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Told I need to bring urgency in my lessons. (secondary)

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by cb700, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. cb700

    cb700 New commenter


    Hi
    I had an observation last week and I came out with a "Good" but was old to turn it into outstanding I need to bring urgency into my lessons. It took some year 10 boys about 5 minutes to start a task. These students were able but are often distracted and chatting. Also on a group task they did talk about other things! The students need to want to show show you how good they can work.
    We came up with a few things:
    Clock so students see how long they have on a task
    Catch others doing well
    Saying how disappointed you are when off task

    Does anyone else use any other strategies or can give me some behavioural techniques to keep the students on task and to get them to show me how good they can work for me?
     
  2. cb700

    cb700 New commenter


    Hi
    I had an observation last week and I came out with a "Good" but was old to turn it into outstanding I need to bring urgency into my lessons. It took some year 10 boys about 5 minutes to start a task. These students were able but are often distracted and chatting. Also on a group task they did talk about other things! The students need to want to show show you how good they can work.
    We came up with a few things:
    Clock so students see how long they have on a task
    Catch others doing well
    Saying how disappointed you are when off task

    Does anyone else use any other strategies or can give me some behavioural techniques to keep the students on task and to get them to show me how good they can work for me?
     
  3. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    In our school all the teachers use stopwatches all the time. There's an online one. Where appropriate, you could introduce an element of competition to your tasks.
     
  4. I am not being funny or rude but in a recent obs I had, I was almost graded unsatisfactory because one student was off task in group work for less than a minute, I was told that the new ofsted criteria expects all students to be engaged all the time. So in my school, your lesson would have been insatisfactory without a doubt!!
    In group work, it might help to allocate everyone a specific role, eg reader, note taker, leader, speaker in feedback etc, it helps them focus.
     
  5. It's all nonsense.
    The observer has to have something to say, their worry being that someone higher up the pecking order might decide that they're not doing their job properly. "Urgency" is not readily measured, so their comment is subjective (and they know this - they've filled in the form, said something meaningless and can move on).
    As for you, you can play the game, modifying future plans as appropriate to address this phantom problem, or you can ignore it (which is what I'd do), or you can worry that it means something and waste time on it.
     
  6. mooncheek

    mooncheek New commenter

    Love your advice Whacko, it's so true-obs are so meaningless and we can tie ourselves in knots worrying about it.
     
  7. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Urgency, eh? I UNDERSTAND *lowers spectacles* that the DfE currently frowns on the lash and the elephant goad. So we have to look at other ways of inspiring our fragrant charges. From the tone of the strategies you suggest, I infer that there is a vital ingredient missing from the lesson; urgency as defined by the desire not to fall behind, due to penalties being incurred by the students.
    There are two blunt ways to propel and modify a student's behaviour to meet what you desire: rewards and sanctions; both motivate in their own ways, and both have their drawbacks, because both are tools that serve different jobs. But telling them how disappointed you are simply isn't enough. If that;s the worst they incur for living inn the land of do-as-you-please, then for many of them the mathematics is simple: do as they please, because the penalties are so slight as to be ignorable.
    Attach some serious consequences to your boundaries. Electrify the fence that surrounds your classroom, defined and designed by you, sure in the knowledge that you know what is best for them. In other words, if they fail to complete tasks as set by you, within the time limits you have set and crucially, you believe that they could have done much much more, then the mantrap of detentions or similar has to snap shut on their tardy ways. Show them that not getting on task, not keeping on task, and not keeping up, will lead to their inconvenience.
    And make sure that your sanctions are sufficiently unpleasant that they want to avoid them in future, else what's a sanction for? Don't make it a cosy chat- give them work to do, even if it numbs the mind. Sanctions, applied rigorously and consistently and fairly, should do the trick for all but the hardest students.
    It sounds simple because it is. This is not a complicated problem, and the solution must not overcomplicate the circumstance.
    Very good luck to you :)
    Tom
    Read more from Tom here on his blog, or follow him.
     

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