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No fixed abode - teaching languages in other subject rooms

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by sulky, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. Has anyone experienced teaching in a variety of rooms? I have had my own room for 9 years and now my school has closed and we have moved in with another school, I am teaching in 4 different rooms. I 'm just anxious about the logistics of it all and my displays to promote spontaneous speech will have to be portable as I am not in a languages room. All advice gratefully received.
  2. Malaguena

    Malaguena New commenter

    It isn't nice, I've experienced this too. Have laminated language mats with key language on to hand out in each lesson, putting on them what you would have on your walls. Have a pile of textbooks in the rooms you'll be in ( if you can!!) or get a student to take them at the end of the lesson and before the next one.
  3. Thanks. For some reason I was thinking of ways for me to get the stuff to the classrooms, why didn't I think about using the students???
  4. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    I had a wheelie box which I used to run over SLT's feet with if they were standing judgementally outside a classroom where the kids were queueing waiting for me to arrive from the other side of school. I used to throw everything in and roll. Lots of volunteer rollers from years 7 and 8 too - who if anything were more lethal drivers than I was.

    I also had a gardening bag like this

    <img alt="Image result for gardening bag" />

    with lots of pockets for different things.

    I had a big pencil case full of pens, pencils, rulers, rubbers, pencil sharpeners and a few pairs of scissors. I tried to make sure everything was distinctive so that people knew it was mine - which didn't stop people (staff as well as pupils) from stealing things, but helped with honest people who found stuff.

    <img alt="Image result for gardening bag" />
  5. jolly

    jolly New commenter

    Good ideas above. I have 'wandered' the school for a few years now.... and have learned the following:

    a) Have students' exercise books in a box, clearly labelled, and if he/she is absent, the book goes back in the box. Therefore, no books 'lost' in endless classrooms.

    b) Dictionaries: I managed to get a set of dictionaries for a non MFL classroom where I teach sometimes... and plan lessons involving dictionary when in that classroom, otherwise I plan NOT to use dictionaries (as another thing to carry).

    c) Trolley- yes.

    d) Timetabler: visit him/her on the first day of school and see which classrooms are free. If you don't have to move during a morning/afternoon, this makes life easier.

  6. Yes - it isn't fun. Just about to start in a new school where I will have my own room at last. I found that the biggest issue is not to do with displays, more about not being ready when students arrive at the door. Bad start to lessons. Hopefully you don't have to move around as much as I had to. Portable resources and using students to fetch and carry - all good advice. Make sure you always have spare paper/ex books and know where things are kept in the rooms you use. Plus leave them as you hope to find them Good luck.
  7. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    For crying out loud, teaching should be about TEACHING and not about posters, wall-displays (that soon become the visual equivalent of white noise anyway!) and trolleys full of **** that you wheel from room to room. Teaching is about personality and delivery. I taught in different rooms in a variety of schools for years and all I needed was a few things I could easily carry in one hand, a blackboard and a stick of chalk (always provided in the rooms I visited) so stop fussing and focus on the TEACHING!

    Kittylion, just a thought, but they were probably glomming your rubbers to use behind the bike-sheds.
  8. Malaguena

    Malaguena New commenter

    That's rather rude Vladamir - yes teaching is about delivery but you do need some stuff to do it with, even if it's just your planner, laptop and pens. When SLT come a-knocking and ask you where your seating plans are and where your resources are, the answer "oh, I can't have any of that, I'm in different rooms!" It won't wash quite frankly.
  9. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    It was the pens mostly that went missing Vlad. (I presume that's what glomming means.) [​IMG]

    Glad to see you on top sympathetic form btw. [​IMG]
  10. rosaespanola

    rosaespanola New commenter

    If your pupils don't find your wall displays useful Vladimir, I'd suggest you rethink them and put up something more helpful. The displays in my classroom save pupils time on looking things up in dictionaries, remind them about key grammar rules and provide support with pronunciation and spelling. Pupils all know where to look for the information/vocab they need and I can see them using the displays every lesson.

    For the OP - at the beginning of each year I print off "help booklets" for my classes who aren't taught in a room with displays and resources in the language they're learning. I include basic key vocab, numbers, connectives, time phrases, opinion phrases, question words, intensifiers etc (basically the sort of things that are on wall displays in my usual teaching room) plus a vocab sheet for each unit that we'll be doing that year. Pupils find these really helpful and use them every lesson when writing and speaking. If you search "rosaespanola help booklet" in resources you'll see some of the things I put in them.
  11. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    I think Vladmir makes a valid point, but exaggeratedly and a bit rudely...

    Displays are not the be all and end all of teaching. It should be perfectly possible to teach well and for pupils to learn effectively without wall displays. If I had to move classrooms, I honestly don't think displays would be my top priority - I'd be panicking about how to get myself organised settle pupils quickly at the start of a lesson when I'm running from one side of the school to another, and displays would occur to me a few weeks later.

    Displays (if not over the top and too busy) can be a useful extra though, so I'd go with one of the suggestions above - laminated sheets per table, or a booklet/helpsheet per pupil.

    I think it might be rosaespanola who has a nice "handy little words" sheet (or something like that) with GCSE opinions, connectives, time phrases, etc. - I'd give KS4 pupils something like that to stick into their books and refer to when needed.

    I have had a range of stuff on my walls but find that pupils only really refer to a couple of specific displays which are on the front wall of the classroom. These have opinion phrases and connectives.

    I'm now wondering whether some of my pupils have become reliant on these and know less as a result. I teach 24 French lessons per week and 3 Spanish, so don't have much Spanish on display (just a bit of pupil work and a map of Spain).

    Yesterday I did a quiz with both of my Y8 groups (1 French, 1 Spanish) to recap content covered in Y7. I taught most of the pupils last year and the groups are of similar ability. But the Spanish class significantly outperformed the French group, which makes me wonder whether they have retained more because they can't rely on displays. With the new GCSE pupils will need to retain a lot more of their learning because they can't just look back in their book or use a helpsheet to prepare for an assessment.

    Not sure what the right answer is, just working through a few thoughts!
  12. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    What's this? National 'Get At Vlady' Day? Anyone would think you didn't like poor, little Vlady. Honestly, you try to help and all you get is abuse! I despair of human nature, I really do!
  13. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    We love you really Vlady

  14. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    Aw, shucks!

    Nice ruse de guerre there. I offer you genuine respect for playing it. If I scroll it down, it looks like a really gorgeous, peachy botty!

    Maybe this should be a staple in the wheelie-bin of **** language teachers take from room to room to create the ideal language lesson.
  15. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    Sympathy is like mercy: it's nothing but weakness in what is a hostile and uncompassionate world. You enter into the classroom-arena; you enter into battle and the odds for survival are stacked against you.

    Sympathy does not exist in this classroom, does it?


    Mercy does not exist in this classroom, does it?


    Ignorance does not exist in this classroom, does it? (I'm doing a corrupted movie reference here, so if you don't get it, don't worry!)

    NO SENSEI!...

    ...well it won't when Miss arrives with her wheelie-bin full of twaltificatious ****!

    Pens, eh? Are we not encouraged to think 'creatively' these days? I'm thinking creatively!
  16. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    I do apologise. I am sure kittylion's glommed condoms were being used for various scientific experiments other than the carnal pursuits. I shall endeavour to refrain from indulging in sexual innuendo during future intercourse with multiple partners on this forum.

    These are things that can be easily transported, but do you really need your laptop? Can't you conceive of a lesson without it? You would need a register, but why pens? Are you doing lots of colouring in?

    Tell 'em to Foreign Office, kick 'em in the ging-gangs and slam the door in their boat-race!
  17. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    Maybe you'd like to revisit my entries on this thread, then you'd see that I was a peripatetic teacher, so I'd have had no need of displays.

    In other words, your pupils don't know the material so they have to refer to it from your displays. They should know all the stuff you refer to at a core level. By providing the charts you are even giving them to idea that they don't have to know it because it's all there on the walls. It might seem helpful, but remove the crutch and the patient collapses. Why don't they know the stuff without reference? If taught properly and rigorously, they should know it! Whose fault is that? Oh, sorry, am I being 'rude' now?

    This is indicative of a poor education system with low expectations and easy exams! The cracks show in MFL more than anywhere else!

    rosaespanola, in football parlance, you've scored an own goal.
  18. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    Glad you agree with me. Oh, a little edgy adversity adds a bit of energy to what is, otherwise, a very dull forum on a cumbersome and badly reworked website. It wasn't always this way. Ten years ago MFL got a mention in the TES paper version because of all the 'heated debate' (read 'squabbling over nothing').

    That doesn't mean I don't stand by what I write on here! Language teaching needs rethinking and improving if the UK is to produce competent linguists, not in spite of the regime, but because of it.

    It will never happen.
  19. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    ... er ... (hesitantly) ... to write with?
  20. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    I would have needed mine - to do the register.

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