Reflection two, a follow up.

Well, I didn’t buy that diary.

The last term flew by. I have been given a range of classes to take over, so along with session planning, training, meetings, revision sessions, university, marking, keeping up with paper work, registers and writing essays, reflections have been on the back burner! Jeez, no wonder all these brand new squeaky clean teachers are leaving the profession, it is hard work!

I have been loving it though. I enjoy having some freedom and creativity with what I teach and building rapport with the students.

Although behaviour management is still a major struggle for myself, it is slowly improving the more I get to know my students. I have definitely stopped taking the behaviour personally. I find it very sad how desperate some of the young people are to get attention, so I am looking at ways to involve everyone and make them feel valued.

Since my last post my Functional Skills English classes have been completely reorganised. The groups how been mixed up and the sessions have doubled in time! So three hours with these demon groups (I know it’s bad, but that was my initial thought-terrible).

Due to the mix up and change: new teacher (me), new classroom (it’s actually a lovely room), new classmates and new style of lessons, the students were quite rightly distressed and annoyed. I can’t blame them for that at all, as I am quite adverse to change as well.

However they have settled really well and behaviour is slowly improving. Instead of two tricky groups, my afternoon group have settled down and are working well. Apart from being a bit giggly and loud they are working to a high standard and now have a lot of pride in their English work. When it comes to four o’clock they often take a while to leave! Which is a really lovely feeling.

The morning group are a slightly different story. It’s a larger group with some very disruptive students in it. I have found that nothing spreads faster than a negative attitude. Once one student says, ‘I can’t do it’, everyone seems to have suddenly decided they can’t do it either. It’s a real shame, I know I need to boost positivity in my classrooms. I go in with a positive attitude, but even find myself at times leaving feeling drained and miserable sometimes!

So to tackle this I have been adding competitive elements, I group my students in their tables and good behaviour, good contributions and work helps their group to become the winning team. It works really well and points can also be wiped away for bad behaviour. I have also learnt all my students’ names and got to know them a little as individuals, which is invaluable.

Short exercises have been used throughout the classes, which works really well and stops the students’ disengaging. It also provides an urge to move on and progress onto the next activity. Very slowly, student’s confidence is developing, especially in the afternoon group. One particularly disengaged pupil who is often tired and gets agitated at times has softened to the subject. She has started taking a lot of time and care into her work and I am confident she will pass.

So…..

Positives

  • Slow improvement in terms of behaviour.
  • Rapport developing with students.
  • Students’ confidence growing.
  • My confidence as a new teacher is developing with these students.

Negatives

  • Need to work on certain aspects, especially reading, in more detail.
  • Behaviour is still an issue.
  • Positivity needs to be boosted in the classroom.

Things to work on

  • Keeping up with marking and setting targets, complimenting students on what they are doing well on.
  • Embedding core subject into writing section of the course.
  • Develop behaviour management techniques and try new methods.