] With the term intrinsic (internal) motivation, we mean the kind of motivation corresponding closely to personal development and with the term extrinsic (external) motivation, we mean the kind of motivation corresponding to means to an end. 

Effective Classroom Management - Part 2

 Effective Classroom Management





Part 2. Effective learning
Looking outside the classroom, it can be argued that in everyday life people learn ‘by trial and error’. Various sources of acquiring knowledge are following the instructions of a prospectus, reading a manual, asking an experienced, probably an older person and taking advice and feedback. Comparing real world with the microcosm of classroom, it can be argued that similar factors advance the learning process.

As Scrivener’s survey indicates, ‘the process of learning often involves five steps: doing something, recalling what happened, reflecting in that, drawing conclusions, using conclusions to inform and prepare for future practical experience’.



 Judging from the experimental circle, it could be concluded that giving people the opportunities to do things is the best way of enabling them to learn. Practical experience is the most helpful method, as it emerges from the experiential circle, since students become more aware about ‘how they are learning’. Moreover, it is a lesson of life that ‘mistakes promote human development’. Similarly, mistakes help students as well as ‘learning teaches’ to become better. As a consequence, the experiential circle evaluates the importance of ‘experience’ during the learning process and urge teachers to act based on a popular teaching verdict:           
‘The more I do myself, the less space there will be for the learners to do things.’            
                                                                                     

References
Scrivener, J.( 1994), Learning Teaching, Oxford, United Kingdom, Macmillan Ltd.



Despina Grivaki
Director of Studies & School Owner

BA in English Culture and Language Studies
MA in Organisation Planning and Management In Education

Effective Classroom Management - Part 3

Effective Classroom Management - Part 3




Part 3. Key Elements of effective management  
Sufficient teaching and learning, are the two components that constitute the effective management within a classroom. Taking our research to a further level, it can be argued that beside effective teaching and learning, there are various other factors that complete the concept of classroom management. As  Elton’s Report indicates, certain key elements of good discipline are raised, which are considered to be substantial factors in achieving good standards of classroom management.
First of all, planning is always considered to be a valuable start for school’s organization. In addition, a positive environment, which assures enjoyment, praise and motivation for students, as well as the precise evaluation and feedback, always demonstrates effective management and control within the classroom. Furthermore, a stimulating organization in the schoolroom, like the arrangement of the desks, the cleanness of the room and other physical factors, contribute to an interesting and constructive classroom. Finally, as Elton’s Report indicates, basic rules and measures provide opportunities for respectful and fair relations in the classroom.
Planning
‘A lot is going to happen on the spot in the classroom - you can’t ever completely predict how learners will respond to anything - but the better prepared you are, the more likely it is that you will be ready to cope with whatever happens.’
A dynamic way for teachers to avoid crisis management is to prepare their lesson in advance. Before teachers go into the lesson, it helps them to know exactly ‘what they wants to do’.
There are various forms of planning (formal and informal  plan, a brief ‘running order’)[1], which teachers use, since they find it very helpful during their careers. Some experienced teacher have the ability to enter into the  classroom without a planning lesson. However, the majority of teachers plan their lesson in advance, so that they can find themselves more prepared and familiar with the subject matter in question.
Following Scrivener’s argumentation, whenever the teachers plans their lesson, they  should consider if their learners would enjoy the lesson as well as if they are going to benefit from it. Furthermore, the teaching point, thus the topic of the lesson, should be the director of the plan. Beside this, the activities that are going to take place, the procedure of the session and the materials used, should also be part of their planning. Timing and room organization, are additional variables included in the concept of classroom management and therefore in the process of planning.
However, above all, the whole plan should be based upon its initial aim, which is the reason why the seminar runs. The aim directs the lesson since it defines what your learners ought to have achieved by the end of the lesson.
It is true that planning enables smooth running of the lesson. According to Jeremy Harmer, ‘planning strongly suggests a level of professionalism and a commitment to the kind of preparation [students] might reasonably expect. [However], lack of plan may suggest the opposite of these attributes.’ Inevitably, effectiveness is associated with planning and vice versa. Nevertheless, teachers should follow a general rule:
‘Prepare thoroughly. But in the class teach the learners not the plan.’
Promoting Positive environments
A teacher should always be able to generate a pleasant atmosphere within the classroom. It has been mentioned above, that a teacher should always try to involve students into activities that are not extremely difficult so that progress can be achieved.
Providing conditions for successful work, the teacher ought to give clear and immediate feedback. By recognizing success and by giving public recognition of achievement to students, individual self esteem is highly promoted.
Effective communication is also a factor of great importance, which builds the foundation for effective classroom management. A teacher ought to face his learners as different, nevertheless, equally respectful individuals that have ‘a voice’ within the community of school. This is the reason why they should ask for students’ account in every decision that is required. Needless to say, humiliation, sarcasm and insult should be excluded from teachers’ memorandum.
Another aspect of classroom management that contributes to effective learning is the way which students are evaluated. In order to give written feedback, a teacher should always consider some basic rules. A student’s progress very much depends upon his encouragement that is reinforced through his remarks.  Feedback should always include positive as well as negative comments, which should indicate how a mark could be improved. The teacher should ensure that he/she  links the given grade to the comments, as well as that his/her feedback does not convey any personal judgment. Getting his feedback, the student should also be aware of the criteria and the expectation for the standard of future work.
In general terms, the purpose of written feedback is to provide information to students about their performance and progress, to give guidance for improvement and to encourage them for prospective success.
For many teachers, the organization of the classroom is not a predominant factor to consider, when planning their lessons. Nevertheless, it has been stated that the atmosphere, in which teaching takes place, could have an influence of great importance in students’ performance.
Firstly, the arrangement of the desks is very effective within the classroom. Changing seating arrangements can help students interact with different people, change the focus from the teacher when appropriate, allow a range of different situations to be recreated within the classroom, as well as simply adding some variety to the predictability of sitting in the same place every time.
In a circle or horseshoe arrangement, learners can very much interact with each other. Therefore, it is worth taking time to arrange the seating in the classroom, since this is a factor that effects students’ interaction and helps teachers to monitor the learners effectively.
Secondly, besides seating, a pleasant and welcoming environment can be a pole of attraction rather than repulsion for learners. Consequently, an effective teacher should also consider the seating within the classroom, whether he/she wants to approach perfection with his/her planning.
Whatever the teachers plan and consider for their lesson, they should follow the curriculum context. Having the curriculum in mind, the activities in combination with the demands of the lesson, will be realistic, meaningful and achievable. Moreover, monitoring and assessment, feedback and correction should closely follow the general held instructions so that justice within the school community can be approved.
Another aspect that ensures students’ rights is the proper division between teacher ΤΤΤ-(Τeachers’ Talking Time) and student STT-(Students’ Talking Time). As the definition of the effective teaching describes, ‘teaching is only one factor in the learning process’ and therefore, students should equally have the opportunity to participate in discussion during sessions.
It is necessary for the teacher to consider the value of fairness and hence to be consistent with an individual student and fair in working with all learners. This is the reason why ‘punishment’ has to be carried out so that the wrongdoer will not fall out of line again.
‘Successful classroom management involves not only responding effectively when problems occur, but preventing the frequent occurrence of problems.’ Therefore, the teacher has to be proactive and take preventive measure in order to anticipate problems. The teacher should stop unacceptable behavior before it escapes, and thus, spotting incidents in the making. Whatever trouble he/she has to face, they should not lose their temper, however, they should stay calm and take the control of the situation in their hands.
As far as teachers’ expectations are concerned, teachers ought to be clear and precise over their expectation as well as to communicate them accordingly. It has been argued that the rules and the standards that direct classroom community have to be agreed from both sides, with the intentions to promote an appropriate and acceptable climate in the classroom, which will be a motivating factor for students’ performance.
Finally, the setting of the communication boundaries is a prerequisite over which the positive atmosphere can be sustained. This is why they have to be clear and unambiguous so that everyone will be able to correspond to the classroom community effectively.
It can be concluded that the concept of classroom management is a very complex one, which demands sophisticated approach and focus. A gifted teacher has the capacity to consider multiple variables that could affect his/her lesson, before entering into the classroom. However, in the same way, a good teacher could also be trained to achieve excellence by learning basic aspects of classroom management. A teacher always plays an influential and determinant role in pupil’s lives. A teacher becomes the prototype of the students from their early age and this determines  the boundaries of obligation on individual teachers, to base their lesson on morality and perfection.
We need to know the principles of classroom management, if we want to design courses effectively. It is not a matter of optional choice, it is a matter of requirement.
Perhaps the overriding consideration to keep in mind is that schools are there for the benefit of children, and if they choose not to avail themselves of this benefit, we must look not only at children themselves, but at the way in which this benefit is being packaged.

                                                                                     
References
Scrivener, J.( 1994), Learning Teaching, Oxford, United Kingdom, Macmillan Ltd.
Cohen, L.Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (1996), A guide to teaching practice 4th Edition, Great Britain, Bell and Bain Ltd.
Fontana, D.(1995), Psychology for Teacher, Great Britain, Palgrave Publishers Ltd. And PBC Books.
‘Small Group Teaching and Marking’, Centre for Staff Training and Development, Paper, 2001


Despina Grivaki
Director of Studies & School Owner

BA in English Culture and Language Studies
MA in Organisation Planning and Management In Education







[1] A formal lesson plan often contains two parts: an outline of the procedure of the lesson (activities, timing)  and background information (aims, material, predicted problems).
An informal lesson plan is mainly based on notes about the procedure that the teacher plans to follow.
A brief 'running order’ is the simplest type of lesson, used by many teachers, ‘a running order’ of the activities, perhaps with a note of specific language points or materials that will be used.