Your first few classes as a new teacher can be nervewracking! Here are our top tips to turn your experience into a positive one…
- Nerves are good
Nerves at the start of your lesson are good! It means you care about your students, what happens in the lesson and that you want it to be the best it can be for your students.
- Know your subject
Knowing your subject will give you confidence when you start teaching. You will be able to answer questions about the subject, and it will show your students that you know what you are talking about and will give them confidence in you.
- Remember you are not Einstein!
You will not be able to answer every single question students ask! When you don’t know the answer, you can simply say: “I’m sorry I don’t know the answer to that – does anyone else in the class know?” or “I don’t know the answer to that, but I will find out and let you know next session” or “I don’t know the answer to that, why don’t you look it up on the computer and let us all know what you find out” If you have agreed to find out, make sure you do it and tell them in the next session.
- Positive encouragement
A little bit of praise can go a long way to motivating and encouraging students. Sometimes if a student has created a piece of work that is particularly good, I will ask them if I can show it to the rest of the class.
Remember if you are giving feedback to your students about a subject that you not only share their strengths and areas for development but that you show them how to improve.
Vary your teaching strategies. Don’t lecture for hours and hours. Students get bored. Try giving your students something to look at or hold while you are talking.
- Class management
Lead by example, and set Ground Rules, so that you can refer to them in the event that student behaviour is unacceptable.
- Be inclusive
Challenge behaviour of students that doesn’t conform to the 9 characteristics of the Equalities Act of 2010.
- Meet student need
If a student has a disability or learning difficulty, ask them how you can help them. They may have solutions and suggestions for you beyond your own differentiation plans.
- Plan, Plan and Plan some more
You will never regret planning hard for a session, as it will give you confidence during the lesson. You will know what you are going to teach, how the students are going to learn and in what order. As you become more experienced, your planning time will reduce, but the more you put in at the beginning the more comfortably you will adapt to your new role.
Anything we can help with?
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