Thursday, October 18, 2007

A few Top Tips

The transport strikes have provided me with an impromptu day off, allowing me to finally blog about what it's like to teach in a French school.

The rule of thumb is "if it isn't recorded, it doesn't mean anything." So don't say "Stop strangling your neighbour," say "Stop strangling your neighbour or I will note down the incident." Don't give any homework that isn't graded or they won't do it. And never let them to do anything without written authorisation; I think I have a "permission to scratch nose" form somewhere in the bottom of my bag.

Lines is a very popular way of punishing kids who step out of line, and I can justify it pedagogically by making them do it in English. By the time I've finished with them they'll have no excuse for not knowing about must and must not.

Use the palm of your hand for banging on desks to get their attention. It makes more noise than using your knuckles and hurts less. If your school has blackboards, fingernails are also an option; remember, it will affect them more than you as they can hear the highest frequency sounds.

Consider investing in a Sonic Air Horn.

Oh, you thought I was going to blog about teaching English? Sorry, I'll get back to you on that when they've learned to behave...

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My old primary school teacher had the right idea. There was a very inexperienced teacher who was trying unsuccessfully to get the kids to line up on the starting line on sports day. My teacher who had the starting pistol took over and went along the line pointing the pistol at the kids telling them to behave. They were as good as gold after then. Top man Mr Atkins!

One day I'll tell you about my old head teacher, there are a few stories there.