As a new primary school teacher, you can feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the task placed in front of you. You’ve got to educate the 30 children in your class, all while managing behaviour and accommodating everybody’s needs. It sounds impossible, but it can be done. Here’s the top ten tips that all primary teachers follow when they’re working in the classroom.
1. Create a relationship with the parents
Now more than ever you’re going to need to build up a good relationship with the parents of your students. They have more of an impact on them than anyone else in their lives, so you need to get to know them, and understand what their home life is like. The best way to do this is to make yourself available at the end of the school day, when children are being picked up. You can chat with them, and share what’s happened in the day. This works wonders for building strong relationships.
2. Be positive in the classroom
A popular piece of advice given to new teachers is ‘don’t mile before Christmas’, in order to cement your role as the boss in the classroom. The fact is that positivity goes a long way towards a better behaved classroom, so encourage and help your students wherever you can. A few words of praise when they’re getting right will sit so much better than a heavy handed approach when things go wrong.
3. Know your subject
As a primary teacher this sounds like a difficult task, but you need a good understanding of your subject in order to teach it. If you don’t, it can have a serious impact on your students’ learning. If you’re struggling, find help online on sites such as State Of Writing, or talk to a colleague with a better understanding to get help with your lesson plans.
4. Know when to use the staff room
The staff room is the hub of the school, and you’ll need to access it in order to get that all important cup of tea and biscuit on your breaks. However, heading up there can get you inundated with people asking for help or ideas for their own classes. If you need a real break, avoiding the staff room may actually be your best bet. If you need some help though, get in there and tap your colleagues for their perspectives and experiences.
5. Your relationships with your students matter
The environment in your classroom will go a long way towards your success. A teacher that encourages a positive environment will be able to understand their students’ needs better, and therefore help them achieve their best every day.
6. Let children know what’s expected of them
If you’re having behavioural issues with your students, it could be because they don’t quite understand what’s expected of them. Spend time before every lesson giving them the goals for this session, and tell them what you need from them. The clearer you are, the more focused they can be.
7. Be attentive to your students’ needs
Thanks to class sizes, you can’t always meet every child’s needed, but you can try your best. The more you accommodate them, the better they will thrive. For example, if you tell children that they have five minutes, they can find that harder to visualise. If you run a sand timer though, they can see exactly how long they have.
8. Model good behaviour
You can’t expect your students to listen to you if you’re not practicing what you preach. Make sure you’re modelling the good behaviour you want them to exhibit. Listen to them when they’re talking to you, try not to raise your voice, and praise children when they get something right. It’s much easier to respect a teacher who holds themselves to their own high standards.
9. Don’t worry if students are finding it difficult
Writers at UK Top Writers say students often come to them when they’re finding new subjects challenging. If this is happening in your classroom, don’t panic. A new topic is going to be hard at first, because your students have never come across it before. Instead, give them the space and time they need to ask question and get to grips with the subject matter.
10. Don’t worry about learning styles
You’ll have heard a lot about how learning styles can influence learning. You’ll try your hardest to accommodate all kinds of styles, but in reality you don’t have to. In fact, there’s not a lot of evidence to suggest they work at all.