Friday, 13 February 2015

When the year settles you create some space.

Over the last couple of days I was starting to feel like things were settling down. The start of a school year is always hectic and even more so for newcomers to the school and newcomers to the profession. But around about week 3, week 4 things start to hum along a bit better. The newbies, like myself, have learnt where to find things, who to ask for what and where to find most things. Bewildering for me is still the bell system. I have trouble remembering when the end and start of lessons are and 47 minute lesson doesn't make the maths simple. The students are a great help here and I have worked out who my go to students are. I've synced my watch so I'm mostly getting to class on time and I'm usually packed up and ready for the changeover when it happens.

As the settling happens we create space in our day. All of a sudden there's just a bit more time. The 'free' period actually feels like it's 47 minutes and the double free this week seemed like half a day. I don't feel that I won't be ready for each lesson or that I'll have to spend hours at home preparing things. There's time to breathe and time to have conversations with colleagues about the way things are and why. I can look up from my desk and see what's happening around me. Lovely.

I'm also starting to remember names. It can never be underestimated how important this is. I can converse about students without looking up a photo and I get a little bit more classroom control back. The kids respond when I remember them and laugh when I get them mixed up. At least the name belongs to someone in the class! One thing I do tat really helps is I do a workbook check early on. This gives me a chance to have a one to one conversation with each student and find out how they are getting along. These chats are invaluable for getting to know them and their learning and to clarify any expectations. I love these times and my challenge at the moment is to work out how I can do it successfully with the more unruly of my classes.

I'll be pondering that this weekend so I'd love to hear how others do it.

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