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Adult Classroom Management Techniques

Adult Classroom Management Techniques
Admin - Oct 08 2015

Generally speaking, adult learners are better behaved than younger learners.  Adult ESL students rarely have classroom management issues like shoving each other or refusing to sit still for one class. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s smooth sailing for teachers at this level.  Adult students come with their own challenges and they have their own opinions of appropriate classroom behavior due to their previous experiences under different instructors.

adultESLstudentsGiven these challenges, it is important for a teacher to develop a classroom management style that is appropriate for the class. Classroom management is the process of ensuring that lessons run smoothly despite disruptive behavior by students. Without a set of rules, standards and expectations, teachers risk many disruptions to the students’ learning experience.

Here are some general rules for effective classroom management.

  • Teachers should develop well-defined classroom rules. Rules in the classroom are an effective management tool that helps students understand what types of behavior are acceptable in the classroom and which ones will not be allowed. Some appropriate rules for adult classrooms include asking students to turn off their cell phones during class and to inform the teacher if the student is going to be late or absent from the class. Once the rules have been developed and taught, the teacher should ensure that they are applied consistently.
  • Establish an objective-oriented learning environment. This is very helpful for adult students as it encourages students to prepare their own academic goals they wish to achieve. This requires adult students to monitor their own academic goals and check their progress throughout the course to see how well they are doing.
  • Foster a positive and encouraging climate. For most adults, going back to school can be intimidating. Teachers should build an environment where positive interactions are the norm and negative consequences are minimal. Teachers should provide effective feedback immediately after the demonstration of appropriate behavior. Research has shown that positive reinforcement can lead to an improvement in behavior.  Adult students should not be talked down to. Teachers should speak to them in the appropriate tone for adults and not in the manner usually reserved for children.
  • Provide students with clear expectations of responsibility. Teachers of adult learners usually have higher expectations for their students compared to younger learners. The course syllabus will have outlines of all the project deadlines and homework assignments. Adult learners will be responsible for submitting their requirements on time without repeated reminders from the teacher.

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