Giving Something Back: Mentoring Student Teachers

I excelled in my academic studies at university; however, as a result of my youthful inexperience, I always felt vulnerable and unprepared during my practical teaching experiences. While I had some excellent mentor teachers, on several occasions I found myself working with unsupportive, and in one case, overly critical teachers. One almost drove me to […]

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Becoming a Reflective Practitioner and Blogger

  As a new teacher, I established a reflective journal; documenting and reflecting on my teaching experiences, observations, and ongoing professional development throughout my first year. I view my journal as a very personal record of my experiences. As I flick through my handwritten entries, recorded in multiple exercise books, I can trace the low […]

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The Classroom Learning Environment – Be Aware of the Audience

I’ve already explored the ‘3 R’s of an Effective Learning Environment” in a series of earlier posts; however, I have a few further points which specifically relate to the effective management of challenging students. In particular, it is extremely important to consider how the rest of your class reacts to your challenging student’s antics. To […]

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The Top 5 Moments & Memories of My First Year

One: Watching my students learn & grow up Over the past 20 months, I have had the wonderful opportunity to watch hundreds of my students grow up; forming into the young people & young adults they are destined to become. Watching the transformation, learning & growth of my students over time has been one of […]

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Get involved with Breakfast / Lunchtime Clubs & Activities

Starting out as a relief teacher in early 2009, I was surprised to receive a student’s invitation to visit the morning Breakfast Club. What I found even more surprising was that this particular student was a member of the infamous “Room 15”, a troubled Year 6/7 class about which I had heard no end of […]

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Relief Teaching: Chalk & Small Talk!

Becoming an Effective Relief Teacher In my first year of teaching, I have learnt that effective relief teachers: Work to develop positive relationships with students and staff Demonstrate sound classroom management skills, and Have a repertoire of instructional strategies and relief fill-in activities In my experience, the development of strong relationships has underpinned my survival […]

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The 3 Keys (Part 1): Building Positive Relationships

When formulating my “Jigsaw Approach to Classroom Management” back in 2008, I made the following observations: A safe learning environment relies on positive teacher-student relationships and positive peer relationships. Teachers can develop such relationships by taking a meaningful interest in their students’ lives, and promoting an anti-bullying ethos through their words and actions. Make an […]

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A Brief Interlude

I have had a very busy few weeks, working close to full-time relief and visiting two new schools, bringing my total up to 23. I’ve also started writing my first proper merit-select applications for full-time/part-time employment in 2011, a very slow and painful process. I recently received some wonderful feedback on A Relief Teacher’s Journey, […]

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Challenging Students: Dealing with Student Anger, Defiance, Aggression, and Violence

As a relief teacher, I meet and work with challenging students on a regular basis; and it is fair to say that my 2008 school experience and 2009 relief teaching experience in a TRIBES school have defined my attitude and management approach towards these students. My experiences, observations, and professional learning in these schools underpin […]

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