Thursday, 24 July 2014

Creating the right atmosphere from the start

First week of the summer holidays almost at an end and my brain finally has the space to think!  I've been giving some thought to how I want to start off my classes in September.  Usually, I go for the 'Rules of the classroom, sanctions and rewards and sticking things into books' lesson, but I am always left at the end with a really stodgy feeling;  I haven't been true to my beliefs about teaching in the TL, the pupils haven't learnt any German/French,  and most importantly, they have been bored to death with the 5th such lesson in one day. This year I have decided to break the mould and start all my classes off in the TL.

As far as rules and behaviour expectations go, I read an interesting article in the TES about a year ago about a teacher who launched straight into teaching and allowed the pupils to 'work out' where the boundaries were.  I must admit, it's a little daunting, but then I don't work in a school where behaviour is an issue.  I always put my classes in seating plans, which helps with remembering names and I have various ways of rewarding and applying sanctions.  I am going to re-launch Class Dojo with my lower school classes for an individual team point thingy and I will be implementing my yellow and red card sanction system.  I have also considered starting a football card collecting system off the back of the world cup - not sure yet; maybe too much.

Hopefully with all this in place, I should be able to jump right in at the deep end with the TL, using lots of simple language and cognates and of course mimes galore!

Any thoughts?  I would really love to hear them.  Post comments here, send an email (see right hand side) or send a tweet (@reebekwylie)