Since I registered with the TES Online for job ads and free resources, they’ve been sending me regular emails with links to forum discussions, resources, daily job alerts, and links to blog posts from their wide panel of experts, in my topic and more widely.
I couldn’t possibly follow all the links. Who has time? But I do sample, and I have found some of the information patchy. Sometimes I’m too cynical – sounds like a good idea, but I could never make that work in my classroom. Sometimes it sounds too hard and I dismiss it.
But two links today in an email have been utterly fantastic and had me cheering as I read them.
Firstly Tom Bennett’s tips for new and inexperienced teachers and those who work with us – OMG, awesome! Read through, do! I don’t like everything Tom says elsewhere and haven’t always agreed with everything he suggests, but this article is amazeballs. At the start of teaching practice in particular I was concerned at his “always have a seating plan” instruction – now I’m increasingly sold.
Secondly, Phil Beadle’s specific advice on seating plans and room layouts. Have your tables in groups if at all possible, preferably groups of six. One of the rooms I teach in is in groups, and it is the home to some of the worst behaviour when I am teaching, at least partly because most of the students are not looking at me but at other students and it is really easy to start conversations. But I am increasingly of the view that a group layout is best for MFL if not other subjects, because whenever I plan those lessons I am always thinking more about group and pair work than the other room layouts, because they are already in groups of four.