The major difficulty which most teachers face, consciously or not, is how to transform the classroom from a space which is inherently inimical to learning into one where learning can take place. Therefore the teacher can hang posters, calendars, pupil's drawings on the walls and have all kind of interesting objects that can personalize the classroom.
Also there has to be a special relationship between teacher and pupil. The activities cannot work unless there is a relaxed atmosphere. Rearranging the layout of the room will help, but it will also be needed to alter the pupil's idea, and possibly the teacher's, of what he or she is there for. The teacher will be no longer the source of all the knowledge nor the sole arbiter of what is "right" and "wrong", "good" and
"bad". The teacher's main function is now to set things in motion, to be, using the French word, the "animateur". He or she should ensure that the pupils understand what the teacher want them to do, then step back as far as possible from what it happening, controlling, but not directing.
It is very useful and efficient to organize the children in different ways (pairs, groups) in order to fulfill a certain task.
The advantages of working in groups, pairs or flexible groupings are enormous:
· the pupil-teacher relationship improves, because the teacher is no longer the "fount of knowledge", he or she is the guide rather than the controller-in-chief;
· pupils talk more than before, their exchanges are, as far a possible, "natural";
· pupils participate in their own learning process;
· pupils gain from the sense of security offered by the group - individual talents are shared, everyone has a contribution to make, however small; weaker pupils often reveal unsuspected abilities, stronger pupils find themselves sharing what they know rather than outdo their fellows.
Teachers, teaching young children, should be open-minded, patient, adaptable, always in search of the new, ready to act, sing and play with the children. In front of the class the teacher must be a disguised actor.
Language Teaching : Class Management and Atmosphere written by Monique Barb for FamousWhy.com
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