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.
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.
Happiness, energy and confidence are boosted by focusing on teacher wellbeing. Both yours and your students!
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.
If you are feeling apprehensive about going back to school after the summer break, you are not alone. Many teachers find it daunting returning to school after a break to face the whirlwind demands of planning, managing, teaching, marking and reporting.
Teaching is one of those rare occupations where you never feel as though you have actually achieved anything. There is always the vague feeling that if you just had a bit more time, or an extra set of hands or some inspired thinking you would be a better teacher.
Becoming a great teacher doesn’t happen overnight. It is the combination of experience, passion and self-reflection that makes a successful teacher.
There are many times throughout the day, week or year that teachers have to put on their best acting suit to get through certain situations. For example when you are a new teacher, when you are hungry or tired, when you are substitute teacher, when you lack confidence; the list goes on.
Every time I meet a teacher in their first few years of teaching, my heart goes out to them! Nothing can prepare you for that first year when you feel like you will never remember all the things you are supposed to do... If I could go back and speak to my young, eager, new-teacher self, here is what I would say:
We cannot control another person’s behaviour, but when we change what we do, we can increase the likelihood that students will do what we want. Here are the top 11 mistakes teachers make with behaviour management.
It is not necessary for your students to like you, but it is very important that they think you like them! Relationships are the cornerstone of your work as a teacher; kids will work harder for you when they know you care about them. The Top Ten Mistakes Teachers Make with Student-Teacher Relationships....
Schools often struggle with how to teach students to be accountable for their actions and to take responsibility when they have acted inappropriately. Howard Zehr, the restorative justice pioneer, coined the three “restorative questions” that guide restorative practices.
Have you ever felt that it didn’t matter what the consequences were for a student’s behaviour, they didn’t make any difference? If a behaviour management strategy isn’t working, it may be time to change and perhaps that means taking a completely different approach. Despite all our best efforts at prevention, there will be times when students do not always follow directions or comply with our expectations. So how do we respond in a way that will help students learn appropriate behaviour and maintain positive relationships?