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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Teaching in Saudi Arabia Part Four: Classroom Management Tipsagement Tips for New Teachers

--> Teaching in Saudi Arabia Part Four: Classroom Management Tips

We asked teachers to comment on what new teachers should avoid doing to manage class behavior.

How to manage your class:

“Do not equate Western behavior with Saudi behavior. Never use Western experience as a point of reference.’’

“Avoid anything that even resembles militant authoritarianism. At least once a day, a student will request something (generally the altering of attendance) which we aren't in the position to grant. Don't yell, don't express irritation. Be kind, explain the rules they already know too well, and repeat as necessary. If every teacher was more consistent with the established standards, we wouldn't have nearly as many students requesting exceptions.’’

Don`t lose your temper, yell, humiliate or single out the girls.’’

“Establish rules from the start of the semester; get the class to make up their own class rules and explain why the rules are important and penalties for breaking them. I would do this together with the class. I would also advise teachers to be firm but nice, and be quick to reward good behaviour.’’

“Clear rules, listen but don't encourage excuses and tell them that such issues can be addressed after class time - they usually forget or don't want to waste their own break time. Don't negotiate/debate!’’

Smiles and gentleness work, whatever the message. Frowns don't. The students are quite naive and young in maturity but want to think they are mature young ladies. Treat them with the respect of 18-19 yr olds, but if they misbehave tell them you don't want to have to treat them like children. Criticise the behaviour not them. This is important in any teaching but particularly here due to personal honour.’’

“Build relationship. Smile smile, smile. Be organised, always plan lessons, think about tasks & movement, clear objectives, lots of visuals, begin lesson with a quick task game, engages brain & helps to deal with latecomers.’’

“Respect their students, set ground rules and be consistent.’’

“Don't be wishy washy: You either need to have masses of charisma or a solid teacher persona. You need to be firm but with a sense of fun when they are on side. They somehow need to sense you love them, but not any misbehaviour. Don't give up, every day is a fresh start,

“Be careful not to offend individual students as this could backfire on you when the student complains to management. They will be believed and you will need to justify your actions. In another country / part of the world I would say all the cliche things: don't single out any one student, don't get angry with the class, don't play one student off against another, but in all honesty, I have found myself doing everyone of those things in the classroom here in Saudi Arabia. And at times, some of the above actually worked. And that is just it: in Saudi, you have to try everything with students, no matter what level they are. Classroom management and student motivation to actually do some work will be the biggest hurdle.’’

“I’m not sure if classroom management is different in Saudi to elsewhere but it is important to note the maturity of these girls are not the same as their age elsewhere. Their mentality is still very high school like and they lack life experiences. So disciplinary actions should be used as if we were in a high school environment in the West.’’

“Never treat them like small children or undermine their confidence.’’

“They should avoid yelling at the students like they are children, and give them some accountability.’’

1 comment:

  1. Hello teachers and educators,

    I am a Saudi female teacher enrolling at TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) master program at University of Birmingham (UK). As a part of my study, I have offered a great opportunity to visit a number of local British schools. During my classroom observations, I have noticed that United Kingdom schools are knowledgeable about classroom discipline field and the teachers have relevant managerial skills in this area. Regarding to the first comment posted:

    “Do not equate Western behavior with Saudi behavior. Never use Western experience as a point of reference.’’

    I would like to comment that during my visits around UK’s schools, I have observed a number of students’ behaviors and the tips teachers have used to remedy those undesired deeds. As an experienced teacher, it must be noted there is no difference between Saudi and British students’ behaviors as well as the teachers’ strategies to maintain their classrooms discipline, However, the British schools might be more systematic and unified in following a fixed policy from the beginning of the school year. Classroom management is a universal and challenging issue, in which teachers have to collaborate and search for the best disciple framework to insure that their pedagogic goals are fulfilled and the students’ needs are met.

    In my course, I have done a research in this area, comparing Saudi and British school contexts and proposed an action plan to implement some of the effective ideas I saw here in Saudi Arabian schools. I would be happy to provide you a copy of these papers.

    Best Wishes Teachers! ☺


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