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Advice for first lessons with new classes (NQT)

Discussion in 'Music' started by foxys_folk_faced, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. foxys_folk_faced

    foxys_folk_faced New commenter

    I am an NQT music teacher stating next week and im starting to get quite nervous about starting! Altho not as nervous as this time last year when i didnt know what to expect.

    I just wondered if anybody had any good tips or advice for the very first lesson you have with your classes- how to approach them, what to say etc. I just want to establish good ground rules with them and wondered what advice anyone has.

    The trouble with the PGCE is that by the time you get into your first placement you have missed most of the first half term so you never get to see how teachers approach the first lesson with new classes.
     
  2. foxys_folk_faced

    foxys_folk_faced New commenter

    I am an NQT music teacher stating next week and im starting to get quite nervous about starting! Altho not as nervous as this time last year when i didnt know what to expect.

    I just wondered if anybody had any good tips or advice for the very first lesson you have with your classes- how to approach them, what to say etc. I just want to establish good ground rules with them and wondered what advice anyone has.

    The trouble with the PGCE is that by the time you get into your first placement you have missed most of the first half term so you never get to see how teachers approach the first lesson with new classes.
     
  3. Establish right from the word go what your behaviour expectations are and don't deviate from that at all or let anything go.

    eg: When the new Y7 classes come, I'm outside the classroom waiting for them. I say hello and introduce myself. Then I explain that when they come to music they have to line up outside the music department and not come in until a member of staff tells them to do so. I explain that they may chat quietly when waiting, but must be silent when coming into the classroom. I explain that I always let my classes sit where they like - unless they behave badly in which case I will enforce a seating plan! i tell them that they have to put their bags under the desks and turn their chairs around to face the front (we have benches around the perimeter of the room. Once they have heard all this, I then invite them into my classroom. Once settled and ready to learn, I explain to the class that we have a fun and varied curriculum planned and outline an overview of the topics for that year. I tell my classes the other few rules that I do have in a slightly self-mickey taking way, to make them laugh but so they understand:

    1. Don't talk when I'm talking or when anyone is performing
    2. I tell my classes that they are safe to express themselves in the music department - no-one ever makes fun of people playing / singing - that's not how we do things and if I ever catch anyone doing that they will be severely punished as it's a form of verbal bullying and may stop a future Pavorotti discovering his talents! This usually makes them giggle a bit.
    3. Try your hardest
    4. Ask before opening a bottle of water and then only drink away from the keyboards
    5. Ask for help if you need it.

    I then do an open q&A for a few minutes. Having established ground rules and begun a rapport, I then start teaching. I praise as much as possible all the time and make a point of telling individuals if they have an obvious talent and aren't already learning an instrument.

    Hope this helps!

    Good luck,

    Jo
     
  4. Really my message is similar. Kids behave and do better when they feel secure. They feel secure when there is consistency and fairness in your classroom. Don't deviate from your established rules at least not until you have gained their trust. Use positive behaviour management. eg 'Ryan, don't do that or else I will send you out' becomes 'Ryan,I think you would really enjoy this music more if you listened rather than talked'.
    Sorry, but I am fed up of having to deal with boys called Ryan!!

    Good luck
     
  5. I agree with the above. Especially "smile" I think we need a good rapport with kids to encourage their music making. At the same time know what your expectations are and stick to them for the whole year don't relax on them at all. Have a look at this link:

    https://www.tes.co.uk/section/staffroom/thread.aspx?story_...
     
  6. I agree, keep the ground rules brief and then choose an activity which is engaging and fun and integrates those rules into the activity, so that pupils can see them in action. I would always start with a group song, remember they may not know each other and will need to 'bond' and gain confidence. Try some of the Voiceworks material.
    Keep to your expectations and routines.
    One thing I have always adhered to is the tone /level of voice when speaking to pupils . I have seen a lot of new teachers shouting over the children instead of setting a system of class mutual respect. My golden rule is that 'noisy teachers create noisy classes'. Good luck to all new starters in September.
     

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