The end of the year is fast approaching and if you are like any other teacher ever, you will be checking up on how much content you have taught this year, how much you didn’t get done and frantically trying to assess students for their learning so that you can write an accurate report for the end of the year.
When students don’t listen or follow directions, or they roll their eyes when you speak, or they talk while you are talking, it can seem as though they don’t care what you think of them. This is a misconception. Young people do care what adults e.g. parents and teachers think of them. They care very deeply even when they don’t show it. The more it seems they don’t care, the more they do care.
When I first started teaching (many years ago!) I was struck by the cookie cutter approach of the education system, that seemed to knock any individualism, originality and enthusiasm right out of young students. Any student who didn’t fit in was poked and prodded (figuratively) till they were made to fit.
ONE: Use their interests to make the learning relevant, meaningful and engaging. TWO: Give them choice in their learning indicating that you value their input and perspective. THREE: Give them opportunities to voice their concerns and their point of view about issues in the classroom and the school.
While we cannot eliminate all change from a student’s school day, we can put some strategies in place that help students to cope and hopefully prevent difficult behaviour or meltdowns that may result from their anxiety.
Student voice and choice. Creating a classroom environment where students and teacher really listen to one another in an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding may be considered idealistic. But what are teachers if not idealists? If students feel accepted and free to express themselves they are more likely to take risks with their learning. They will feel ok to say, “I don’t understand” or “I don’t get it” and to ask for help. To develop a non-threatening classroom climate takes time, effort and effective, consistent practices.
Have you ever had a student who displayed challenging behaviour that baffled you? None of your usual behaviour tricks and tools seem to work. The student responds positively to you one day, but the next won’t do anything for you. Or they love your reward system for a couple of days and then refuse to participate in it.
Some teachers will say that it is not their job to teach students how to behave, or how to regulate their emotions, or how to make friends or what to do when they feel angry. However, if you don’t teach them these important social skills at school, how will they learn?
The classroom environment can contribute to problems between students as well as reduce student engagement and learning. When teachers and schools give careful thought to how the environment is arranged, authentic learning is enhanced and incidental behaviour issues can be prevented.
Where students and teacher get on with the business of learning and growing with the least amount of fuss and disruption. Where students are engaged and excited about the learning. Where there are clear ground rules for how to behave, how to treat each other and how to learn.
When a student displays challenging behaviour, teachers usually look for the antecedent or trigger. Simply put, the trigger is whatever happened immediately prior to the problem behaviour and seems to contribute to the behaviour.
8 Easy Ways to Differentiate the Curriculum for Your Students - If you think of differentiation in terms of content, process, product and learning environment and begin by providing difference in one aspect, you can reduce some of the associated stress.
With a focus on how the school principal and executive can lead their staff in the area of wellbeing by being role models and positive examples, the five ways to wellbeing fit beautifully into school life especially as part of building a positive school culture that supports staff health and wellness.
As teachers, we are always looking for ways to optimise the learning for our students, whilst also taking little extra preparation time. Simple, effective ways to engage your students that won't require any extra work for you!
Here are some simple techniques you can add to your teaching […]
Simple ways to care for your wellbeing before it's too late. When I ran over Clover I knew things had to change! Have you ever had a wake up call? I was teaching full-time, had 4 children of my own, and a husband who was a 7 days a week, sometimes 24 hours a day, workaholic. I ran from one thing to another: soccer training, tennis lessons, swimming training, guitar lessons; grocery shopping, trying to put healthy meals on the table every night, pack healthy lunches every day; spend time with my own kids as well as turn up every day for my 30 Kindergarten students and give them my best.
There is no doubt that in schools where there are high levels of harmony and a positive outlook, staff usually experience greater job satisfaction; improved sense of belonging; stronger loyalty; greater commitment; less absenteeism; and higher levels of job performance.
The talk in your head impacts your wellbeing. Gandhi said, ‘I will not let anyone walk through my mind with his dirty feet.’ Sometimes we are the ones with the dirty feet in our own minds! Have you ever had Imposter Syndrome? Have you ever taught something important to your students and then thought ‘Hey, who am I to sprout about all of this? or ‘Hey, I don’t do that!’
It’s your first teaching gig! How ridiculously wonderful and absolutely terrifying at the same time! At last you get to put into practice all that you have learnt for your very own students.
Going back to school can be a time of great excitement… and anxiety. These simple tips can help parents and students have the best start to the year possible.