Yes! You are that teacher who got confused while standing before a large audience of the pupil. You are soaked in your frustration and lost in mystery. The hit-and-break noise coming from different corners of the classroom isn’t helping matters at hand. At a point, you began to get perspired without noticing. This is where the character of stage management comes into play
What can you do if you find yourself in the classification of teachers with a large class size? Successfully managing large groups of students is possible through a structured environment, which you can easily create when you prepare and plan accordingly.
Here are a few keys to success for managing large classrooms.
- Focus on the individual.
Individual attention helps to strengthen learning and helps teachers connect to their students. Large class sizes may seem like a hindrance to getting to know your students, but you can still make an extra effort to give awareness to those students that need it the most. Make it a point to provide individual feedback even if it’s written on individual assignments. Plus, you can find creative ways to build relationships with your students. For example, you might want to create weekly short assessments or ask a question of the day in which students are encouraged to give feedback on their improvement and special needs. This feedback will help you understand where students are excelling or struggling.
- Leverage the power of teamwork. Groups or teams work well in large class settings because they allow students to discuss ideas, brainstorm, solve problems, and help one another. It also allows teachers to shift from one group to the next to facilitate discussion, answer questions, and give feedback.
As a bonus, there are many benefits of teamwork including teaching collaboration, conflict resolution skills, time management skills, and providing students with a sense of ownership. Teamwork is a skill that is required of students when they enter the workforce. By preparing students to work together, you are teaching them a skill they will utilize throughout their lifetime.
- Minimize downtime.
Downtime a large classroom breeds disruption, off-behaviours, and other issues. So be prepared — down to the minute. Enter each class knowing exactly what you need to accomplish that day and how you plan to do so. Students should be aware of the flow and order of the class — what comes first, second, and last.
- Build in active learning.
Having a large class size doesn’t mean that you need to default to lecturing to the group. Instead, break your class time down into smaller, manageable segments. Incorporate instructional activities such as problem-solving tasks, role-play, and demonstrations to help engage students and encourage participation. Use technology to your advantage. Online tools and videos encourage engagement, spark discussion, and leverage what students are learning and retaining.
- Practice reflective teaching. Take time to think over your teaching practices. Analyze your lessons, class response, and how the practice might be improved or changed for better learning outcomes in the future.
Offer before and after school one-on-one time. Routinely make yourself available once or twice a week to spend time with students who feel they need extra help or support. Make it an open-door policy and encourage students to take advantage of the extra instructional time.