Teachers’ expectations can influence students performance
Why is it important to become the best teacher?
Positive teacher-student relationships draw students into the process of learning and promote their desire to learn. It is evident that students who have close, positive and encouraging relationships with their teachers have attained higher levels of achievement than those students with weak relationships. If a student feels a personal connection to a teacher, is in regular communication with a teacher, and receives more guidance and praise than criticism from the teacher, then the student is likely to become more trustful of that teacher, show more engagement in the academic content presented, display better classroom behaviour, and achieve higher levels academically.
How to build the personal connect?
Try the following…
Circle Time: Murray White was the first British author to publish a book on circle time and his Magic Circles raised the profile and popularity of circle time during the 90s. Jenny Mosley has done much to popularise its use.
Circle time also called group time refers to any time that a group of people are sitting together for an activity involving everyone.
It is a special time to share rhymes, songs, play rhythm instruments, read a story, and participate in movement games and relaxation activities. Circle time provides a time for listening, developing attention span, promoting oral communication, and learning new concepts and skills. It is a time for complex, dynamic interaction among adults or children. Teachers have the power to make group time more effective and enjoyable for all involved. Issues that are bothering the teacher can be discussed and a sense of realization can be worked upon. Circle times may start with an analysis of a behaviour and its impact on the class. Students learn and understand the consequences of their behaviour and begin to take on responsibility for themselves and their immediate and wider community.
A gradual shift in responsibility for discipline from the teacher to the children is then visible.
Circle meetings aim to encourage the development of positive relationships, self-discipline, conflict resolution, assertive communication and democratic group processes. They also help in developing the skills of speaking, listening, observing, thinking and concentrating.
How to conduct Circle Time?
No of Members – 6 to 18 because any more than that and it becomes difficult for everyone to take full part in proceedings.
Furniture – An open circle is made of chairs or cushions with no tables or desks, allowing everyone to face each other clearly. No special chair or cushion for the teacher giving the group a feel that she is a part of the group and is there as a facilitator.
Role of the teacher- The teacher has a special responsibility to make sure that structured rules of the circle time are kept, that everyone’s emotions are protected. The teacher must also be ready to draw a session to a close if students are persistently breaking the rules.
Rules – The rules for circle time should be discussed and agreed by all members. This is one of the first activities that should take place. The basic rules which should be discussed are
Time: over half an hour
Opening game: to bring the group together, to bring in a sense of fun and enjoyment, to teach learning skills, moral values and code of conduct.
Speaking object: A speaking object such as a soft toy can be used to enable focus on the speaker and indicate that all others must listen. The sentences to be used are: I dislike the music period because … I get fed up when… I was pleased with myself when…
Celebration of successes: Students can be given a chance to thank others for acts of kindness or help extended during the past week.
Closing game: brings a sense of closure and concludes the learning or decision taken.
The teacher should be observant of the class health and pick topics of concern for the circle time. Watch your children talking to you fearlessly and performing well in school with regular circle time.
Student Teacher Meeting- Conduct one meeting with the students every two months to build a connect with the students. Entertain one student at a time and give each child five minutes to talk. Announce the dates for the meeting and the names of students for each date. Start the meeting informally so that the student gets comfortable. Ask questions that will tell you more about the child’s family and his neighbourhood, discuss about his friends at home and school, his liking and disliking of subjects, food, clothes and many other things. Build the relationship in such a way that the child becomes free in sharing his class issues or family issues if any with you.
Pick a quiet, neat looking corner. Place a table and two chairs, one for the class teacher and the other for the subject teacher and one of them will take up the responsibility of conducting and the other of noting down the important points in the observation register. Don’t make the meeting a very serious one, carry a smile, be humourous if need be and make the child see your concern for him/her. The whole conversation should be such that the child looks forward to the next meeting. As per the observations noted down, plan your follow up.
For shy students the following can be done
- Praise them for their uniform, lunch or good deed.
- Make them sit with their friends so that they can share their lunch.
- l Give them board games to play if not interested in playing in the field.
- Make them sit with the friend they are comfortable with.
- Give them some responsibility to make them feel that they can do it.
For aggressive students the following can be tried
- Give examples from real life and from movies about the end result of aggression.
- Narrate short stories and let students decide the end of the story.
- Start praising them for controlling their anger
- Give badges for good behaviour.
- Make buddy partners to look after each other’s needs.
- Taking regular feedback of their behaviour from peers.
For talkative students
- Start talking to them and listen patiently to their stories.
- Start using code language to convey instructions instead of talking.
- Give them worksheets in art, mental mathematics, logic, etc where in they talk less and use their energy efficiently.
- Give them the chance to speak before the class and in assemblies.
The hand holding with regular supervision will take your class to a new dimension. It is very important that on a PTM the teacher should not disclose what the child shared in the meeting, only if the child wants to then it may discussed. Also stop complaining about the child to the parent and start talking about the effort the child is putting in to improve.
PTM is fine but STM (student teacher meet) is great! Make students and parents look forward to the meetings.
With academic experience of 28 years, Rajni Jauhari is the Principal of G D Salwan Public School, Rajendra Nagar, New Delhi. She has successfully completed the CBSE Accreditation process for her previous school which became the first school in Uttar Pradesh to get the Accreditation Certificate for 5 years.
She has been conducting workshops and awareness programmes for school teachers on CCE, Project based learning, Class Room Management, Circle Time, Multiple Intelligence inspired lesson plans, Democratic Schools, etc. She has served in various senior positions in a number of educational institutions.
Rajni is a post-graduate in Psychology and English Literature and also has a B.Ed. degree. She was sponsored for a vocational training programme in Australia by the CBSE; has undergone training on Multiple Intelligence in the USA and is a certified Microsoft trainer.