One teacher – various temperaments!
Posted: 20 May, 2016
By: Annabella Sequeira
“How do I cope with all these different children in my classroom?”
This has become a standard question in a lot of school staff rooms. The demands of a teaching job coupled with widely differing types of children within the classroom setting, seems to be causing teachers a lot of extra stress.
Teaching in the classroom is integral to a child’s development and achievements. Teacher challenges are par for the course, but it seems as if the current challenges demands urgent attention.
Generation Y (aka Millennials) are an entitled generation that is privy to so much information (and prone to information overload). They are naturally tech savvy, but lead lifestyles that are both busier (more demanding) and less personal. The global boundaries of old are diminishing and evident in the modern day classroom with its wide variety of backgrounds, personalities, upbringings, needs, emotions, and critically, sensory needs.
How then should teachers, that might stem from a completely different age, bridge the generation gap and not only cope with, but give the best to 25 (sometimes more) very different children in a classroom? It is a challenge, but not impossible.
Here are a few practical tips that may help:
- Do a movement warm up at the start of the school day, and repeat it every hour, especially straight after break times. It only requires 2-3 minutes and can involve arm raises, hand pushing, tight self hugs, and pushing up on the classroom chair. A trampoline used correctly can be a life saver, for the child and the teacher!
- Have frequent deep breathing routines and water breaks.
- If you see a child is becoming too energetic or too lethargic (how often do we miss the daydreamer) – get them to move to a corner in the room, or to go outside (within eye shot). Then get them to repeat the exercises (when in doubt do ones that get them pushing on solid surfaces).
- Sometimes variety is the spice of life! Try moving children to different positions in the classroom. Also, try to get them to shift their posture by working in varying positions, like lying on their tummies, in a four-point kneeling position, or even by standing.
- Give definite times for absolute concentration work. Try three 15-minute bursts of “class work” in an hour fragmented by a short movement game or a dance in between.
- Practice what you teach! Ensure that you also get adequate and frequent breaks in the day! Try to remove yourself from work for a period 15 minutes every two hours, have a coffee, go the staffroom and engage in idle chatter; let your brain be refreshed with the latest fashion out there (or whatever floats your boat)!