Completed my NQT year last year – so this is my first beginning of the school year as a fully qualified teacher. I’ve certainly been apprehensive about the workload mainly. I’m an over analyser and thinker by nature so I really need to reel that in this year and become slicker and more efficient in what I do and how I do it – or it simply won’t be sustainable.
I’ve done a lot of reading about teaching a learning (again) this summer – it is what floats my boat – as well as completing a Stanford University online course called “How to learn maths” run by Jo Boaler (of Elephant in the Classroom fame?). It was an interesting experience and I found it fairly useful in reminding me of things I’d come across before, as well as giving me some good practical activities to use in the classroom.
Two days of INSET were excellent in terms of how they were structured and I think I took something away from most sessions – I’m going to try an create a Podcast with year 9 students next week (for example).
Thursday was a day of intro lessons – going through expectations and ended up doing what I felt was a useful activity:
Bloom’s ranked questions activity – students tried to rank questions in terms of level of thinking required. Used this to identify A’s and B’s (pairs) and had B’s getting up and “having an argument” with another A about their answers… (hands to yourself)
If I’m looking to use Bloom’s then the students can be made aware of the ideas – a simple “What is…” question is a matter of knowing or remembering. So I tell them, then they know… Seems like this is a useful conversation to be able to have and links to the idea of “necessary and arbitrary”.
Classroom expectations and importance of feeling safe led me to saying “…because I don’t hate you, you know? Do I look like I hate you? In fact, I care about you. I care about you and think you and your education are so important that I will do my best for you this year. I want to help you learn and to achieve your potential…” This was based on TES behaviour guys “the teacher persona”
Introduced year 7’s to Me, My Friend and an Enemy in terms of setting out convincing working out.
It seems as though I may have got some key characters “on side” and haven’t had any behaviour concerns – Mr Rush’s session on intervention was interesting, in that he didn’t intervene and then had a learning conversation with the student and I found myself doing this, and letting some “off-task behaviour” go in the expectation that students would then engage in the activity… I feel I was able to do this because of greater confidence in my level of control.
In terms of classroom management, everything felt less rushed and more in control. I wasn’t feeling pressured to hurry, less afraid of silence and of making students wait…
Year 12: could’ve/should’ve given them 2 questions to take away and do for next lesson…