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What's the best bit of advice you got... when just starting out.

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Mr Leonard, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Don't try and plan amazing lessons every lesson. You'll burn out.
  2. re

    re New commenter

    The ideal class size is three less than you've got already - as long as you can pick which three.
  3. It would be nice to have some flexibility to get rid of "personality clashes".

    As for advice, listen. There are plenty of kids who are brighter, funnier, and more socially skilled than you, whether you think about this as innate talent or in terms of the values the kids have of themselves. Life seems to go much better when you appreciate this, and allow the class to appreciate the individual members of the class. They can be very entertaining, and even inspirational. Watch out for that :).
  4. When starting a new school, unless you have good grounds for believing that you're particularly strong at behaviour management, get all classes (except perhaps 6th form - though the guy giving me the advice said don't exempt 6th form, but I do) to sit boy girl boy girl in alphabetical order. If that leads to any pairings which are undesirable behaviour-wise, make the necessary adjustments, based purely on the effect it will have on behaviour.
    As the months and years, you may loosen up this rule. But observe it strictly at the start.
    It saved my career!
  5. bettieblu

    bettieblu New commenter

    when you have that class you really cant deal with remember its just for a year - then it will be someone else...

    I personally like to sing at students it always confuses them, makes them think I am quite mad and then they usually start to behave...
  6. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    shocked that nobodys said

    "Dont smile 'till christmas"

    best advice i was ever given!
  7. That would have to be my best bit of advice!
  8. Treat the classroom like your front room - if you wouldn't allow it in your front room, don't allow it in the classroom!

    Oh, and... a pencil, unlike a computer, never breaks down / freezes / inexplicably shuts itself down in the middle of a lesson.
    caress likes this.
  9. For when you're in danger of allowing your own emotions to interfere/spill out:
    --> "YOU are the adult." (take note Dr Starkey)
    If the paperwork and following-up of incidents are taking over:
    --> "Establish what your own non-negotiables are." And bear in mind that this might not be the same as your colleagues'.
    For avoiding overdoing it:
    --> "Plan mostly bread-and-butter lessons with the occasional champagne lesson."
    And from my wonderful NQT mentor at 5pm on a Tuesday evening
    --> "Go home and pour yourself a big glass of wine."
  10. I wouldn't agree with this, for me personally that was the worst advice I was given!

    My best advice was to be consistent. For example, if you let one person move from the seating plan they will all want to, so don't even let one get away with it!
  11. Best bit of advice I ever recieved is "Don't keep trying to reinvent the wheel"

    I was given this during my PGCE year after about 3 hours of trying to design a brilliant lesson from scratch

    Make and re-use lesson materials, share materials with colleagues, use bits and bobs from resource sharing websites...
  12. y4me

    y4me New commenter

    "Never have parents helping with children in your classroom"
    Alas, this is one piece of advice I haven't always taken on board, to great detrimental effect!

  13. At the beginning of the year, don't worry too much about delivering content...make sure you nail the kids down in terms of behaviour. If you don't crack this, you can't even think of teaching them!
    Follow everything, up and through.
    Be consistent, all times, every time wherever possible.
    Praise those who do what you want...sometimes subtle ways (sending postcards home without kid's knowledge get you street cred with them but without them losing cred with their mates!).
    Know the school's behaviour system inside out...and don't be afraid to use it. Setting a good example at the start of the year is important.
    Seating plan, boy-girl and enforce it - it is your class and you need to show the pupils this.
  14. "Praise those who do what you want.."

    Nobody told me this... but I noticed that every teacher who I admire does it.

  15. Have a work/life balance... your 'TO DO' list will never be finished so don't burn yourself out!
  16. For challenging behaviour - don't let them go to bed that night thinking they've won. If they don't show up to a call-back etc, ring home!
  17. Me (first year teacher to teacher nearing retirement after 30 years): I'm enjoying this year but I look forward to the day I can let down my guard a little.
    Seasoned teacher: Oh no...you NEVER let down your guard, you just get more comfortable with "your guard being up"!
    6 years later...very true!
  18. Three bits of advice I have always applied are:
    Always tell students the things you want them to do rather than the "don't"
    When you ask a student to do something try to avoid saying "please" in the question but always say thank you instead. By thanking them for something they are about to do it gives the message that they are going to do it, it is not something where there is really a choice.
    "Rule with a quip".
    I found these three guidelines, no matter how basic they were, have been a big help to me over the last 12 years.
  19. 1. Mean what you say and say what you mean
    2. Be proactive
    3. Smother them in sunshine so they REALLY feel the f-ing rain when they deserve it :)
    4. It's NEVER personal
    caress likes this.
  20. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

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