Session 9 Summary – Thursday 19th August

Session Title:

Classroom Management: Share Your Top Tips!

Summary of Discussion:

Teachers and educators across all sectors joined in a discussion of how they best manage their classrooms and learning environments. Coming as it did in mid August, the discussion was a timely refresher for teachers about to start the new academic year – or just in the first week’s of term for our Scottish colleagues!

The discussion ranged from practical tips about room layout and managing equipment, to ideas of how to model behaviour and teach/promote listening skills and community. There were debates about the merits of seating plans and some notable ‘what not to do’ suggestions which kept people amused (and somewhat aghast in the case of @darynsimon’s now legendary contribution – see below!)

There seemed to be broad consensus for the fundamental idea that consistency is key: pupils need to know that sanctions and rewards will be applied if that is what has been agreed. There were however some differences of opinion about the relative merits of stickers and other rewards. The beauty of #ukedchat is the fluidity of discussion: we even managed to have a go at exposing and debunking that urban myth passed worryingly passed on to many NQTs… effective teachers don’t smile till Christmas!

It was the first #ukedchat session I’d moderated and I think I was initially concerned the discussion would dry up. Not a chance! The hour flew by and people were still sharing their tips and ideas well past the 9pm end time. I hope people found it as productive and thought-provoking as I did.

Eye-Catching Tweets from Discussion:

@TeacherTalks: Use ‘non-verbal’ signals – eyebrows can speak a thousand words

@tj007: classroom management isn’t contained to just the classroom but also to how you ‘interact’ in the corridors/playground

@geraldhaigh: Be neat, tidy, dress professionally. Shows respect, children notice. Don’t be sloppy.

@Cgeo28: share your markbook with pupils, they don’t like notes/data hidden from them. Use to aid discussion.

@Mrrainford: Look for the causes of behaviour and address those, that way each lesson won’t feel like groundhog day with the same culprits

@sdisbury: give pupils choices and consequences – always follow through

@realllara: Always model the behaviours you expect from your children – learning, treatment of others, interest, patience!

@darynsimon: I always play a song (relevant to content) at the start of the lesson giving them the length of the track to get settled & focused

@cjs76: If it goes wrong, reflect on why – there will be a good reason; tiredness, poor planning, disruption from other influences

@TheHeadsOffice: Classroom management has to be embedded in an interesting lively curriculum

@kvnmcl: I always smile, from day one. When they see your alternative disappointed face it’s much more effective.

@dawnhallybone: when things go wrong – deep breath, smile, music, get them outside/change scenery – admit it’s not working ask for solutions

@tonycassidy: Listen to your internal voice, the one that is telling you to stop, stop ranting

@saraloisstanley: use the words and voice that you want to hear your children use

@zoeross19: if you really can’t get a grip on them and WW3 is breaking out (Y9?) do send for reinforcements

@aangeli: Overplan! Nightmare I know (!) but if u r prepared for every eventuality you will be soooo grateful you have

@Natty08: make sure you praise all children even the quiet well behaved ones and not just the loud ones!

@chrismayoh: don’t be afraid of deviating from your lesson plan. If your pupils express a genuine interest in something then pursue it!

And the worst piece of advice on classroom management ever given award goes to: @darynsimon: Worst advice ever? “Pick one kid at random in the corridor and give them a good bollocking’ Thankfully never used! #ukedchat

Tweet of the Week:

I was struck by this deceptively simple piece of advice from @realllara: Try to avoid rhetorical questions as polite commands – ‘Would you like to sit there?’ might not get you the response you expect!

Apart from the what-not-to-do tweets of course (no random bollocking in my corridors!), then I think the most succinct and worth remembering was @tonycassidy: remember the next lesson is a fresh start.

As a relatively new teacher it gives me hope and it’s something I feel we all need to remember on those days when it just goes a bit spectacularly wrong despite our great intentions!

Useful Weblinks highlighted during the Discussion:

http://bit.ly/9nbcHd – from @colport

http://bit.ly/9HiQmt – from @tonycassidy

Brief Bio of the Host Moderator:

I’m a teacher of English at a girls’ comprehensive in Liverpool and have departmental responsibility as Lead Practioner (a sort of Second in Dept type post!) I teach English Language and Literature from KS3 up to A Level. I’m a relatively recent Twitter convert but enthusiastic supporter of #ukedchat as I have found it the most invaluable (and free!) CPD since I started participating.

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