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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. CarolineEm

    CarolineEm New commenter

    My Mum, a teacher for her whole working life, gave me this one when I started teaching, which had come from <u>her</u> old headmistress:
    "Always keep a sense of humour and a sense of proportion."
    Both are difficult sometimes, but it really is great advice!
  2. choochoo

    choochoo New commenter

    Teaching is a marathon not a sprint
  3. "Don't start counting the days until the next holiday. Take it one day at a time and don't overdo it."
    Best advice I ever had. My lessons aren't all be outstanding, but I'm never off sick and I don't spend my holidays recovering from the term and dreading the return to work. If you want to enjoy your job and have a work-life balance you just have to accept that it can't be perfect all the time.

  4. Brummy Boy

    Brummy Boy New commenter

    "Always remember 30 kids can kill you if they want to!!!" So anything else is a bonus, no matter how bad a lesson goes.
  5. Ooooh, if only.....................................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![​IMG]
  6. maireadmairead

    maireadmairead New commenter

    i love this one. will try to think of it when they are driving me mad :)
  7. - share the purpose of each lesson and activity with your pupils (long before it was fashionable)

    - EVERYONE has one of "those" lessons every now and then - if they claim they don't, they're lying!

    - pupils respect teachers who respect pupils. Show them that you come to each lesson fully prepared and ready to work hard, and they'll be much more likely to do the same. Attitudes are contagious.

    - when approaching swing doors, to avoid pushing the one that's locked and looking like a ****, always go for the one with the keyhole (invaluable, that one)

    - join the pension scheme as early as you can.

    Most of these were actually from people masquerading as the cynical old b****r in the staffroom!
  8. After a bad lesson go down the class list and mark off the kids who, below the bravado, behaviour etc., are good to talk to one to one - it will be most if not all of them - and remember they're why you're doing the job.
    Never talk to a kid in the class for more than 30 seconds without looking around to see what is happening.
    If things are gooing badly ask for help and follow it - never blame the kids - you can always find better ways of doing things - we all can.
    Ignore anyone who gives the impression of being perfect - they don't know what they are talking about - we are all fallible - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - just keep trying.
    This advise came from my HoD when I was a probationer - too long ago to think about - and have always got me through.

  9. The best piece of advice I ever had was 'never let them in the classroom until there's something for them to copy down/do from the board'. It's the most enduring and successful tip I was ever given--allows me time to compose myself and get sorted whilst I insist that they do something quietly!
  10. I had one of those last week - ended up going home and bawling my eyes out about it. This thread has been really helpful.
  11. Some good advice that I received many years ago... At the end of the day always send them out the door with a smile on their faces. No matter what sort of day you've had together, put a smile on their dial before they go home. After 30 years of teaching, I still endeavour to do this each day and a smile and a happy greeting to start the day helps too!
  12. Don't doubt yourself. Tricky sometimes but picks me up when I need it!
  13. " "Always remember 30 kids can kill you if they want to!!!" So anything else is a bonus, no matter how bad a lesson goes.........."

    hahaha.... cheered me up no end! Ta Brummy Boy
  14. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    I taught in two Hull schools as a cover teacher for a year. One school gave me great advice that I pass onto all my mentees

    1) You're there to manage the students, not to dominate them. If a student is utterly facetious and you manage them with skill (i.e. not 'losing it' unless they are being dangerous, or if the shock is judiciously worth it) then (most) students will recognise your management. Trying to dominate every student risks.

    2) Effective behaviour management is not separate from effective planning. That is, unless you're fire-fighting. Every task I do, the students must: a) know why they are doing it; b) how long they have; c) what I expect as the bare minimum.

    3) 'Flashy' lessons don't necessarily encourage better behaviour. Achievable lessons do. Nothing motivates like achievement. That means every single class with complete copying of a worksheet at some point.

    4) The big one, for me: Aim for certainty, rather than severity, in your sanctions. If the students know that you'll pick them up on everything they do (even if that is only a look) then you'll have more success then bringing out your big guns for the sanctioning. I'd go so far to say that if you can get a student to apologise (no matter how disingenuously) then I'd usually give them a second chance. I've taught enough students who can't even play the game enough to apologise. They're the ones who need severity.

    5) Work in an effective school. Easier said than done, I'd admit. Plus you can't tell from an OFSTED. And schools can change in a matter of years. But if you work in a school where the good-will between a critical mass of students and teachers has completely broken-down, you'll always be fire-fighting. This goes for aspirational schools too.

    6) Realise that, at the heart of things, the ultimate weapon we have as teachers (as well as the police) is bluff. Both professions cannot simply arrest, or put into detention, every person who commits a misdemenour. Never threaten sanctions you can't go through (simply threaten 'consequences' if you can't think of anything).

    7) Be strict on the things that are achievable. That is, equipment (I have never lent a pen, unless it has run out). I also ask classes to play the game at the end of our first lessons. That is to 'follow my instructions perfectly' - put the chairs up in absolute silence. If done with smiling, it is a powerful way of showing your insistence on high standards.

    8) Greet everyone at the door, and say goodbye to them. I also open the door for students who are leaving. If you have 16 different classrooms (I know) then you should know what the school thinks of you.

    9) As mentioned above, always have something for the students to do when they come in.

    10) Smile before Christmas. Smile on the first lesson. But be business-like.

    As I write these, I think to some of the teachers I know who are struggling. As soon as you are fire-fighting, some, or all, of these points change. Teaching is very different job depending on which school you are working in.
  15. Some really good advice here - thank you!
  16. All behaviour is a form of communication. Listen to the whispers so you don't need to attend to the shouts.

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