Beyond theory, in the middle of the turmoil, things are going pretty well. You can make everyday madness much easier with a few clever little quick tips. We have put together the top 5 for you here – 5 x Trick 17, so to speak.
Cheating everyday school life: 5 x Trick 17
Scientific debates, educational models and didactic concepts: All well and good, but often only semi-helpful in practice. This is where it gets down to business – you know that from your own experience. “In the midst of the turmoil” is all about mastering the many hurdles that everyday school life poses in a targeted and confident manner. In practice, it is not the noble theory that makes your teaching life easier: it is the very specific tricks that you usually have to work out first.
Young people are enthusiastic about the so-called life hacks, which are available in abundance on the Internet: These are useful and amazing little tricks for everyday life that suddenly open up completely new ways. In fact, it is often precisely the small changes in perspective and new impulses that suddenly make a routine situation appear in a completely new light.
- The bath in the crowd
Use the break supervision rather effectively, instead of standing rooted in a corner or strolling around in slow motion between the students. Finally, if you have supervision, you can get the most out of your time.
Try to see the supervision as your very own publicity tour and look forward to your “bath in the crowd”. Find eye contact, walk (self-) consciously across the schoolyard and show yourself. Feel free to joke a little with the students. Be present and come into contact with the students – also with the children and adolescents you did not know from class. You no longer have the feeling that the supervision is wasted and the students have the certainty that you are really there for you and that you are taking care of them.
- Small deception for the truth
Regardless of whether you are a young teacher or an old hand: If a student gives a wrong answer, he can usually tell immediately from your reaction. If your tone of voice or your facial expressions give him the impression that he was wrong, he will hurry to correct his answer – even if he actually thinks it is correct and can only guess. So while you are satisfied that the student supposedly found his mistake himself and corrected it himself directly, the whole thing may only leave him with a question mark.
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Use a little deception to test the students’ knowledge. If you get the next correct answer, make the respective student unsettled by saying: “Think about it!” or “Is that really your answer?” Do not claim that what he said is wrong, but purposefully create doubts. Most students change their answer even if they are 100% convinced that it was correct. If you later confirm to the outraged students that the first statement was correct after all, explain your maneuver: It is important to you to get answers that the students really support. This is what you are all about.
- A rhyme for glue
sentences like these easily get stuck in the memory. You are sure to have various classics from your school days ready, which have literally become established. Short mnemonics with rhymes, alliterations or rhythmic structure are didactically optimal; catchy sound patterns make it easier to absorb information. You should therefore also use mnemonics in your lessons in higher grades – existing tried and tested or self-formulated. It’s not nearly as difficult as you might think at first. Your students are sure to come up with good sentences – and after all, they themselves know best what is really catchy for them.
- The music bazaar
Haggling for notes can be quite exhausting – and it is not uncommon for you to feel like you’ve been ripped off a bit afterwards. The so-called anchor effect, which we know from bazaars, helps against this. The first price that a seller calls us is anchored by our brain as the starting point for all further considerations and steps. That helps with orientation – but also ensures that we always have the feeling that the starting price is somehow appropriate. The principle can now also be applied to the announcement of grades. A student who receives the following grades in some areas: 4, 5, 4, 5, 5, 4 will find the final grade 5 to be unfair – after all, the 4 (which is at the beginning and even at the end of the series) is his Brain anchored. He is much more likely to accept exactly the same notes in a different order – for “5, 4, 5, 4, 4, 5” the 5 seems to him to be a logical consequence.
Two little additional tips on the topic: Avoid the term “review of grades” if possible. After all, the grades are not up for discussion; you don’t want to find the grades with the students, you want to announce them. “Announcing grades” is therefore a much smarter term. If possible, avoid leading the whole thing with sentences like “Overall, the work turned out very well.” or “You have actually really improved yourself.” a. In view of such positive words, bad grades have an unjust effect. Even if it sounds harder: A (not presented too seriously) “Today it’s getting serious, now the hour of truth comes!” is more constructive – it directly anchors the expectation that bad grades will also be included.
- Practiced spontaneously
Again and again there are cheeky schoolchildren that make classmates laugh and leave you speechless at first. At home you can think of quick-witted answers and you are annoyed that you did not have them ready immediately. Quick-wittedness is often a matter of practice – and if you cannot or do not want to rely on a flash of inspiration to save you in difficult situations, you can prepare accordingly.
Prepare a repertoire of humorous, pithy sayings that you can use as standard formulations at any time. You don’t have to come up with a new blast every time – a certain degree of predictability is actually helpful: it reduces the number of critical comments from students and ensures that students know exactly what kind of reaction to expect from you promptly. Be careful not to ask any questions, because they only encourage further counterattacks. Instead, rely on so-called “killer sentences”, sentences that really clarify the situation conclusively. Ideally, the formulations are so general that they can be used in a wide variety of situations. You can counter misconduct, for example, with an urgent “Don’t even think about it!” Nip in the bud. You are sure to think of such killer sentences for various different scenarios.