Effective Classroom Management Is a Teacher’s Key to Success in USA
With all the discussion around curriculum choices and assessment tests in U.S. schools, there’s one subject that does not get nearly enough attention: effective classroom management. Yet, it’s this one skill that plays a critical role in the success of a teacher in the USA.
The first key factor in effective classroom management is being able to keep control and discipline over students. That means laying out clear expectations about behavior in the classroom, establishing clear learning goals, and asserting quick control over the classroom whenever there is a breakdown in discipline.
In the USA, there is much more of a sense that a teacher must “earn” the respect of his or her students. As a result, students will often test a teacher, to see how far they can go, and what the new norms for the classroom will be. This, in many ways, is different than the culture in other countries, where teachers are typically given greater respect, especially if they are older.
And yet, teachers in the USA are not so much disciplinarians as they are orchestrators and conductors of a collaborative learning experience. And so the second key factor in effective classroom management is being able to establish a cooperative, collaborative learning environment. As part of this collaborative learning approach, teachers are expected to adopt flexible learning goals, which can be tailored to the needs and requirements of the class.
And here’s too that the style of effective classroom management also differs than the style found in other countries. In other nations, there is a clear difference between “right” and “wrong” when it comes to answering questions from a teacher. In the USA, it is much more difficult for a teacher to tell a student that they just gave a wrong answer. Instead, they will be told that “perhaps there is a better answer.” This hints at the collaborative nature of learning – the teachers and students have formed a type of partnership to find the right answers.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind the attention paid to high-needs students in the United States. According to many estimates, as many as 10-20 percent of all students in public schools suffer from mental, emotional or behavioral disorders – that places enormous strain on the classroom. That’s especially true to problems like ADD (attention deficit disorder), where the inability of several students in the classroom to focus on the lesson can have far-reaching consequences for the entire classroom.
In other nations, some of these students might be classified as “problem” students and transferred to another classroom or another school entirely – but not in the U.S., where they are integrated as much as possible into the traditional classroom experience.
That’s why, when it comes to preparing to teach in the United States, it’s important to complete a program such as the TIES ACE program, which will prepare teachers for effective classroom management. It’s important to enroll in this program to get a sense of how the classroom experience in the United States might be very different from the experience in other countries.