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Your NQT year will be full of new experiences. While some of them will be good, others might be more of a challenge. For example, you’ll get to witness children grasping a complex idea as a result of your teaching. On the other hand, you’ll also be confronted by some, at times, hairpulling (maybe literally) situations. But don’t panic, we have some advice on how to deal with them.
Technology will not always be your friend and sometimes it will let you down but if it does, here is what to do:
Try everything to fix the issue - the old turn it off and back on again technique usually does the trick!
Send a pupil to find an IT expert - most secondary schools have an IT technician who might be able to help you, while in a primary school you could always ask the IT coordinator.
Google it - providing your problem is not lack of internet, it is amazing what a quick search on Google can do and just how helpful it can be.
Future proof - while this won’t fix the immediate problem you have in front of you, it will help you be better prepared for next time (although hopefully there won’t be a next time). Doing a test run is always a good idea. Alternatively, you could put together a backup exercise if the IT does fail you.
Things can sometimes get a little out of hand but it’s important to remember that you can handle it.
Stay calm - at this moment, it’s easy to start to spiral but clear your mind and take a fe deep breaths.
Send for back-up - you aren’t expected to handle this alone. Ask other pupils around you to fetch another teacher or member of management.
Refer back to your school’s behavioural policy - make sure you follow this to letter or you could find yourself in hot water, especially their policy surrounding reasonable force.
Tell them to stop - it might sound like a basic idea but that doesn’t mean it won’t work.
Remove bystanders - often when there are fights they are surrounded by a gaggle of other students, ask these students to leave the area and get back to their lessons or lunch.
Use your back-up - if you’ve done all of the above, you’re back-up sound now have arrived. You can then work with them to defuse the situation.
Changing rooms last minute is never ideal but it does happen. The key is not to panic.
Locate your class - first things, first, you need to find your class. Typically they’ll either be flailing around outside the room or they’ll be causing chaos in the classroom. Gather them and then proceed to step 2.
Find out where you’re supposed to be - this can be easier said than done, but we’d recommend asking the other teacher first. Then check to see if there are any notices on the door.
Move - even if you have no idea where you are heading! If you are still unsure about which room you are meant to be in we suggest finding another empty classroom and making use of it.
Find out if the room change is permanent - naturally, you’ll want to avoid the stress of a last minute room change in future so it’s important to find out what is going on for next time.
Students are not immune to getting ill and sometimes they may fall ill in your lesson. They may be sick, faint or hurt themselves. Most of the time it’s not life threatening but it’s important you handle it in the right way.
Send for help - ask one of the other students to go and get another member of staff, preferably a first aider or school nurse, if you have one.
Keep the rest of the class on task - it’s easy for everyone to get swept up the drama but try to keep the rest of the class focused on their work, rather than their classmate.
Assess the situation - does the child need a first aider? Do you need to fetch a bucket? Does the child need an ambulance? Decide quickly and act on it.
Ensure that the student’s parents have been informed - it’s important that the student’s know what is going on.
New topics and subjects can be difficult for students to grasp which can lead to some challenging behaviour, but remember you are in charge.
End the chaos - ask for silence and for all pupils to sit down.
Determine what has gone wrong - transparency goes a long way so, ask the class what the problem is and if they understand. Then write it all down on the board.
Adjust your planning - learn from the lessons that didn’t go so well. Think about what your students enjoy and how you can incorporate it into your next lesson and keep a mental (or physical) note of anything that didn’t work so you don’t end up in this situation again.