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First MFL lessons as an NQT

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by HD86, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Hi All,

    I am starting my NQT job next week and am looking for some advice, particularly regarding my introductory lesson with each class. I definitely want to do something on classroom rules. I just wondered if anybody has done this successfully before and how you went about it? Did you use the TL throughout or stay in English?

    Thanks for your help,

  2. Hi All,

    I am starting my NQT job next week and am looking for some advice, particularly regarding my introductory lesson with each class. I definitely want to do something on classroom rules. I just wondered if anybody has done this successfully before and how you went about it? Did you use the TL throughout or stay in English?

    Thanks for your help,

  3. castellano7

    castellano7 New commenter

    Hi, I am coming towards the end of my NQT year, and I would say definitely make establishing your behaviour expectations your priority in your first lesson. I did it in English, keeping it simple (hands up, try your best, listen when teacher and others are talking etc) but I am planning to do it in the TL in September, using visuals for support. I also said why they need to follow these rules - so that everyone learns and you achieve your target grade/ level.
    I think one valuable lesson I have learnt is that there is a kind of 'honeymoon' period at the beginning where the kids are sussing out before they try and push the boundaries - once they did, I made sure I followed up every behaviour problem and now I am experiencing few problmes (though obviously depends on the school).
    Hope that helps, get in touch if you'd like to know anything else.
  4. IME

    IME New commenter

    I pretty much do the same 'First Lesson' each year (this works for me so I've stuck with it!!). I do this for years 7-9 and then for years 10-11 I replace the classroom commands bit with the GCSE course outline followed by a talk about the summer holidays in TL and for years 12-13 I also go through the course with them.
    I teach German and have all of the following on a powerpoint which I can happily email to you if want
    1. I usually start with a seating plan (on the PowerPoint so pupils can find their seats quickly)
    2. I then show them what I want written on the front of their exercise books
    3. I ask them what they think makes a good lesson - write up suggestions on the board
    4. Go through my expectations
    5. Tell them what they can expect from me in return
    6. If it's a year 8, 9, 10 or 11 class I ask them what they enjoyed / disliked about the previous year and what they think their strengths and weaknesses are (they write this in the back of their exercise book so I can look at it)
    7. I then go through the classroom commands in TL with them, repetition, games, Simon says etc to revise them.
    8. Finally they copy the classroom commands into the front of their exercise books so they can refer to them!
  5. Thank you both for the suggestions, I really like the idea of involving the pupils in making the rules. Even though it's right at the end if the year for them, I think it's still important to go over rules etc as it feels like the start of a new year for me in a way!!

    IME, I would love a copy of your ppt if you don't mind? I teach French and spanish but can easily adapt the PowerPoint.
  6. IME

    IME New commenter

    Glad I could help - I agree it's important to go over the rules and even if it's near the end of term, a refresher for them is always good!! Plus it puts you in a good position with them after the summer hols! If you are happy to post your email address on here, I'll send you the ppt.
  7. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    I've sent you my email in a private message.
  8. @IME, I have sent you a private message with my email address, so it should show up in your inbox. Thanks!

    @musiclover1, just checked my inbox and there was nothing there? Could you try sending again if possible?

  9. Hi IME,
    Can I please also get the ppt? I'll be starting in Sept and need ideas on what to do. Here is my email if you don't mind sending me the ppt
  10. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I agree that teachers need to establish the rules and many find that getting the pupils to come up with the rules is helpful.
    However, I still can't fathom out why it is necessary when every class will be quite familiar already with the school rules for classroom behaviour and it shoudl only be neccessary for an in-depth exposé to be delivered by the Form tutor in Yr 7 and for any newcomers later on.
    When all's said and done, the pupils will come up with a range of rules that are already encompassed in the school's written code and are just what any teacher would require anyway. In other words, they already know what is required for learning and teaching to take place because they trot out 'their' rules quite easily and speedily.
    being the old codger that I am, I can state that we never had to devise rules for the classroom ourselves when I was at school. Be quiet in class unless being instructed to discuss something or to answer a question ... put up your hand to answer a question ... stand when a member of staff enters the room ... write the date on all work ... underline titles .. rule off at the end of the lesson or after finishing a piece of work for homework.
    Why do we have to spend so much time these days establishing identical rules with every class in every subject at the start of every term/year? Are the pupils' powers of recall so bad that they can't hold onto the rules for very long? I thought they were all getting cleverer every year based on GCSE results!
  11. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I give them a little sheet with my basic rules (e.g. don't waste any space, stick your sheets in, don't miss homework deadlines or you'll be in detention, this is how you should lay-out your work, etc), spend five minutes reading them to make them explicit, they stick it in and then we get on with the lesson. That way they don't have a come back to say they didn't know. This September I'm going to add a contract to be signed by pupil and parent explaining why they are not to use online translators and what will happen to them if they do. But I agree with jubilee - don't get the class to come up with their rules, they'll take the whole lesson for that and you want them to abide by your rules anyway.
    No, but each teacher will have slightly different rules, e.g. writing and underlining the date, or the objective, etc. That's why I write down exactly what I want from them, so they can't claim they got confused between all the different rules they received in the first few days.

  12. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Some schools have a whole school policy on this sort of thing. Best to check.
  13. This is really helpful. I am starting my first job as an NQT / Probationer in August in Spanish and French, but I guess the same rules apply! Could you forward me the powerpoint?
  14. I know it's been said, but I really cannot emphasise how important it is to get expectations and behaviour under control as soon as possible. Give no quarter, follow the behaviour policy at the school to the letter - do not allow any discussion or debate of the policy except during the students' own time, and come down hard on even things that seem minor. Show the kids that not only do you enforce the rules the school has imposed, but that you are working to sort behaviour.

    I made the mistake of relaxing too early with my classes, and it has been a struggle for the last term trying to stay on top of behaviour. Call home, as often as need be, and if the parents are obstructive, pass it up. Do not try and keep disruptive children in your classroom, get rid, and impose sanctions that ensure that it is not a more attractive prospect to be isolated.

    You may (as I did) feel as though time spent at the beginning of the year focusing on behaviour is "wasted", or feel the pressure of schemes of work mounting up behind you... resist! It is vital that the students are prepared to learn when they come into the classroom, and any time you may feel is lost here will be repaid threefold in terms of time NOT wasted dealing with behaviour later on.

    Above all else, clarity is most important. Clear rules, clear expectations, and clear sanctions/rewards. Vague rules (eg: be quiet in the classroom) allow for a defence ("but sir, I was being quiet, I was only whispering") - clear rules (eg: sit silently when the teacher is talking) do not. Vague sanctions are worse ("if you do that one more time, you'll be in trouble") - clear sanctions are easy to apply and difficult to argue with ("if you do that one more time, then you will lose five minutes of your break time"). Allow take-up time and warnings, but make sure that you ALWAYS do what you say you will. It's tough to stay on top of, so I suggest keeping a book of detentions/sanctions that you have yet to apply.

    For your own sanity, it's not worth threatening things and not following up on them - then, however clear you try and make the sanctions, they will always be vague, because the students will not be clear that they will definitely have to do them. If you hang out on the Behaviour forum at all, you will notice the following mantra: "certainty not severity", and it is beginning to work for me to get back on track. Students are aware that if they muck about, I'll take names, and grab them just before their lunch, or keep them behind, and if they're on the list, then tough. It doesn't matter that they don't get excluded for not doing their homework, as long as they know that if they don't do their homework, they WILL DEFINITELY be in trouble.

    Oh, also, if you're at a tough school, don't bother with homework. I know, I know, you should and everything, but don't. It turns an academic issue into a behavioural one, and when you've got your work cut out chasing down kids that are poorly behaved, the last thing you need to do to yourself is send yourself hunting down good kids who have forgotten their homework.

    Some teachers will make you feel as though behavioural problems are your fault. You need to be strong and ignore this. You are part of a team. Certainty of a sanction doesn't necessarily mean "as applied by you". Escalate, get others involved. But make it clear what you would like them to do and why: "Can you tell Phillip off for me please?" isn't going to go down well, but "I'm on duty today, so would you mind keeping Phillip behind for five minutes at break after your lesson?" is normally fine, as long as it doesn't happen too often.

    They say that "don't smile until Christmas" is an exaggeration, but I wish I hadn't.
  15. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Fantastic post d1sxeyes!
  16. Dear IME,

    I am also starting my NQT year, could I have a copy of your powerpoint on this?

    I have no idea on how to begin my first lesson in my first job and I was hoping to get help from anyone on TES.

    I hope this is ok, I am sorry for being extremely forward but as school starts in less then a week and breaking my head over how to introduce myself and my rules.

    Kind regards,

  17. IME

    IME New commenter

    Of course! If send me your email address, I'll email them to you - if you don't want to put your email address on here, you can send it to me via the TES Inbox.
  18. Hi there!
    I would also be interested in your powerpoint. I made the mistake not to do the "ground rule thing" during my PGCE course and will definitely not make the same mistake again.....just as soon as I find that job anyway.....
  19. Hi IME,

    Can I please also get the ppt? Here is my email if you don't mind sending me the ppt



  20. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    So a healthy bit of advice for OP and other NQTs: don't ever offer something on a thread, otherwise the thread becomes a series of email addresses. Instead, send a pm to the person who wants something, or upload it on resources! [​IMG]

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