Whether you’re a full-time teacher, a supply teacher working for a teaching agency, or you’re a TA helping out, ensuring you have an organised, calm classroom is one of your main responsibilities. Here are five super-smart teaching hacks to always ensure you have happy, organised students – and therefore a calmer, more organised self.
1. To-do lists
At the beginning of every class, post a clear and comprehensive to-do list. This will ensure everyone knows exactly what is expected of them, and how much they need to complete by the end of the class. It will ease the disruption caused as different students finish assignments at different times, and will also ensure students can get their heads down and simply work their way through what needs doing without constantly having to ask what’s next.
2. Assign personal numbers
Go down your register and number each student according to their order (i.e. first student on the list is one, second is two and so on). Have your students write this number on the top of each assignment. When marking, order assignments by number to save you time when it comes to grading later.
3. Mark classroom supplies
You might try colour coded stickers or use permanent marker or paints to mark all you supplies, but make sure you have a system. That way, it’s quick and easy for students to return items to their proper place at the end of each lesson.
4. Utilise your smartphone
It’s a foregone conclusion that, in the modern world, students will bring smartphones into the classroom. Use this to your advantage by letting students use their smartphones for doing a bit of research and presenting their discoveries at the beginning of each lesson. It’s a wonderful way to keep them engaged and it will help them learn to find information about school work for themselves.
5. Use stickers or post-its to mark bad behaviour
If you have a particularly disruptive student set up a silent warning system using stickers or post-its. At the beginning of each class place three markers on the board. Every time they are causing a disruption, remove one of the stickers, with the silent understanding that each counts as a warning. If they lose all their post-its they receive detention. It’s a great way for keeping the kids in check without shaming them in front of the whole class.