When getting ready for a new school year I have a list of priorities to work through. Knowing my team have all the information and resources they need to teach their students gives me confidence we will start the term in the best possible way.
All teachers receive a folder containing the following:
Part of the faculty time during the start of term INSET is used to review the recent summer exam results. I make a PowerPoint presentation for my team to summarise three key areas.
The aim of the presentation is to provide a forum where we can be constructively critical of our performance as a team. I ask every member of staff to contribute to the discussion while leaving my own thoughts until last. This helps to create focus the team’s direction this school year.
In most schools open evening normally takes place late September or early October. Given most teachers are very busy at this time getting to know their new classes it is important to organise open evening as early as possible. I ask teachers to look for opportunities for their students to produce some display work. The topics are arranged within the long term plan so that each year group has an opportunity to produce display work in the first few weeks.
Teachers who teach Year 7 are asked to nominate students who could help support and showcase the faculty. For ideas about the types of activities you could run check out this blog on Preparing your mathematics department for open evening.
Before the students arrive I talk with each member of staff to address any concerns they have. The two most common concerns are learning student’s names and managing instances of poor behaviour.
Learning student’s names
The quickest way to learn the student names is to do a seating plan that you are confortable with. Print it out on A4 and have a copy to hand whenever you address the students. I have written more about this in my blog Setting Up your Maths Classroom.
Another way is to look at where the student is sitting when you call the attendance register at the start of a lesson.
Try not to get too worried about this and focus on delivering engaging lessons. I like to use mini-whiteboards for formative assessments throughout the lesson. This way I get to know who can and cannot access the work before they become off task.
When poor behaviour does occur deal with it on a case by case basis at as lower level as possible. Be firm with your expectations and have clear consequences that are consistently applied. Take the time to follow up any consequence you have given the student. This may be time consuming but it will pay off in the long run. I have written more about this in my blog Behaviour Management in a Mathematics Lesson.
My name is Jonathan Robinson and I passionate about teaching mathematics. I am currently Head of Maths in the South East of England and have been teaching for over 15 years. I am proud to have helped teachers all over the world to continue to engage and inspire their students with my lessons.
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