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Classroom management refers to the wide variety of skills and techniques that

teachers use to keep students organised, orderly, focused, attentive, on task, and
academically productive during a class (Levin, 2000). When classroom-management
strategies are executed effectively, teachers minimize the behaviours that impede learning
for both individual students and groups of students. At the same time it helps to maximize
the behaviours that facilitate or enhance learning. In my opinion, effective teachers tend to
display strong classroom-management skills, while the hallmark of the inexperienced or less
effective teacher is a disorderly classroom filled with students who are not working or paying
attention.
I have observed an English teacher in my practicum school teaching an intermediate
class. There are 29 pupils in the class and the majority of the pupils are boys. The teacher
has briefed me about her pupils before I enter her classroom. According to her, the pupils in
the class always create problems during lesson. Some of the boys are hard to control where
they like to fight and punch at each other. On contrary, the girls are quite passive and give
little participation in any activity in the classroom. The pupils proficiency of the second
language is quite low. They can hardly understand the lesson if the teacher converses in
English language. According to the teacher, she has to translate most of the English words
into Bahasa Malaysia. The pupils will not do the activity if the teacher speaks in full English
sentences. It is because the pupils cannot understand the second language. Despite of that
the teacher tries to make learning to happen in the classroom by translating the English
words into Bahasa Malaysia. I have tried not to judge the pupils before I have entered the
classroom. This is to make sure I can focus on the teachers skills of managing the
classroom to control the pupils misbehaviours. On that particular day, the teacher teaches
the pupils about pets from Unit 6- Pets World.
There are strengths which I can observe as well as weaknesses that can be
improved in her classroom management skills. The strength is the teacher has provided a
conducive classroom for the pupils. She has arranged the pupils seating arrangements in
the classroom before the pupils entered. She also has turned the tables and the chairs to
face a big white screen which I believe that the teacher wants to show something on the
screen using a projector. I am sure that the arrangements will help the pupils to have clear
view on the screen. She also picks rubbish to make sure the class is clean and tidy. In my
opinion, the teacher has worked hard to make sure the environment in the classroom is
conducive. It shows that she has applied Rudolf Dreikurs theory in classroom management
which is democratic teaching. One of the strategies of the theory is to provide a teaching
environment that supports students sense of belonging (Marzano, 2003). In my opinion, the
seating arrangements really help the pupils to engage with the lesson because each of them

is able to watch the video clip. However, the weakness is pupils are not able to listen to the
video clip. Despite of the colourful and clear view of the video the pupils can hardly listen to
the clip. It is because the volume is too low. I can see that the pupils start to talk to each
other after few minutes the video is played. Some of the boys start to play with their friends
and focus to the video clip. The teacher also has shown the pupils a lyric of a song where
she has asked the pupils to sing the song together in the set induction stage. I can say that
the activity is a failure because the font of the lyric is too small and pupils have a hard time to
read and sing the lyric. The teacher starts good but the resources that she used in the
lesson are not able to help the pupils to engage with the lesson until the end. I believe that
the teacher can use a speaker so that it can help to amplify the sound and the pupils can
listen to the video clip. She also can use bigger font for the lyrics so that the pupils can sing
the song by referring to the screen.
Besides that, she also writes two rules that she wants the pupils to obey throughout
the lesson on the whiteboard. The first rule is about asking the pupils to sit at their own place
and the second rule is not to talk while the teacher is talking. Based on my observation, the
teacher is very consistent with the rules at the first twenty minutes. She keeps reminding her
pupils about the rules by pointing at the whiteboard whenever the pupils break the rules. I
believe that teacher has applied the strategy of withitness from Instructional Theory of
Classroom Management proposed by Jacob Kounin.

According to Kounin, one of the

techniques of withitness is to make the pupils notice the repeated behaviours (Gay, 2006).
In the classroom, the teacher keeps reminding the pupils if they misbehave. However, after
twenty minutes when the pupils start to do practice she has lost the consistency to the rules.
I can see that the pupils who have completed their worksheets start to play at the back of the
class. At that moment the teacher has lost her withithness in the class when she is busy
with pupils who are very weak and need guidance from her to complete their worksheets, the
disruptive pupils start to take over the class control. The teacher has asked questions to
pupils to make sure they are not experiencing satiation. However, I think she does it wrong
because she focuses on the pupils who are seating at the front rows only. In my opinion, she
should make sure she asks questions to pupils fairly. I suggest her to use a box with pupils
name where she can draw the pupils name that she wants to asks randomly. I am sure that
is more just and fair to the pupils and the disruptive pupils have no chance to distract the
lesson in the classroom.
Other than that, I can observe that the teacher does not conduct any activities for the
pupils to do in groups. The activities in the three stages are done by the pupils individually. I
am too curious to know and I have asked the teacher for her reason. According to the
teacher she does not dare to do group work in the lesson because the pupils will end up

fighting and punching at each other. I do not agree with her. She should not stop the pupils
from working in groups for that reason. Group works can be used to help students learn from
each other, build community, and teach cooperation (Nolan, 2000). I believe that the teacher
can think of strategies and techniques to make sure pupils are able to do works in groups
without creating problems. As an example, the teacher can make sure the disruptive pupils
are not grouped together. She also has to make sure the number of pupils in a group is
small. The pupils should not more than four so that the chance for the pupils to create
problems in the group is small too. Other area that the teacher should improve is her
communication skill. During the observation, I have seated near to the pupils who are seated
at the back of the classroom. Her voice is quite soft and unclear. I think she can use a mini
microphone to make sure her voice can be heard by the pupils. I believe how we speak and
what our voice sounds like have a crucial impact on classes. Harmer, J. (2007) recommends
three issues we should think about when considering the use of the voice in the
management of teaching: audibility, variety and conservation. I suggest the teacher should
learn ways to improve her voice and use body language too so that pupils feel encouraged
and motivated to participate and behave in the classroom.
In conclusion, the importance of classroom management has been highlighted
across numerous research studies as the major variable that affects student achievement
(Marzano, 2003). The most obvious reason for this is that effective classroom management
sets the stage for teaching and learning. This is obvious to all of us since a classroom that is
chaotic and disorganised as a result of poor management is highly unlikely to enhance
student achievement and might, indeed, inhibit it. In chaos, very little academic learning can
happen. I believe that all of the activities that we group under the heading of classroom
management can help pupils to develop lifelong healthy habits and behaviours in the future.