With the classes large, around thirty students in each class, classroom management could be very difficult at my placement. As a result, classroom management is very important to the school.
First of all, the set-up of the school helps manage the students. There are four floors, one for each age group, and the classrooms are all in the single, small hallway. As a result, it is very easy to monitor the hallways and make sure that all students are where they should be. In addition, instead of the students changing classrooms for each of their classes, the teachers do. This keeps the students in their classroom and therefore limits the possibility of misbehavior. The set up of the school and the administration create expectations for behavior and enforce them strictly making it easier for the teachers to monitor their classrooms.
All of the classrooms are set up with the desks separated, making it more difficult for the students to talk to each other and therefore distract each other. Furthermore, my CT constantly walks around the classroom and watches the students. This way, she can make sure that the students stay on track.
While having the desks separated helps limit teaching, the students of course still talk. However, my CT does not interrupt the class to silence them unless they are causing a disruption to others. In her mind, if a student doesn’t want to pay attention, she can’t force them to, but in the end they will not do well in the class. This very much reflects a common attitude about education in Spain: if you want to learn, you have to take the initiative and do so. While this classroom management technique allows my CT to continue to teach so as not to take time away from those who want to learn, it would be difficult to have this attitude in the US with the importance of standardized tests because there would be students who will not have learned what they needed to.
Finally, my CT also manages the classroom by making sure her classes are interesting. She adjusts her teaching methods and material based on the needs of her students rather than just sticking to what she prefers. If the class is interesting and centered on the student needs, they will want to pay attention and will therefore learn more.
With these techniques, my CT is effective in her classroom management and has earned respect from her students.