Some Ideas about Teaching
Starting Off As You Mean To Go On
(All NQTs worry about discipline and - as this forum member correctly realised - first impressions are vital. I read somewhere that people make up their mind about you in the first 20 seconds, but that it takes them up to six months to change those first impressions.
This post was aimed at NQTs about to start their first lessons ever, but what it says applies just as much to more experienced teachers starting off a new year, especially those who may have had discipline problems in the past.)
NQT – please help
1. bring the pupils in and get them to stand behind their desks in silence. Take a short time - but not long - to move a few of them around ... separate the OBVIOUS cases! - but then tell them that you want to get on with the lesson, and you'll finalise the seating plan when you're good and ready. Be efficient and assertive. Make sure they understand that these are not their permanent seats - they'll do for today, but every pupil needs to understand that they may be moved to a more appropriate place in the next few lessons. This is your classroom and people sit where you put them.
2. Get them to copy your setting-out rules in silence. While they are doing so, you can be handing out textbooks and preparing yourself for the lesson, but maintain full discipline as firmly as is necessary during this first task.
3. Start out with an unambitious lesson that they will ALL understand. Make sure that you teach and they learn. Do not relax on your determination to maintain silence in work and listening, and proper behaviour in discussion and answering.
4. At the end of the lesson, if they have behaved properly for you, finish with a plenary that's a bit of fun and carries rewards. You can relax a bit and smile, but be prepared to 'turn' of anyone goes too far.
Posted on: Aug 10 2005, 08:52 PM
To cite this page, use: CLARE, JOHN D. (2005/2006), 'Starting off as you mean to go on', at Greenfield History Site (http://www.johndclare.net/Teaching/Discipline_FirstImpressions.htm).