Investigating Classroom Management in Public High Schools in the UAE
Al Zeini, Hussam Al Sayed
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Classroom management and discipline may be one of the most difficult challenges for teachers, especially novice ones. Learning may be affected negatively if there is no effective management of the classroom. Every learning environment is different from the other, so classroom management problems and strategies are different. In the UAE, some EFL teachers face many problems and difficulties in public high schools. One of the most significant problems is disruptive students and how to control them. Teachers who do not have the required skills to manage their classes, even though they may be the most inspiring and knowledgeable teachers, face great difficulties controlling these classes. This study was an attempt to investigate the existence of classroom management problems in public high schools in the UAE and to find out the effective techniques and required skills needed for teachers to manage their classes successfully. My research sought to answer the following questions: (1) What problems, if any, concerning classroom management do EFL teachers in public high schools in the UAE face? (2) What effective classroom management strategies do these teachers employ? (3) How do students in public high schools in the UAE respond to teachers they like or dislike? (4) What is the role of building rapport between teachers and students in classroom management? To answer these questions, I used a mixed method approach composed of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. 210 male and female public high school EEL teachers participated in this study. 20 of them were chosen purposefully to participate in informal interviews and a focus group composed of 5 teachers was held. In addition, 100 male and female public high school students took part in the study. 20 of them were chosen purposefully to be interviewed informally. The findings indicate that there is a serious problem regarding classroom management in public high schools in the UAE. Moreover, the study suggests some beneficial implications for teachers for effective classroom management. One of these implications is the teachers' need to build rapport between them and students as a means for a closer relationship that facilitates classroom management. In addition, teachers should know something about students' social backgrounds in the UAE as this is a first step to dealing effectively with students and then for effective classroom management. Moreover, the findings indicate that most students like the affective treatment from their teachers.