A ruler’s first term in power is tough. Getting to an agreement between all your subjects and getting them all to behave and respect your authority through being stern and assertive is extremely tiring. Your subjects begin to test your authority first with small rumblings in the streets below only to be followed by all out protests and outcry.
Luckily, my teaching mindset has slowly begun to evolve and move away from this mindset of a teacher and students hierarchy. I’ve been blessed with a lovely Year 2 class in my first year out, whom I’ve grown to treat as little people rather than my subjects that I’m ruling over. It really is about the small adjustments that have the greatest impact on learning for the little ones.
Just a few of the small changes that have helped make such a big impact…
- Bringing in a wireless keyboard and mouse from home so that I could work on the floor with the students, sitting in amongst them whilst we do some of our whole class lessons (I think they are still getting used to this).
- Consistently focusing on positive reinforcement of the ‘behaviour’ students using class trophies and a Class Dojo trading system has worked especially in the last week. Students come up and do the trading number sentences themselves and if they get it wrong, they don’t get any change… (maybe a little harsh for Year 2 but luckily there hasn’t been a case of this yet).
- Starting a class blog to reinforce writing and editing of our work. We construct a joint blog post as a class using mini whiteboards and then students get time to write comments. We’ve gotten as far as understanding how to comment using strategies from our guided writing during the week, but some comments are still unrelated to the post. I also put up photos of student work samples on the blog so we can go through the editing and marking process as a class.
- Using mini whiteboards during guided writing has helped immensely as students just seem to be able to focus so much more and are not inhibited by the fear of making mistakes as they are when they use their writing books (Thanks Mrs. Thielemans).
- Using sentence and story prompts in their writing has helped to build our Work on Writing Stamina in Daily 5 from 5 minutes all the way to 17 minutes this week.
But there is still so much on my mind. I need to focus more on providing a modelled scaffold for my lower students. I need to find time to assess my students throughout the day as I sort out what to do with my timetable. Getting my head around functional grammar. Remembering to assign students to collect lunch orders. All this amongst a few other billion things that teachers need to think about.
But in the end, it is so worth it when you see those little people enjoy themselves and getting overly excited when they learn something new.
Have a look at what 2 Nova have been up to here!