Making changes to the way you teach

As a teacher, there are always ways in which you can improve and offer a better education to your pupils. Regardless of the age of pupils you teach, there are new ways in teaching and offering help and support than can literally change a pupils prospects.

During the summer holidays is the perfect time to rethink the way in which you teach and start to consider changes you may want to make when you go back in September. Firstly you need to know that you have your classroom in order. You may need to give up a few days of your holiday in order to go in to the class, but this will give you the chance to rearrange furniture if needed and set up displays, all of which is very hard with a class full of children.

Try and get ahead with your planning and make sure that you have all the resources you need. You may want to have a rough plan of what you are going to do taking you up to half term and then on a weekly basis create a more detailed lesson plan and print off materials etc that will be needed.

If you found that you struggled with classroom control, then do some research and try and find out different ways in which you can deal with disruptive pupils to get the best outcome.

What is an Ofsted inspection and what do the ratings mean?

If you work in a school or an environment that offers learning such as a nursery or college, one of the most stressful things you can hear is that Ofsted are coming in to your school. It’s not that the school is necessarily doing anything wrong or has anything to hide, but the whole process is said to be extremely stressful and can put added pressure on a teacher’s already busy schedule.

Ofsted are there to inspect these places of learning to check how they are doing in different areas. The areas that they come out to check are split in to:

Overall effectiveness, Effectiveness of leadership and management, Quality of teaching, learning and assessment, Personal development / behaviour and welfare, Outcomes for children and learners and The effectiveness of early years and sixth form provision, where applicable.

Once the inspection has taken place it usually takes a few weeks for the report to be published. Even if the school knows how well they have done, they are not allowed to say until the inspection has been published. These grades can be Outstanding, Good, Notice to Improve or inadequate. Depending on the outcome, Ofsted may have to return within 12 months to check if progress has been made.

Helping your child cope with SATS stress

Many young children are taking part in their SATs exams starting this week. This can be an extremely stressful time for a child and although as parents you may not worry too much them, for the child it can be overwhelming. As a parent there are some signs of stress that you can look out for and ways in which you can help your child cope. Never brush it off, y telling your child not to be stupid or that they are overacting, as to them it may be something that is deeply concerning and something they cannot help worrying about.

For many of the children, it will be the first time they have experienced tests under exam conditions and SATs in particular have been deemed controversial for their difficulty and the level of stress they have caused pupils.

Helping to ensure that your child eats well, is sleeping well and staying active should help them manage their anxiety. You can also help devise a study plan with them, making sure that they also have time to switch off and play. Always reiterate to your child that exams can be important and will occur throughout their education but their well being is far more important.

 

Allowing yourself time to study

When starting to work on any new project you should always take time to learn. Often people learn new skills by reading books but for some people they learn better by actually taking part practically in something.

Video tutorials are a great way to see how to do something, often being able to have a visual aid makes it easier to learn that reading about it in a book or on a website.

Learning a new language is a skill that many of us do over our life time. It usually starts at school where you are often taught the basics of French, German or Spanish and for some people this is then a basis for them to build upon to allow them to be fluent in that language. A good way to learn a new language is to listen to the language been spoken. This may be in person or through an audio recording. Books can be a great way to quickly look up a phrase you need to use, so if going to a country where you are limited on the language it is always recommended to take a phase book with you.

Helping your children with their homework

Most parents now have to face the perils of helping their children through reams of homework and for some it can be pretty difficult as the standards expected from children now are so much higher than 20-30 years ago. However help is out there, firstly if your child is struggling with their homework it’s important to feed this back to their teachers as it’s important that they realise if the work is too hard for them.

If it’s a case of just wanting to understand more about what your child is learning then the internet really is your best friend. There are a lot of websites out there that can offer help following the curriculum standards so that you can be sure that you’re teaching them the correct current way that they will be learning at school.

Most importantly it’s essential to encourage your children to have a go at their homework even if they feel that it’s too hard, and explain to them that there is no harm in getting things wrong. As long as your children have you there to offer support and encouragement to complete their homework on time then you should be able to help them even without fully understanding the subject matter.