I recently came across a request to talk about this by @thosethatcan on twitter, so here’s my list:
1. I give clearer instructions
After watching my teen son run around like a headless chicken as he tried to comply to “pick your shoes up, clear your bedroom floor, have you emptied your bag?” all at the same time, I realised that there were more effective methods. So now at home, and at school if there’s more than one task to be completed I write a list, ticking off items is very motivating too!
2.I start as I mean to go on
My children starting secondary school and therefore moving into the age range that I teach was a real eye-opener for me, you mean English isn’t the only subject my students have to learn?!
Now I take it very slowly at the start of the school year, I set up procedures that I hope will become automatic, such as handing out worksheets ( a pile at the end of each row, then two seconds to pass down the row, then everyone waves theirs to show we’re all reading off the same page,) and ending the class (show and check everything is put away in the right place, write homework on board – and show the exercise and do the first one with them orally as an example).
3. I take an interest in my pupils’ lives
I’d like to think I always did but now my students and children are experiencing similar life events I have found it easier to bond with them.
4. I give advice on learning strategies for other subjects
As a mum who helps her kids learn for their tests, I have an idea on a few ways to do that and I share them with my class. It’s not rocket science (learn a little and often, not two hours at the last minute, etc.), they probably don’t listen, but then nor do my own children!
5. I can also give advice on more personal matters
Sometimes my students tell me about their personal problems, and my mum-perspective can help them see that things at home aren’t as black and white as they seem, maybe their parents don’t totally hate them after all?
and finally most importantly…
5. I totally rock on Star Wars, Transformers, Barca’s position in the league table and who Zoella is!
I realise this situation won’t last and as my children grow older than my students I’ll become one of those teachers who haven’t a clue about modern culture, but for the moment I’m like so cool, geddit!