As part of our commitment to supporting schools and school professionals, we’ve invested in the creation of a unique Partnership and Development team consisting of former school leaders and teachers. A key element of the team’s remit is to design and deliver training to support continuing professional development (CPD). The theme of the Term 1 CPD sessions is ‘essential behaviour management’. Last weekend, we focused on the all-important preparation crucial to making sure that lessons are engaging right from the moment the children walk into the room. We called this session “The First Fifteen Minutes”. Here’s what the team had to say following the session!
As many Engage teachers are new to the UK and to teaching, it’s vitally important that they’re offered support in addition to that given by their schools. With that in mind, the day was broken into four workshops:
- Establishing expectations and routines (separate sessions for primary and secondary teachers and support staff)
- Effective and engaging starters
- Thoughtful seating plans and groupings
- Making learning both accessible and challenging
The purpose of each session was to offer teachers a new range of strategies to adapt and apply in their current settings. Each session featured a period of reflection that centred around strategies that were already working and those which needed development. We are always keen to highlight the importance of always being a reflective practitioner.
- Establishing expectations (for both phases) – Teachers reflected on the implementation of systems and routines and whether these contributed to a calm entry and start to lessons or whether they felt as though they were ‘fighting fires’ from the outset. Examples were given as to what a straightforward process could look like and how, with clear and consistent instructions and expectations, they might experience a calm and purposeful beginning to their lessons and a greater opportunity to deliver the wonderful lessons they had been planning.
- Effective and engaging starters – As expressed during the session, a key element to ensuring a calm and purposeful atmosphere right from the start of any lesson, was through providing engaging and relevant activities to promote learning. Teachers were presented with a broad range of easy-to-adapt starter activities covering a broad range of subjects and age ranges. We discussed with teachers how they might adapt these for different classes and subjects and we hope that they will prove useful this week!
- Thoughtful seating plans and grouping – During this session, we reviewed the process some teachers undertake in designing a thoughtful seating plan and the various considerations they needed to have in order to ensure all needs are catered for and each student is being given the best opportunity to succeed. Finally, we also shared with groups the type of data they might wish to consider (alongside, of course, anecdotal data) and we were incredibly impressed by the depth of conversation this activity provoked.
- Making learning accessible and challenging – This session focused on ensuring that planning was varied enough to provide challenge for all, while also giving all learners the opportunity to taste success right from the start of the lesson This session was full of take-home tips and ideas which we know some of our attendees have already been using in their lessons.
If you’re a teacher or a member of support staff, get in touch with us to find out how Engage can support your professional development and give you the assistance you need to reach the next stage of your career.