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Here are nine tips that will help you succeed and make it to year two or year Good communication is essential Prioritize effective communication year-round but especially during the first weeks of school.

Surviving in the CLassroom training for teachers of students with FASD

As your student load increases, so does your parent load. Depending on the number of students you have, introduce yourself to parents with a phone call, or send a welcome letter home during the first few weeks of school. Keep things positive As you begin parent conferences, make sure to start every conversation with a positive comment about the student—and end on a positive note as well.

Let them know that you are there for them if they have a problem, and demonstrate to them that you mean it. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo. Skip to main Skip to footer. Centre for Teaching Excellence. Faculty and staff Chairs and directors Postdoctoral fellows Graduate students. General strategies Visit the classroom before the first meeting.

General strategies

Get comfortable speaking in the room and see how well your voice carries. Check any audiovisual equipment you will be using and make sure your handwriting is legible from the back of the classroom.

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Create a discussion forum for frequently asked questions in the course website to make it easy for students to ask you questions. Build a sense of community in the classroom. Make an effort to get to know your students and express your interest in working with them during the semester. Use the first day to help your students understand how the class will serve their needs and demonstrate your commitment to helping them learn. Set a positive tone for the term.

Greet students when they enter the classroom, encourage questions, give students the opportunity to talk, and stay after class to answer questions. Make the time worthwhile. Once administrative tasks are completed, plunge into substantive material so that your students know you are serious about making progress at each session.

Administrative tasks Write the course name and number on the board. This message will alert any students who are in the wrong classroom to leave before you begin. Mention departmental course policies.


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Explain procedures for waiting lists, adding and dropping courses, and so on. Know where to refer students with such problems.

Methodology: surviving classroom observations

If your course consists of multiple tutorial sections, describe the relationship between the course and its tutorial, and how tutorials will be run. It is also beneficial to have the teaching assistants introduce themselves.

Review any prerequisites for the course. Let students know what skills or knowledge they are expected to have and whether alternate experience or course work will be accepted. Is help available for those who do not possess all the prerequisites?

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Try to include some positive feedback on your lesson even if some bits were a disaster. For example:. However, I was pleased with the way they finished their exercises and helped each other correct. There is almost always something positive that you can pull out of a lesson.

By all means recognize the weak points but also take credit where credit is due. An observed lesson can go badly for several reasons, usually a mixture of things. Be careful of attributing all the blame to the students, the observer or yourself. This means talking to the other teachers and see how they feel about being observed. Classroom observations are usually seen as a threat. However, as John Norrish from the Education Centre at the University of London points out, the threat diminishes 'in proportion to the amount of trust that the teacher has in the observer and in the observer's not attributing value to what is seen'.

Here are some concrete ways you could try and make observations less judgemental and more developmental.

Surviving in The Classroom Workshop

Note: You could always give a copy of the above article by John Norrish to the methodology cousellor as a starting point on re-evaluating how the process is working! A superb textbook for initial training courses and a no-nonsense handbook for practising ELT teachers. Powered by Webstructure. Search the site. Search by category.