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Take Note and Take Notes

Jo is a Canadian teacher from Ontario who is working as a Supply Teacher through Protocol Education in schools in Bristol. Today she Introduces us to her simple but very effective way of making sure she remembers what works for each class she covers - taking notes!!

As all supply teachers know, if you make a great impression the first time you work with a school, odds are you’ll be invited back – and not just to work with that class. At one primary school I teach at I’ve taught every class in the building, and they have two classes for each year! The thing is, every class is different and comes with its own unique challenges. It became really difficult for me to keep track of which management and teaching techniques worked for each class…until I found a solution:

Keep notes!

Whenever I go to a school I make sure I record it in my day planner and keep notes about my day. Were the students chatty? What management techniques worked? What didn’t work as well as I thought? Is there anything special the class does that I need to remember for next time? For example, at the end of the day my notes could look something like this:

Untitled School – Year 1

- Teacher uses a shaker to silence the class
- Class loves their reward chart - make sure to use it!
- Calm voice works - stern voice will backfire

That way you can review your notes from your last visit on your way to the school. If you know what works well with your class you can seamlessly fill in for their regular teacher and maximize your day.  Without the ‘figuring it out phase’ I find I can really get the most out of the class and minimize any issues.

While I love this trick and I use it all the time, I do need to caution you.  Always make sure you keep in line with confidentiality with your notes. While it might be tempting to add in the names of students who you need to keep an eye on – don’t. I never make mention of any specific student in my notes and instead opt for general reminders.

As teachers we have pretty good memories to start with, so odds are when you return to a classroom you’ll either remember which students need a bit more attention, or you’ll be reminded pretty quick once the day begins.  While your notes are meant only for you, you never know what may happen to those notes – keeping them general not only protects your privacy but also the privacy of the students as well.

Hope this helps!

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Jo also wrote: Using you Foreign-Ness! and Calming the Morning Chaos

Tags: Jo, Canadian Teacher, Teach in Bristol, Supply Teacher, Tips, Notes, Behaviour, Protocol Education

Category: Australian Teachers

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