Four Tips to Enforce Students to Follow Rules in Class

Do you allow students to chew gum or use mobiles in class? Why?! Simply because we have rules in our schools. As we have rules, we have to follow them. The first one who must follow these rules is YOU. If you don’t, you will lose respect for yourself and for your rules. The point is that you should be a model for your students. Once you tell them a rule, you have to stick with it. In addition, I learned from experience the effectiveness of the following tips for students to follow your rules in class.

1. Use a reminder:

If you see a student chatting a bit with a classmate, ask: “Do you have a question? Is there something you want to tell me about? Have you finished yet?” This serves as a reminder. The key point here is that you remind the student and the whole class with the rule agreed upon that was not followed by someone. This kind of situation may not need a consequence. Just a reminder for that student to stop and return to follow the rules.

2. A consequence has to follow:

Not all rules can be treated the same. For example, when you see a student using a mobile, you can’t just say: “I remind you not to use your mobile.” In this situation, students will not expect a reminder but a warning and then a consequence. You have to say then: “This is a warning and a consequence will follow.” And then, a consequence has to follow if the same student or any other one does not stick to this rule. All students watch and expect the consequence. If you just sigh or neglect what happens, students will not see any rule to follow in this situation.

3. Be transparent and fair:

Be respectful to all and set your rules nicely and clearly but don’t be selective in your reminders or warnings. Give the rules to the class collectively. As a result, a consequence for not sticking to a rule has to be the same for all students.

4. Talk more about objectives not rules:

Always put in your mind, the ultimate goal of your teaching in class is not enforcing students to follow rules but teaching effectively to help students achieve certain learning objectives. Don’t talk much about rules but spend most of your time talking about effective teaching and the objectives that you are charged to help students to achieve, and don’t forget that students from a time to another need to feel a sense of accomplishment.


The First Five Things to do to Manage a Classroom

For teachers who return to teaching in the schools, I know that the most difficult thing to do is to master classroom management. But, you know, classroom management is not to be strict but it is simply to be organized. If you want to have a classroom run smoothly, you should set up a structured learning environment where certain behaviors are praised and others are discouraged.

I think the following five procedures will help you teach in a quiet classroom with students attentive and observant to you.

  1. Create a friendly but respectful relationship with your students.

This kind of relationship is very important to create learning opportunities. Start at the door with a smile, greet your students and shake hands with some of them. Use your students’ names and actively praise them. Know them and their needs and use this knowledge to adjust your teaching methods. If you have a good relationship with your students, you will be able to push them harder and further to learn because they will trust you.

  1. Train your students on how to understand and learn in the classroom.

You should have a learning philosophy that guides your teaching methods in the classroom; tell it to your students. Tell them that you don’t expect them to be at the same level in learning but add that you have some steps if they follow they will learn. Write these steps on the board in the first period or spread over a printed copy of them. Don’t forget at the end of each period to summarize what students should learn to give each student the opportunity to practice self-evaluation.

  1. Prepare your mind and materials well.

Managing the classroom includes managing the time minimizing lost time in activities like handing out papers, taking attendance and announcements. You should protect your time and increase the time spent on learning. You will not be able to do so unless you are well mentally prepared. You should know how to transition students from one activity to another without wasting time in order not to give them any time for side talks.

  1. Anticipate your students’ behavioral problems.

Anticipation is not enough, but you should put in your mind the solutions. Don’t go ahead directly to punishment but build activities or ask questions that can lead students to return to the lesson and attention.

  1. Establish behavioral standards from the first day.

These standards should hit the main points regarding showing respect, communicating correctly and coming prepared to learn. Explain the standards of performance, as well as the limits of behavior.

Practicing classroom management should begin at the start of school and throughout the year.  It needs to be flexible, tolerant and smiling to manage your students. These are my priorities for managing classrooms, what are yours?

12 Tips to Control a Large Class.


It’s difficult to control a large class which includes different abilities and speeds of learning. It’s not easy to give each student the attention he needs. In addition, students may not have the textbooks to write on, so they have the chance to make noise. The following 12 tips will help you to overcome the previous challenges and achieve a satisfied level of control on your large class so that your teaching will be effective.

  1. State a system for everything, e.g. speaking, turn taking, respect of others, test taking, answering questions, …… etc.
  2. Achieve an agreement with the students from the first beginning. Focus on praising frequently those who are committing to their promises.
  3. Be firm but warm. Use strict words but preserve the dignity of students and don’t humiliate them.
  4. Pursue the main source of disciplinary problems not symptoms and think and use various alternatives to solve them.
  5. Get used to call your students with their first and second names.
  6. Increase the amount of interaction activities during each lesson.
  7. Use pair-work or small group-work technique when doing the exercises considering the variation in ability levels.
  8. Use audio-visual aids to attract students’ attention and facilitate learning.
  9. Don’t bury yourself in the textbook or the preparation notes but always eye contact with students.
  10. Don’t plant your feet firmly in one place for the whole lesson but always move around the class.
  11. Dress appropriately and use effective facial and hand gestures.
  12. Arrange the chairs, organize the board, free the class from external noises, speak up to be heard and show yourself to all the students in the classroom.

Five ways to pair or group your students

pair or group work

1. Decide who you want to work together and tell individual students their partners.
2. Gesture with your hands to students who sit beside or near each other to work together.
3. Divide students according to their birthdays, height or any other criteria.
4. Give each student a card with a word or letter or phrase and ask students to find their partners by connection of the cards.
5. Give each student a number and ask who have same numbers to sit together. You can do that with letters or words. This is a nice warm-up for the start of the lesson.

Eight advantages for students to work in pairs or groups in the classroom


Students benefit from working in pairs in the classroom by:
1. having the opportunity to speak to each other in English. This maximizes their talking time and minimizes the teacher’s talking.
2. interacting socially using the language so that the stronger student can help the weaker.
3. brainstorming more ideas and practicing more language.
4. building up their rapport and independence
5. focusing more when learning the language while the teacher is just monitoring their performance.
6. sharing opinions and experiences with each other.
7. personalizing the lesson and adapting its content to their needs.
8. feeling safer when participating in discussion especially shy students.

Six Principles to Communicate Best with Students


As teaching should be a participative and interactive activity, there must be a kind of communication between teachers and their students. As a result, teachers should be well aware of the principles and techniques that help them be more effective communicators and get what they want from their communication with students. The main six of these principles are as follow:

1. Listening well with signals that prove attention and interest in what students say.

2. Using the voice well with variations of tone that send various responding messages to what students say or do.

3. Using suitable words to convey clear messages and instructions so that students know well what to do exactly.

4. Making the best use of body language to control the class and demonstrate attitudes towards students’ actions.

5. Communicating by eye contact to show interest or encourage students to correct their errors by themselves.

6. Considering the effects of physical environment on creating effective communication. Rearranging the furniture, opening a window, hanging some photos or pictures, sticking some wall sheets and many other similar things can make a big difference with our communication with students.

In fact, there are many other communication principles teachers should stick to while interacting with their students and it’s your turn to add one more below.

Remember that miscommunication between a teacher and his/her students is enough to hinder learning or prevent achieving teaching objectives.

Giving classroom instructions in English

Pupils can understand classroom instructions in English:

# If you use English in classroom instructions, it gives your pupils a good chance to develop their listening skills in a context as English is used for real communication.

# It is true that some pupils may not be able to understand all the words when instructions are given in English at first but this is a similar situation to what happens when young children learn their own first language. If parents support children’s understanding, children usually understand the meaning, even if they don’t understand all the words.

# So do you, you can also help your pupils to understand your instructions in English by:

1- giving them clearly,

2- supporting them,

3- checking your pupils’ understanding of them.

 How to give clear classroom instructions:

* Firstly, make sure you get everyone’s attention. Wait until everyone is looking at you.

* Speak clearly, but not too slowly.

* Try to use sentences which are not too long.

* You can write instructions on a piece of paper to help you if necessary, but make sure you keep eye contact with the pupils.

How to support classroom instructions:

* You can help pupils to understand by supporting your instructions with gestures, facial expressions, your hands, and intonation.

* You can also use pictures or real objects sometimes.

* You can also write key instructions on the blackboard if this helps.

4. How to check your pupils’ understanding of classroom instructions:

* Don’t ask ‘Do you understand?’ pupils may think they have understood when they have not, or may say just ‘yes’ to please you.

* One alternative is to ask pupils to explain in their native language what they have to do. This is a clear and economical way for you to see if pupils have really understood.

* As pupils’ English develops, you can ask them some questions in English to check understanding:

( e.g. will you work in twos or fours? Will you speak or write? Have you got five or ten minutes for this activity? ….. etc )