Friday, 3 July 2015

26 things that made teaching easier this year.

Everyone has there different ways of connecting and trying to get their best out of their students. There is no right or wrong way, its a personal thing and there are some steep learning curves along the way.

This year I have felt more comfortable with my students than ever before. And from this feel I have got the best out of them. Dont get me wrong, its not been a bed of roses but it has been the most rewarding year to date.

Here are some of the things which have worked well for me this year.

1. Connecting with the students straightaway. In the morning or the first session, greet each student with a compliament as they enter the classroom. Every day!

2. Share something good. Make time, everyday for your students to share news, whether trivial or monumental, this is a great way to get to know your students and adds an element of caring and sharing. We shared lots of things. Wilsons dance competitions. Jayleighs great piano playing. Leahs new baby sister. Emilys weight loss.

3. Not overdoing the rules. We used a social contract (as well as the college ones) which we all agreed on. The main rule is HONESTY. It works honest.

4. Remembering in order to get respect, you need to give it. Demi knows this now.

5. Working on planned ignoring. If a student is acting out just for attention, ( yes some of you were guilty of this) focus on them doing the right thing and ignore the negative as much as possible.

6. Taking advantage of out of classroom time. Spend some extra time with students and interacting in a less structured way. Taking them on a trip, teambuilding activities, for lunch or even to the refectory for a coffee is a great way for them to see the 'human' you

7. Encouraging creativity and thinking outside of the box. If you do something different, they will follow.... And surprise you. Kirsty did!

8. Celebrate the diversity in your class and recognise all the different talents. You will be amazed at what hidden talents your students have.

9. Gearing instruction to students’ interests. Giving them choices, options are important. Letting them decide what they want to learn today. They might not be in the mood to do what you have planned. You can always do that another day.

10. Relaxing....learning is better when your calm, students know when we are uptight.

11. Learning the strengths of all of your students and let them shine. Wow who knew Leah would take to cutting so well and Mamoona would be so creative.

12. Being patient. Remember, we all have different comfort zones and you can not force a connection. This was hard sometimes but we got there.

13. Diffusing awkward and uncomfortable situations with humour. Or take them out onto the corridoor to get some cooling down time. Giving them time to reflect themselves then have an honest chat with them about it later.

14. Giving ample time for group work and spend quality time with the different groups. We had great teambuilding activities and enjoyed the caterers and childcare students coming up for their hair doing. It helped all groups.

15. Encouraging risk taking and honouring those that are not yet able to take the leap. Mamoona taking risks when trying new things for the competition and perservering with her English exams. Molly finally taking the leap on reception and making an appointment.

16. Building a climate of “belonging” for all the students, which will obviously mean different things for different students. For some it's just knowing you will be there when they come to class. Others might need more, advice, a chat, someone to believe in them or even just someone to laugh with. (Or at)

17. Respecting individuality and encouraging students to be true to themselves. Sometimes when they start at the begining of the year they think they know who they are but its not the person they want to be. Helping them become the person they now know they want to be is inspiring.

18. Using proximity control, body language, eye contact, and any other techniques without words to diffuse inappropriate behavior. I think they all know the 'I don't approve of that' look now.

19. Be accepting. Remember that students need to be treated differently to be treated fairly. Managing anger problems and relationships has been the main focus this year.

20. Encouraging families to get involved in class activities, have an open door policy, within reason. Lots of family members and members of staff came in for their hair doing and saw what we got up to. As well as them all reading this blog.

21. Mixing it up. Instruction needs to vary. Let the students teach/show you something. Let them do a video or you be the student, invite some colleagues to come to. We had great fun doing this. Some good potential teacher there!

22. Admiting when you make a mistake. Remind students there is much learning to be gained as we all learn from our mistakes, give time for reflection. Like my number of spelling mistakes pointed out on the board. Im only human too!

23. Share some of your personal life and encourage kids to do the same. Oh the stories I have shared and have been told. We have laughed so much. Like the one about....

24. Going the extra step if your students see you going the next mile, then you can ask your students to do the same. Raise that bar.

25. Focusing on the positives and being passionate about your teaching. Bring out the passion in your students and listen with an open mind and open ears.

26. Catching them when they’ve accomplished something and acknowledge their success. We have celebrated successes on this blog.

Most importantly HAVING FUN!

The greatest challenge of teaching is reaching as many students as possible. Touching every students lives is an impossible task but every moment in our lives as teachers brings new opportunities.

Don’t get caught up in the details, look at the big picture and let each and every student know that you care, even if you have to pretend!

No comments:

Post a Comment