Monday, 31 October 2011
My first TeachMeet - Behaviour Management
So, last Thursday I attended my first ever TeachMeet, I had only heard of it a few weeks ago and was intrigued to what it was all about. It was organised by members of the PES (Plymouth Education Society) at the university, they did a wonderful job and I felt it was a very enjoyable and interesting experience. I felt it was very refreshing to gain opinions about first hand experiences from older students rather than learning methods through texts and reading, these ideas support what I've read emphasising my understanding. I loved how interactive it was, with un-attendants being able to follow the discussion via a twitter feed (#tmbehaviour) and a live feed set up by Oliver Quinlan (@OliverQuinlan). I refreshed the feed a lot and this benefitted me really well as if I missed or misheard something I could easily catch it on twitter to add to my notes - it also made the event larger as more and more tweeters added to the discussion.
I thought it was a great topic to base the first TeachMeet on. Behaviour Management is something that I personally and I know a lot of other BEd first years are conscious about. Having older, more experienced students share their ideas and stories made me feel so much more confident and excited for my first placement coming up in November.
Stickers proved to be a large talking point in the discussion. To be honest I hadn’t really thought much about it before as personally I was always motivated by stickers as rewards as a child. They’ve always been beneficial to my learning and I have seen them used positively while on school experience prior to my university course. Many people in the room talked about how stickers hadn’t worked too well, in these cases they hadn’t been used in an appropriate way and that the value of a sticker may not be of much value to some children. A very good point was raised about the types of stickers and how ‘Good Job’ stickers aren’t always effective as a ‘stickerless’ child may take this very negatively thinking their work was wrong or deemed as a ‘Bad Job’ – discouraging the child which would usually result in a lack of motivation/confidence and possibly behaviour problems to gain attention. Personally I believe stickers work really well however it strongly depends on the child and task. I believe that children may value vocal praise from the teacher much more and find it more encouraging than rewards such as stickers. I’m looking forward to seeing how rewards are used in my placement.
I really liked the idea of group/class rewards as this not only emphasises the importance of team work but also teaches trust and being conscious of decisions that will affect others (letting friends down). A really nice idea was brought up about a class who have a jar on a window sill of the classroom, the class have to earn marbles and once the jar is full they all receive a reward or class treat. I really like this idea and feel it encourages the children to work together and behave knowing that if they don’t then they are letting the rest of the class down.
One of the contributors spoke of his teaching placement in Denmark and how the children almost dealt with their own behaviour – if a child was feeling frustrated or struggling to concentrate on personal work then they could go off and work somewhere else. They could create their own work environments in which they found it easier to complete a task whether it is in the corridor or another room. I found this really interesting and great as it means the child can take control of their own learning and find the right kind of learning environment. Obviously this kind of thing can only really work with personal work as it demands a lot from the teacher trying to work with children in different locations but I found it very thought-provoking. It reminded me of my old primary school which I mentioned in my previous blog on Multi-Sensory learning (Learning to Teach: Multi Sensory Learning - My inspiration for teachi...). The school has a lot of visitors from various countries and cultures and it has been built up on the teaching methods learnt from others which is probably why I can relate the two. There are so many different types of learning environments and I believe that children should be introduced to as many as possible to improve learning and how children go about learning. I would be really interested in experiencing schools in other countries with varied methods and cultures.
I’m really looking forward to the next TeachMeet and for anybody who hasn’t attended one then I recommend you do – I found it a great experience and learnt so much!
Find your nearest TeachMeet here - http://www.teachmeet.org.uk/