Today was my first PRT day at the local Education Center where I met other beginning teachers (BT) as part of our guidance programme. We covered a variety of expected topics such as classroom management and teaching styles, etc. What I found most valuable however was the opportunity to discuss issues outside the school environment, that we all face. Sometimes we feel restricted about complaining to loudly or raising concerns within our schools. I believe this will become a valuable PLN and support system, already some of the guys have shared ideas to common concerns, and some great ideas.
Some of the ideas that really made an impression on me are:
1. Refer to your class treaty every day relateing it to positive things that happen, NOT just when behaviour or negative things happen.
2. Focus on teaching routines, transitions etc above the curriculum teaching (keep it simple) for the first 3 weeks or so. The reason is that without these in place you won't get much teaching done for the rest of the year.
3. Ensure that groups really understand their activity tasks, just because they seem busy does not mean they are clear on the task.
4. Use a rotational buddy system for peer discussions, lines and mat work.
5. Use clothes pegs on a line with students names on for computer time (15 min each) when a student is finished they move their peg to the bottom.