Helping Teachers With Difficult Classes – Some Advice for New Heads of Departments

In all schools, no matter what the subject is or how classes are formed, there will always be classes that will be more difficult to teach than others in your school for a variety of reasons. As well, inexperienced teachers often fall prey to classes that are usually well behaved because students love to find a teacher’s ‘weak’ spot.

So as Head of Department, discipline within your classrooms is one of your responsibilities.

Below are a set of various strategies you can adopt to help teachers with a difficult class in a way that appears to be random to the students. They include:

  • Giving a talk on the expectations you have for the class early in the year.
  • Walking past the room slowly from time to time especially when the teacher informs you of a difficult lesson is about to occur.
  • Going to the class to examine the students’ workbooks and make comments on how they are setting out their books. This process should occur in many classes to disguise the reason for you being in that class.
  • Giving a special lesson to add interest for the class but to demonstrate to the teacher some particular technique that you both agreed you should demonstrate for that teacher.
  • Taking a difficult group from the class to do some catch-up work with them or something special. This allows the teacher to get more learning done with the remainder of the class. As head of curriculum in your subject area this gives you an opportunity to get to know more students and the teacher becomes less stressed.
  • Sending students with special needs to a specialist teacher for catch-up work.
  • Removal of troublemakers from the class with work to a place where you can supervise them easily. You can also interview each student, discussing the consequences of their behaviour if it continues.
  • Introducing relief teachers to their classes.
  • Wandering past relief teacher’s room to ensure that the behaviour of students is acceptable.

Make sure that the teacher is aware of what you are doing and why. They may not be too happy but the teachers working on either side of that classroom would appreciate a quiet classroom next to them. So the issue is not just about helping the teacher with the difficult class but helping to create the best learning environment for all the students and the best teaching environment for each teacher.

Source by Richard D Boyce

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