When I first starting teaching, I was very nervous but also bursting with enthusiasm. I wanted my students to get fantastic results, have some fun as they learned, to enjoy the subject. I would spend hours preparing, assessing, thinking about what I would do next. But there comes a time when you realise that working smarter is better than harder and that’s what this page is about.
Experienced teachers stumbling across this page do please share snippets of your experience to reduce the learning curve and allow that enthusiasm to continue to flourish.
Work smarter not harder, homework and coursework tips
- Don’t live in your catchment area unless you are able to deal with personal questions like ‘Who was that man I saw you with last night’, or ‘That’s a great selection of pyjamas you have Sir, my Granddad has some just like that’.
- Be firm but fair
- Mark student’s work as soon as possible – most them are keen to see their results
- Show a personal interest in your students, phone home occasionally (depending on your school’s policy) – it works wonders
- Let students know that you expect great things and have every confidence in their ability to deliver
- Be generous with praise when it’s deserved
- Never ask an older pupil for a rubber – only an eraser
Classroom management advice for new teachers
- A student being a pain and disrupting a lesson? Send them to a teacher in the farthest, most remote corner of the school with a note for a ‘long stand’ or ‘an idiot exchange’. They’re bound to read the note on the way and will get the message. In the meantime you can get on with teaching your class in peace.
- Each teacher has their own style of dealing with disruptive pupils but I’ve always found that dealing with them in humorous ways works best. It’s not always possible when you’re tired, frazzled and have deadlines to meet, but think about the methods you have seen in practice and try different approaches to see what works for you.