2 June 2016 - Getting motivated in the classroom
Mrs Margie O'Dell, the former principal of Ridge Junior School and well respected educator, joined us for an afternoon of inspiration and great ideas for teachers to try in their classrooms. Her philosophies are inspirational and bring renewed energy and enthusiasm for the year along with some very valuable advice and reminders.
Mrs O'Dell reminded everyone that teachers have an extremely big influence on children's lives and this comes with a big responsibility. A teacher's influence will never go away so remember to try and always be positive in your classroom, laugh with your children and be actively engaged, and respect works both ways (you may be the only good adult in their lives).
A few general tips on creating the classroom culture that a teacher desires include trying to stay connected with parents and guardians. This can be done by sending interesting and relevant articles home in the children's homework books. Try going to different lessons and activities as a group instead of having to stay in lines. Develop a sense of belonging and an idea of 'make our class the best'. Finally remember to not sweat the small stuff.
Clever and inexpensive resources can be found in many places to use in the classroom. Take a supermarket advertisement newspaper insert. These are often available in the actual shop and they are free to pick up. Children can be asked different questions relating to maths or English for example. Instructions could be to add up how many products are blue or to find all the products that start with the letter S. The children can also make up their own questions which encourages them to be out-of-the-box thinkers. Negatives are another way of asking questions such as find something that is not yellow, not hot, not food and so on.
A tray with objects on it can be used, allow the children to see the objects on the tray and then tell them to close their eyes and take an object away. They must then try and tell you what is no longer on the tray. A helpful memory exercise that is very inexpensive. Try to also deviate from the routine every now and again like having a no written work day and do fun quizzes or even a treasure hunt. There is so much in the media everyday that can be used ass useful teaching tools.
It is important to develop a sense of closeness in the classroom and be aware of what is happening in the classroom. A sense of caring can be brought through a classroom pet to teach respect of animals and what it takes to look after them. Finally these timeless principals will help in the classroom. Talk kindness to your children and the importance of loving one another. Children learn what they hear, it starts at home. Don't forget to HAVE FUN, it makes teaching joyful and fulfilling.