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Three tips to help new teachers create magic in their classrooms

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Being a teacher is as rewarding as it is challenging, and if you’re new to the career you could feel overwhelmed by the journey ahead of you. That’s why we help NQTs not only find their first positions, but prepare for the task of cultivating young minds in a new school.

Once you're planning your first days at a new school, you may be anxious about the journey ahead and how to ensure you are the best teacher your students could have.

To help support you in those early days, here are three of our top tips to help you keep your students focused and learning in your lessons.

1. Own your classroom

Great lessons are based on classroom management. From the very beginning, establish your classroom as your domain. As your pupils come into the room, they will immediately be picking up subliminal messages, which inform their judgement as to whether or not you are in control.

Wherever possible, have a seating plan. You decide who sits with whom. You can opt for alphabetical, boy/girl, similar ability/different ability, friend/not friend, but the crucial thing is that you decide.

2. Have a ‘wow’ moment

Dare to be different when planning your lessons. Kids like doing things rather than writing all the time, great lessons often have a “Champagne moment”, an episode of magic which makes kids stop and wonder.

The PE teacher who interrupted a KS3 long jump lesson to extend his measuring tape to show them how far the world record holder jumped was rewarded with an audible intake of breath. The KS2 teacher who dressed up in a bewildering array of costume to support her lesson on the weather will surely take her place in the pantheon of the kids’ memories, and in both cases the impact on learning was palpable.

3. Connect with their world

Brilliant teachers weave a web of magic to create an environment where the imagination can indulge itself in the process of learning. They connect with the pupil’s own world. They find out what the local culture is. They use the framework of popular television programmes to base their lessons around. They know which cartoon characters make children sit up and look. A secondary teacher working on Romeo and Juliet created her lesson using the format of a dating website. A Year 5 teacher concentrating on creative writing used the computer game Minecraft as a context to spark creative thought.

These are all different examples but have one thing in common; kids loved the lesson. If you lead it correctly, kids of all ages will buy in, behave immaculately and their learning will progress in leaps and bounds.

For more advice about teaching in your first classes and to find out how Hays Education can assist with preparing you for your first teaching position, request your personal copy of the Super NQT: Welcome to Teaching guide which we have produced with bestselling authors and teachers Chris Henley and Gary Toward.

The guide tells you everything you need to know about your first days and offers lots of practical advice to help you keep your new students amazed and engaged.  

To find out more, or to discuss your recruitment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.

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