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Teaching Secondary advice

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by sabanap21, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. sabanap21

    sabanap21 New commenter

    Hi I am new to the forums just looking for some teaching advice.
    I am currently taking some time out of my PGCE course in order to gain some school experience. My main problems I had during the PGCE was I was very nervous in the classroom in front of the class, poor classroom presence, lack of assertiveness and my behaviour management was terrible. On top of that my mentor was really harsh and quite unsupportive and so that didn't really help me to gain any confidence. I am currently working as a maths intervention tutor in a secondary school and love it, I am great 1 to 1 and in small groups and I'm quite doing well. However I am worried if I'll ever make a good teacher because Ive always been quite shy and I am too soft on the kids as well as the things Ive suggested above. Does anyone have any advice for me? How do you think I can improve on my areas of weakness so I am in a stronger position when I go back to finish my PGSE course next year?
    Thankyou for your time.
  2. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Intervention work is a different thing, but just as important. If you want to go back to w/c teaching, ok, but intervention work seems to have a more dramatic and memorable impact so you could consider focusing on this. Otherwise, I'd advise as much observation and team teaching as you can possibly do now.
  3. MissHallEnglish

    MissHallEnglish Occasional commenter Forum guide and community helper

    Teaching is like acting. Kids scrutinise everything: you, how you teach, what you wear, who you talk to, your rules, whether they trust you, whether you're fair... All sorts. Think about the sort of environment you want to create, then think of 3 rules you'll abide by and endeavour to deliver in all your lessons.

    Personally, I find the key to be consistency. You have to make the classroom your domain. They have to know and understand how to behave in your classroom and what the consequences will be if they don't tow the line. Sometimes you won't feel like battling and sometimes it might be easier to give in. Try not to give in!!

    In my first year of teaching, I had a horrific class and I could have left teaching all together. When those same students happened to be in my class in Y11, I'd developed as a teacher; the class was no where near as challenging as a I thought. They probably weren't in the first place but I lacked experience as an NQT and lacked support. Experience will come and you'll reflect on certain situations and think about how you could have possibly handled them differently. It sounds like you're already reflecting on your teaching...!

    Be very clear in your instructions; ask challenging members to repeat them back; use timers to maintain focus; always take feedback so students feel their work has value.
    As the poster above says, experience other teachers and how they manage their classroom - you'll probably find what you think is the 'perfect' lesson, doesn't exist for anyone!

    Good luck! :)
    wanet likes this.
  4. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Own your classroom. Spend time in it when the kids aren't there. Sit on the desks. Move the furniture. Stand at the front and think about your body language - stand straight, head up, make eye contact with each part of the classroom. Project your voice and practise different lines in different tones. Give yourself a script for dealing with poor behaviour so that you never end up in that horrible place where you say, "If you don't stop that right now I'll (oh, **** what will I do?)..."

    If you can observe some Drama teacher or get some voice and body language coaching from a drama teacher this can be really helpful.
  5. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    learning to breath and use your voice properly is very good advice. I have heard so many young (usually female) teachers end up getting shriller and shriller. One was in the room next to me, so I often used to pop in for various reasons, I found the tone hard to cope with and so did the children. she was very determined and improved quickly.
    One of the best very minor tips is to end a request with "thank you" rather than "please" it suggests that you expect the action to take place rather than hoping.
  6. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Own the space. Don't get stuck behind a desk - move round the room, as the desk can act as a psychological barrier for you. One colleague has the teacher's desk behind the pupils, not in front; another has no teacher's desk but instead uses one of the pupil desks; both are interesting ideas. Be (pretend to be) very confident - you know the material you are teaching, you know how to get it across, you know you'll succeed. As other posters have written, this is a show you are putting on, so be prepared to act a bit.
  7. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    and don't expect it all to go right straight away. small steps, routine for you and the classes. Don't expect to be able to bully them into working or bore them into it either. If you have what felt like a dire lesson with all the pupils messing about. Sit down and make a list of those who actually did misbehave, then those around the edges. You will usually find that it was a very small number who actually behaved poorly, then a few more joined in.
  8. zackeckey

    zackeckey New commenter

    What you are doing is great getting experience is the best way for you to gain confidence. If your experience is classroom based, ask if you can take control of classes whilst you have the main teacher in their with you that way they can help if needed.
  9. sabanap21

    sabanap21 New commenter

    I love intervention work but I don't think its worth it to do it in the long run as the pay is pretty poor and you do not get holiday pay. I will definitely try and observe as many lessons as I can, thanks for the advice.
  10. sabanap21

    sabanap21 New commenter

    Thanks so much for your advice, it is really useful. Yes I think the main issue was I wasn't consistent in how I managed behaviour. I hope it does get better for me with experience though. I will try to use some of your suggestions when I go back to class teaching, timers sounds like a good idea.
  11. sabanap21

    sabanap21 New commenter

    Thankyou for your advice, will try to use some of the suggestions :)
  12. sabanap21

    sabanap21 New commenter

    Thanks for your reply and for giving encouraging advice, it's really helpful.
  13. sabanap21

    sabanap21 New commenter

    Thankyou for your reply. I agree its all about confidence and I know my material very well I just need to practice being very confident when talking in front of the class and managing the class.
  14. sabanap21

    sabanap21 New commenter

    Thanks for your advice :). When I was doing intervention it was mostly outside the classroom. However Ive just been offered a TA role which is mainly classroom based. I also have to manage behaviour in my new TA role which i think will help me improve my behaviour management, I hope. I will definitely ask to take control of classes, I know some of the TAs in the school already do this when the class teacher is absent they cover for the class in which they are a TA.

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