A procedure at school hasn’t quite been working for myself and my class recently and it was bugging me for a little bit. I shared my thoughts with a range of staff members including TAs, teachers and one of the headteachers and by the end of yesterday, thanks to all their ideas, I’d come out with some exciting and hopefully more effective strategies that I’m looking forward to implementing next year. The best part is: most of the suggestions were simple and easy to implement and I almost kicked myself for not thinking of them in the first place! I’ll share this particular problem and its resolution at a later date.
After this, however, I decided to reflect on just a few of the ‘simple solutions’ that I’d discovered myself and/or magpied from other staff members that make my school-life a lot easier:
Laminate a class list and blu-tac it on your desk.
- Tick off the names of children when they participate in the class. At the end of the lesson you can see who has contributed and who hasn’t and follow it up accordingly.
- Pop a ‘T’ next to the name of a child whenever they ask to go to the toilet. You’ll be able to see if there are any students making a habit of popping out during lessons.
- Easy to ensure you have included all children in new seating plans or groups for an activity.
Create and save a seating plan template to display on your interactive whiteboard.
- Saves you having to pop out named lollipop sticks or other resources to identify where children’s new seats are in the morning.
- Saves you having to collect in these resources too!
- The seating plan can be easily adapted and you can keep a record of who has sat where to ensure variety of learning partners.
Keep your own reading book at school
- You can show that you read for pleasure yourself too when they’re doing independent reading, which generally motivates them to follow suit.
- Your children will almost definitely ask you what you’re reading, which opens up wonderful reciprocal dialogue.
- You can indulge in some well-deserved reading for five minutes at lunchtime (in the sunshine, if you’re lucky!) instead of faffing at the photocopy. This can make you far more relaxed, energised and sane for the afternoon.
- A previous blog post discusses in further detail the benefits of teachers as readers: https://teachingtrafford.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/you-can-read/
Yesterday’s process reminded me of two really important things. 1) The fact that communication often resolves problems. 2) Some issues are easily resolved through simple solutions.