An extraordinary lesson can start at the door….

by Gavin Knox

As a new recruit to the AP team I felt it was important to greet you with an entry into the LAT Blog!

The first few minutes of a lesson are crucial. With a positive start to the lesson, you have every chance of having an extraordinary lesson.  How can we make those first minutes of our lessons a positive experience?

Gav

Intervene at the door. Meet and greet every student at the door.

Why?

Make your students feel valued, appreciated and let them recognise the significance they have in today’s lesson. This must happen for every student, even the ones that might grind your gears! It is often those students that welcome this more than others.

Smile, shake hands, high five or whatever your style maybe of every student that walks through the door! A teacher in the US has devised his own unique handshake for each of his students.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4184184/Amazing-teacher-unique-handshake-student.html

How?

Show that you are pleased to see them. Ask how they are, how was your weekend?, how was your evening? This short intervention of your energy injects enthusiasm, belonging and keenness into every student that walks in, consequently this will have a real impact on learners approach to the lesson. Not only is this just a nice way to start the lesson it is also a leading first intervention in behaviour management. By greeting at the door you can quickly address issues such as headphones, drinks, phones with a gentle reminder that they are now entering ‘your territory’ and a learning environment.

Often we let students into a room before the teacher. What this might do is to give ownership to the students as they are already settled into ‘their’ territory which might mean we have to spend the start of the lesson addressing issues we might have addressed at the door.

Paul Dix, a leading behaviour specialist is a huge advocate of this simple but effective routine. He has produced a short helpful video:

https://youtu.be/Gc3h2eJl7nY

So why not give it a try and let us know via the comments boxes how this works out for you!

I hope to be able to meet and greet as many of you in my new role as an AP!

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