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Consider the advantages of rows, columns, clusters; directional facing to the whiteboard, computers, display boards, etc. If you use other people's rooms you may struggle to use other people's layouts and find it a bad start to the lesson if you have to move chairs and tables. Nevertheless it is worth persisting on occasions at least to make the most of a discussion in a circle and group work in clusters as well as more formal didactic learning in rows. If you have two or three preferred layouts use them frequently, then pupils will become used to them and disruption will be less. Pupils telling you they won't move 'because you said we could sit here.

Description Pupils can be frustrating and infuriating. It would be impossible, maybe even unwise, not to show anger at times. However you should aim to control your anger and target it. The same goes for coping with angry pupils and parents. It is natural to feel anger, but it's what you do with it that counts. Cause Repeated illogical, rude, offensive, behaviour by pupils. Offensive, aggressive parents. Stress on you from overwork, personal problems, pressure from all sides. Ideally, you should separate the unacceptable pupil behaviour from the stress caused by other factors.

However, being under stress, you can't, which makes it worse. Action If it is one or two pupils who are causing the immediate problem, move them to another part of the room or out of the room entirely. In the event of a refusal, use the following: 'I have been reasonable. I have asked you several times to leave the room. Are you refusing to follow my reasonable instruction? Then I'll get someone else to deal with you.

It does not help to be emotional at this stage. If you need to leave the room briefly to call for assistance, do your best to ensure the class is safe. Giving a minute for the child to reconsider their situation without you there can be helpful. Priorities Looking after yourself. Amending the behaviour or stopping the situation while remaining professionally detached if at all possible.

Moving pupil s away to separate them from the cause of their anger and an audience for their behaviour and your reaction. If you can control your anger and bottle it up for a short time, do so. Better to burst into tears in the staffroom than in the classroom. Hold down the anger. Breathe deeply and let it out in a long sigh. Deepen your voice and try to control any wavering in it.

A roar is more effective than a scream. Speak with deliberation and emphasis. Show you mean business. Walk away from the cause of your anger, but only when someone else can take control. There is no shame in this. A different face will usually have the advantage and can seize the initiative. Consider walking away permanently. This is a serious step but not an inconceivable one. There may come a time when it's all too much. If the pupils appal you, the job seems simply not worth it and you are unable to teach the way you want to, going might be better all round. Walking away from the classroom is better than hitting someone, saying something you may regret or damaging yourself.

However, do not take this step without giving due time for calm consideration. Don't let the buggers grind you down. Avoid Swearing. Even if pupils do. Stopping a really angry pupil from leaving the room. Any physical confrontation. I know of a teacher who, confronted in class by a violent parent, kept his hands stiffly by his sides to avoid any suggestion of retaliation. Superhuman perhaps, but a case of superb professional valour deserving a medal. Screaming and shrieking unless actually injured.

Threatening anything you can't carry out. I haven't done anything wrong!

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They can also be frustrated and infuriated. They may have to cope with problems at home or with erratic friends while coping with the changes caused by their own adolescence. Ideally we should aim to help them control their own anger. But we may also have another 30 pupils to look after and keep safe. Every situation is different, but we might distinguish between angry shouting on the one hand and physically dangerous behaviour on the other, which requires different strategies.

Cause Adolescents undergo significant changes in their hormones which affect their bodies and their brains, and thence their emotions and their behaviour. Young children may simply have no sense of self-control. Any child can have experiences at home which adversely affect their ability to deal with the routines of school. The teacher is a focus for their attention and can be the focus for their fury. In an odd way the fact that they view you as a focus for their anger means that you really are the authority figure you've been trying to be!

Action Show by your words, your tone of voice and your body language that you want them to calm down. Minor demonstrations of anger can be dealt with by ignoring the pupil and encouraging the rest of the class to carry on as normal. Significant anger, however, has to be literally faced up to. Persist in being reasonable in the face of their unreasonableness.

Suggest alternatives: that they sit down; that they cool off outside. Open the door and stand nearby but without blocking it. Provide a clear exit route if they are clearly bigger and angrier than you. Priorities Safety. If the child is attacking you or other pupils this must be stopped. Sometimes other children pile in to 'help' which, while commendable, is tricky and can get out of hand. Nevertheless you'll appreciate it if the child is attacking you. Preventing self-harm is very tricky. Summon assistance. Use a panic button or a phone.

Send a child to get help from the nearest classroom or office. Do nothing to further antagonize the 34 First Aid Kit for Teachers angry child - now is not the time for reckless bravery, it's the time for calm, being firm but cautious. Establish the level of threat. Stand within reach of the door.

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If the child is not using it as an escape route, it may be your best option. Angry young children can be calmed by wrapping them firmly in your arms until their fury is past. This is not generally a good idea for adolescent pupils. However, if you can restrain them by firmly holding their wrists to their sides, it could help. It is recommended that you also repeat something like, 'I am not going to harm you. Stop struggling and I will let go. Reacting with violence or anger.

Initiating physical contact apart from restraint techniques, as above. At all costs avoid hitting the pupil. An arm hold or pushing away may be accepted if you are avoiding injury, but anything interpreted as attack is never acceptable. Endangering other pupils. Description You rightly demand and require attention. Without it there can be little successful learning and no respect from pupils. However, simply walking into a room and shouting 'Be quiet! Cause In many schools it is no longer an automatic response to be quiet when the teacher comes into the room.

The days when pupils stood up as the teacher entered the room are over. Respect now has to be earned. Obedience is not automatic. Action 1. Use what residual respect there may be for an adult and build on it. Stand firmly, chin up and with as much confidence as you can muster in a visible position. Clap your hands once or twice and engage eye contact. In a level voice loud enough to reach the back of the room say that you expect silence before you convey your message. Nod approvingly at those who stop talking; stare out any who continue to talk.

Have something genuine and useful to say. Repeat if necessary. Thank those who were quiet. If this is a class you will be meeting frequently, explain to them the need for attention. Do this at the beginning, before they have a chance to subvert you. Impose it regularly so their reaction becomes automatic.

Priorities Absolute silence. No half measures. Look serious; adopt 'the teacher's stare'. Have something worth saying, say it concisely, then move on. Alternatives 1. With a biddable class, instead of a clap, click your fingers at two-second intervals.

With luck a ripple of silence will flow from front to back of the classroom. Expect silence before you reach the fifth click and praise the class if they achieve silence before the fifth click. Draw a circle on the board. Add straight lines from 12 o'clock clockwise until the class is quiet. Explain that this is a clock recording how long they will stay behind after class if they continue to fail to listen to you. Say: 'You waste my time and I'll waste yours. Have the class leave the room if they are already there and line up in silence in the corridor.

Tell them that the noise is unacceptable. Have them file in past you in silence. During a lesson when you want silent work, say you will have silence for five minutes. Explain that anyone who breaks the silence will extend that time by a further five minutes. Count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and if there is not silence add the extra five minutes immediately. Combine the clock and the five-minute-silence strategies. Avoid Backing down on the need for silent attention. Raise your voice but do not scream teachers with high-pitched voices beware! Never threaten anything you cannot carry out but have faith you'll achieve silence.

Description Most of us naturally avoid confrontation. You may cross the road to avoid a violent drunkard and you will think twice before wading in to someone else's domestic incident. However teachers have a duty of care, a professional duty to maintain discipline and a personal duty to maintain standards and respect. If you walk away from incidents you may be neglecting your duty.

You are unlikely to gain respect by being seen to avoid a problem. If you act unprofessionally with children - or parents - by inappropriate restraint or language, or by improperly confiscating personal equipment, you are open to at least criticism and at most prosecution. We need to know where the boundaries lie, yet they are changing and are unclear. Section A The Act allows all teachers at a school to use reasonable and proportionate force to control or restrain pupils.

Cause One obvious cause is society's change in respect for authority. Some blame this on social revolution, some on the turmoil of two world wars. Some see it as a positive effect of having young people question the status quo and think for themselves. Whatever the reason it is a fact that teachers wield less power and influence over their pupils than they did a generation ago. Physical contact and the cane are forbidden. Detention and confiscation are now less likely to be supported by parents, who are more likely to side with their children than with the school.

Moves by government to give teachers immunity from prosecution in some disciplinary situations have fallen foul of human rights legislation. As things stand the false accuser may have a right of anonymity while the falsely accused teacher is publicly named. Even if found innocent, mud sticks. Action The key issue is establishing good order. If that is impossible, try offering alternatives. It's your decision. This supports any future action you may take and a clear final warning could avoid any action at all.

There is no obligation on you to intervene if there is a real danger that you will be injured. In this case you must send for help and continue trying to reason and calm down the pupil. Act with conspicuous restraint. Never attack. Avoid losing your temper. You are permitted to defend yourself and others but do not allow defence to become attack. Stand your ground but do not move forward. Block their path in one direction by standing in a position where their escape in another direction is their easiest option. Usher without physical contact if possible.

If necessary lead them by the hand or arm or place a hand in the centre of their back, but consider that even mild physical contact can produce a disproportionately angry reaction. Attempts by government to allow teachers to use 'reasonable force' to escort an uncooperative pupil from class may 'breach the right to respect for private life and to dignity and physical integrity' of the child. Which is nonsense. By the way, now is not the time to argue that the child's actions may breach your respect and dignity. Save that for later. This is first aid.

The government does believe 'that teachers must have a clear right to discipline unruly pupils, otherwise the rights of other pupils to an orderly education are threatened' Daily Mail, 15 May However, as yet there is no clear definition of how to do this. So it is not possible to set out comprehensively when it is reasonable to use force, or the degree offeree that may reasonably be used.

It will always depend on all the circumstances of the case. So tread warily. Priorities Establishing good order. Action without force or any form of bullying. Alternatives Walk briskly towards the scene, calling out loudly. With luck, warning of your approach can mean physical intervention is avoided.

Avoid Unreasonable force. Believing your innocence is self-evident. Being heroic. Dickens' Gradgrind may see his pupils as 'little pitchers. Description New teachers are often worried about this. I have seen student teachers just clam up because they've run out of things to say.

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Experienced teachers never run out of things to say though sometimes you may wish they would Cause Lack of preparation or faulty timing are likely causes. Experience gives you a good idea of how long things last, and you learn that activities often take longer than you expect when you include tidying away and giving out homework. Another cause is telling the class too much and not giving them time either to absorb the information, ask questions or do something with what you've told them.

You don't have to talk all the time and you don't have to be the centre of attention. Give them an activity to help them absorb what you've told them. Action Remember that pupils are supposed to work too. You talk less so they may work more. Try quickfire questions, a spelling test, quiz on safety rules, sentences featuring grammatical errors or maths speed tests.

Have one half of the class suggest answers to which the other half have to find questions. Have the pupils each find five recently learned facts about your topic and test each other in pairs - then swap pairs. Spend more time than usual carefully setting homework and ask the pupils about likely issues. Have pupils 'mark' each other's written work.

Have them do this in pencil. Explain you will be checking their comments too. Ask for ideas on how pupils would solve the world's problems and choose problems which match your current topic. Look for creative answers. Start a general discussion about what pupils like or don't like about this subject or this topic. Discuss learning targets and what pupils could do to improve. Explain how this lesson fits into the other lessons on this topic and what you hope to do in the next lesson. You do know, don't you? Priorities Stay in charge. Don't just let the class drift into nattering among themselves but define time slots.

Tell pupils they have five minutes to discuss the current topic and be prepared to come up with a point of view or a question. Then you ask for a couple of sample responses. Show them the task was important. Alternatives If you can see this problem recurring, consider encouraging pupils to bring in relevant resources and asking them to talk about what they've brought. A collection of clippings and objects is a great source of inspiration. However, don't invite them to bring things in without making use of them.

Avoid Standing like a dummy and looking lost. Description Preparation of activities involves allocating time and checking that the timing is right. However long the activity is, if you have lunch or the end of school or if another class is baying outside, you simply can't overrun. Cause Assuming you know the lesson times, causes of overrunning may be poor planning or failure to check on progress more likely if you're enjoying it, but that's no excuse. However a watch and a classroom clock which don't agree can cause chaos. The problem then becomes, how do you dismiss the class in an orderly fashion which is important while clearing the room and its equipment.

Action Always use a reliable watch and check it against school time. Do look at timing and calculate the time remaining. Give advance warnings: only ten minutes l e f t. Messy activities obviously need more tidying time so aim to finish well in advance. Even if everyone is standing by their tables with several minutes to go you can always find some scraps of paper on the floor, a book out of place and still have time to summarize the activity, what they've learned and how it leads in to the next lesson.

If that bell has gone and it's too late to avoid it, let them out rapidly but not in a disorderly way - row by row or table by table - while making a quick check on litter. This can be fast but appears organized. Apologize to the incoming teacher or class and resolve not to do it again. Priorities Keep to time. Alternatives Use a travel clock on your desk. But avoid loud alarms. Demand a good clock in your room, in a position so you can see it rather than the pupils.

Use a noiseless alert on your electronic whiteboard or your mobile phone. In extremis ask a pupil to give you a time check five minutes before the end of the lesson - but ask individually, or the whole class will 'help' by clock watching. Avoid 42 First Aid Kit for Teachers Believing your pearls of wisdom are important enough to delay the timetable. Letting pupils leave in a mob - especially while cuttings and detritus cover the floor. Description Exams are formal events intended to test learning under strictly enforced conditions.

Whether you agree with them or not is not a point of discussion at exam time. It is your role to uphold them and to approach them in a serious way. Cause Problems can be caused beforehand by poor teacher planning and during exam time by not following the strict examination rules. Pupil indiscipline has the potential for causing disruption but is less likely if the absolute seriousness of exams is emphasized from the beginning. A wry acceptance of the inevitability of examinations is fine, but making fun of them is not.

I used to tell of the possibly apocryphal case of two examination candidates, seated at either side of the exam room, who were found to have colluded. I explained that, not only were the two guilty parties subsequently banned from all examinations but all the other candidates sitting between them also had their papers cancelled. This seemed to help my pupils treat exams seriously.

It's an effective scare story, true or not. Action Teachers Plan for the correct syllabus, identifying likely questions, optimum method and give practice in examination conditions.

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Follow up practice essays with a detailed analysis of the way the questions were answered and suggestions for better answers. Help candidates understand how the elements of the course fit together so they have a holistic view as well as a detailed understanding. Invigilators Impose examination conditions including rituals of arriving in good time, switching off mobile phones, leaving bags and coats in a separate area, being silent from the moment of entering the examination room, being seated in an orderly fashion according to a prearranged pattern.

Patrol the room with a serious and alert face. Have one invigilator at the back of the hall as well as one at the front. Keep as alert as possible - any delay in answering a candidate's request for extra paper is a measure of your inattention. Treat all subjects and all examinations equally seriously. Ensure you can contact the examinations officer. Record the time and candidate numbers of any incidents. Mark and sign a candidate's paper at the point they had reached at the time of the incident.

This builds up a necessary respect for exams throughout the whole school. Be clear about your procedures for candidates who don't turn up on time, who leave the room early, who are suspected of cheating or are sick during the examination. Do you phone home? How long do you wait before they are refused entry? Be clear about procedures for fire alarms during an examination. The school may decide candidates should ignore a fire alarm unless there is a specific warning from a senior teacher. Be prepared to reassure candidates that this will have no adverse effect on marking.

Priorities Follow both the letter and the spirit of the regulations as given by the examination board. Make sure you know which exams allow equipment and which do not. Make sure you know what to do when a pupil wants to leave the room, when one disrupts proceedings or when one arrives late. Record any transgressions and report to your school examinations officer. Alternatives There are no alternatives to the seriousness with which examinations must be taken.

There are, however, stages of seriousness leading up to examinations. Revision, planning and practice can be done in an entertaining way, made into a competition or a game, regarded with a shrug of inevitability - but never mocked. Avoid Misinterpretation of syllabus. Teaching the wrong syllabus. Treating examinations lightly. How do I deal with it? Description Coursework has had a bad press in recent years. Whereas at first it was seen to be a sensible alternative to the 'sudden death' of examinations, it has more recently been open to allegations of interference by parents and by teachers.

The maximum percentage which coursework can contribute to a whole syllabus has been gradually reduced. Coursework is as much a process as an outcome. As a process it has considerable benefits to the pupil, teaching skills of writing, preparation, study and information literacy, and personal responsibility. As an outcome it is difficult to compare it to an examination script, because it is assessing an entirely different thing.

However, if its outcome is not to be formally assessed, the process will be weakened. Pupils will not take it so seriously if it does not count towards their final grade. Cause The causes of public doubt of coursework can be summed up as plagiarism, interference and lack of rigour. The long road of coursework does not compare favourably with the short burst of a three-hour examination. This is both unfair and counter-educational. However it is true that it is difficult to detect the subtler kind of input by parents and difficult to draw a line between fair suggestions and unfair contributions by a teacher.

The former is a necessary part of teaching; the latter is doing too much of the work for the pupil. All parties must understand this. The Examination Board will have clear advice, which should be followed by teachers, pupils and parents. At the same time take the opportunity to explain the good side of coursework - the opportunity to follow your own interests, to plan and research independently, to work practically in real conditions, and to produce something you can be proud of and which can be a point of discussion at interviews.

Ensure the task is appropriate and as original as possible. Avoid titles which you know have been widely studied before. Add conditions to popular titles such as '. Follow the drafts of the coursework at every stage, and keep the drafts as proof of progress. Insist that references are properly acknowledged. Have pupils sign an agreement to follow the Examination Board rules - and have this countersigned by parents or guardians.

Follow the criteria of the Board for marking. Explain these criteria to pupils and show what must be present for a good grade. Follow up any signs of plagiarism. Require the pupil to give the source of the material. Type a few suspect phrases into a good search engine to see if they match online sources. Be very firm about deadlines, allowing good time for internal marking if necessary.

Priorities Stay legal. Help and guide without contributing significantly to the finished piece. Alternatives The obvious alternative to coursework is per cent examination. A less obvious alternative is for coursework to be carried out in supervised conditions. This could be too time-consuming to be practical in the classroom, but there are intermediate stages where perhaps materials are brought in to the classroom but all written work is completed under the supervision of a teacher or invigilator - and not necessarily in strict silence or normal examination conditions.

Avoid Unchecked copying. Favouritism — either towards pupil or subject matter. Comparing coursework with examinations. They should complement each other. More marking for me and more aggro when they don't do it! Description Homework is contentious. Often it is perceived as gratuitous extra work and a penance for everyone - teacher, pupil and parent. Checking up on it often causes aggravation which then begins the next lesson negatively. While we can't avoid it being a burden without cancelling it altogether, we can try to minimize the damage, rationalize its purpose and show how it can be useful.

Cause It seems to be extra work, so try to integrate it into the lesson. Compare: ' OK, you can go Write them down so we can all share them next lesson. Now we'll start looking at the second part The former seems - and is - rushed, an afterthought, an extra, a burden. The second is part of the lesson, builds on class work and is a practical activity which couldn't be done in the classroom. It supplements and complements. Action Set a coursework task which involves time spent at home or in the library doing research.

You can allocate homework time to extend limited lesson time, setting a written task which might take five hours of which three are in class and two are at home. If the pupil doesn't use the allocated time, that's their own responsibility and they will face the consequences. Homework is ideal for asking questions, collecting items to show in class, contacting the community, revising and redrafting, doing surveys of your street or television adverts or collecting observations of the environment. Homework is ideal for interviewing relatives, neighbours and shopkeepers or collecting family photographs for an autobiography project.

However, for any of this do give adequate time. Priorities Make homework part of a lesson, plan it as carefully as the rest of the lesson, set it early, define it clearly, make it relevant - to this and the next lesson, know what the school expects in terms of quality, frequency and length. Use it, collect it or mark it. Treat it as a valuable thing and make it worthwhile for the pupil to complete it.

Record whether homework has been done successfully and praise pupils for prompt and accurate homework in their reports. Alternatives Integration with class work. To make it a policy that homework is never set is probably unwise as it weakens the necessary link between school work and daily life. Avoid Treating homework as an afterthought. Treating it as superfluous. Setting any significant homework to be handed in the next day. Pupils have a right to organize their lives too. Description Listen to an experienced teacher asking questions and getting answers.

There are closed questions and open questions and each one is used deliberately to open up a discussion or to eliminate the possibility of an inappropriate response. Compare: 'Have you all got books? The former stimulates a hubbub while the second, especially with the emphasis on not, should generate silence from the majority. Cause A lively class can take advantage of a rhetorical question and pretend an answer is needed. They will take every opportunity to call out or interrupt. You need to show them when you want answers and when you want silent attention.

A further cause may be that you've not made it clear how you want the pupils to answer. Do you insist on hands up and you choose or do you appreciate spontaneous calls? Do you get annoyed when several call out but are grateful when just one calls out? What do you think pupils make of that? Might they just find it easier not to try? Action Think about whether you want clear-cut answers or whether you are encouraging open discussion.

Choose your questions to elicit these responses. Say 'Is there anyone who does not understand? The answer to the former will be 'Room ' so you can say, 'Well, get there now! Be able to keep order at all times. Direct questioning where you, the educator, know is most useful. Alternatives Leave questions to the pupils. Brainstorming questions which are then written down and considered methodically can provide the mixture of spontaneous enthusiasm and calm answers you are looking for.

Questions sealed in envelopes and placed in boxes are another approach. Just 50 First Aid Kit for Teachers be prepared to ignore the questions which are placed there to antagonize you Avoid Asking rhetorical questions. Asking questions which are essentially 'Guess what's in my head? Your pupils are not so fortunate! Description Doing mundane school work doesn't suit everyone. Methods of working have to be demonstrated and learned. Pupils need to be shown how to write an essay, how to learn vocabulary, how to organize and present things.

Cause Some pupils simply find things too difficult and resolve the issue by refusal. Some refuse because it is expected by their peer group. Some refuse because they don't like you or find the subject 'boring'. Some pupils are simply lazy or have other things on their minds. It may or may not be a good enough excuse, but it can help to find out the reasons for refusal. Action Talk to other teachers and to parents. Find out any obvious reasons for refusal.

Consider home problems, friendship problems, specific learning difficulties, eyesight, etc. Although there should be no need to pander to the tastes of idle and demanding pupils or their parents , remember that good teaching and interesting lessons help to reduce the amount of bad behaviour. If possible coax rather than complain. Well, it's worth it if it works. Record examples of incomplete and inadequate work.

You might identify a pattern, and you will be able to report accurately. Remember also that, even if a lesson is boring, that is absolutely no excuse for failing to do the work set. Priorities Identify the problem. Solve the problem before it spreads and infects the whole class. Tackle it actively; it's unlikely to go away. Aim to make your lessons appropriate, with varied learning methods and differentiation. At least you'll be able to rebut the claim that your classes are boring. Keep the pupil up to date with work.

Falling behind in understanding simply compounds the problem. Alternatives Detentions during which outstanding work is completed. Moving the pupil to another class not generally advised. Avoid Ignoring the issue. Lengthy unbroken periods of writing. Description You are told you must take someone else's class when you would otherwise have a non-contact lesson. There may or may not be work set, but the chances are that you would rather be doing something else.

Cause Someone has to cover lessons for absent colleagues. Mostly this is an imposition on you who already have more than enough to do. It causes you stress. However, the school budget may dictate that paying a specialist cover teacher for short term absences is impossible.

The class may be amalgamated with other classes, but this makes it more difficult for the teachers of these classes - and their pupils. If the absence is caused by illness, this may in itself be a result of a stressful workplace. Action Think positive and be prepared. Though your heart may sink, treat it as an opportunity to see children you know in a different situation and make an impression on children who don't know you. Always have at least one idea up your sleeve to occupy a class for an hour. Something which allows you ten minutes to interact with the class followed by a long period of quiet pupil work is ideal.

Do be firm and take control, even if your instinct and your need is to hide away in marking or admin. This is an excellent opportunity for you to make an impression on other pupils, whom you may have to teach later. Priorities Care for the pupils. Keep calm. Alternatives Clarify your school's procedures for setting work for absent colleagues.

Whose responsibility is it? Clarify your school's policy on non-contact time. You should have a set minimum of non-contact time. The Head can also request you to undertake reasonable extra duties - but how are cover lessons shared out? Are they allocated fairly? Understanding and having faith in a fair system goes a long way to putting up with the inevitable burden. Academic 53 Avoid Taking your stress out on the children. It's not their fault - they'd probably rather have their usual class teacher too.

Taking your stress out on the person who has to organize the cover. Description Planning an interesting lesson for someone else to teach is not easy. But it must be planned and it must be fail-safe. Cause If this is a planned absence for a meeting or a course, you should build it into your lesson scheme as soon as you know of it. However, when you're too ill to go to school you may be unable to plan work for your class. Yet someone has to do it and usually you're the one.

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If you have a coordinator or a head of department to cover for you, you should at least make sure they know what you are currently teaching so the work can fit in with your previous lessons. Action If it's a planned absence, be punctilious about setting up the work, providing a formal lesson plan, including what the cover teacher should do and say, where the resources are, where the pupils' books are, details of seating arrangements and what is the expected outcome by the end of the lesson.

Keep this detailed information clear and simple so the cover teacher can grab the plan and carry it out faultlessly. Agree a standard format for your school cover lessons — an A4 sheet with spaces for teacher name, class name, subject, date and lesson, room, class list, resources, instructions. Standardizing should make it easier for any teacher to set work and any cover teacher to follow.

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Priorities Make work available which will be educational, will occupy the pupils and is easy for a non-specialist to supervise. Alternatives In departments compile a batch of 'instant' lessons for all occasions, subjectfocused but accessible at all levels of ability and age. These are to be used in emergencies, not as replacements for thoughtful, planned cover work.

Avoid Leaving the problem to the cover teacher. Making the work too elaborate for the cover teacher to follow. Work which requires specialist knowledge Work which can be misinterpreted or wilfully misunderstood by the pupils. Description Supply teachers make a full-time job out of doing what full-time teachers often see as a burden. But it need not be a burden, and it's only as full-time as the need and the choice allow. While some supply teachers see it as a bridge between other jobs, some choose to do so because of the variety it offers.

I know one supply teacher who was so good at his job that he was offered a permanent post — and promptly resigned. Cause While cover teachers normally look after classes for immediate sickness or emergency, the supply teacher is employed to cover planned absence or longterm sickness. Or that's the theory. In practice the supply teacher may be contacted only hours before arriving at the school.

So the first motto is 'Be prepared.

Are you doing this long or short term? Is it for the money, the experience, as a bridge between jobs or the freedom to choose where and what you will do today without the need for lesson preparation, marking or report writing. Are you willing to work at any school or only a limited few? Use these decisions to make your mind up whether today you stay in bed, spend a day in the garden or take maths with Year 9 on the other side of town. Register with the local authority to get on their supply list. Make sure you are CRB-checked - and carry a copy of that certificate as proof.

Contact schools you would be happy to work at and make yourself known to them. Prepare several 'lessons for all occasions' so if you do get landed without instructions or materials you can still cope. Don't be too choosy when you start as a supply teacher. Use the experience of different schools, subjects and systems to inform your knowledge of education.

You can become more selective later if you wish. Priorities Use this as a learning experience. Be willing, confident, competent, prompt and capable. You can and should be all these things because you have the priceless knowledge that you don't absolutely need to be there tomorrow. And you have no marking tonight. Ensure you have clear instructions, a map of the site, a bag of emergency lessons and you are familiar with the basic school rules.

Announce your name to each class and write it clearly. Be firm from the 56 First Aid Kit for Teachers beginning. If absolutely necessary be prepared to override the set lesson in order to impose order and control. If you're any good, the school you've provided supply teaching for will snap you up.

Avoid Criticizing one school to another. Criticizing the absent teacher. Walking out in the middle of the day protesting that the kids are awful. It's just that some children have more specialized and specific needs than others. Non-expert teachers should not diagnose but should observe children and alert specialists to possible problems. Description Epilepsy is a tendency to have seizures. They usually only last for seconds or a few minutes.

Teachers are in a good position to identify symptoms. They may need to deal with a seizure and follow up by giving reassurance to the patient and the rest of the class afterwards. A detailed individual health-care plan for every pupil with the condition can be a way of alerting teachers to a problem and this plan should be available to all teachers. Symptoms may include twitching, an unusual taste in the mouth, confusion and a tendency to wander.

The most serious type of seizure is the grand mal where the child will lose consciousness, have convulsions and breathing may become difficult for a few minutes. Cause Seizures are caused by electrical activity in the brain and can affect people at any time. Action In the event of a child having a seizure: Stay calm, and reassure others in the class. Make sure that the child cannot harm themself. Only move the child if there is a possibility of them hurting themself. Cushion the child's head with something soft.

Do not restrict the child's movements. Do not put anything in the child's mouth, including food or drink. Loosen any tight clothing around the neck. Note that the Epilepsy Foundation says: Perhaps the most persistent myth is that a person having a seizure can swallow his tongue. It is not physically possible to swallow your tongue. The tongue, if relaxed, could possibly block the breathing passage. The way to avoid this is to turn the person on their side so the tongue falls away to the side of the mouth. Priorities Stay calm.

Reassure everyone. Prevent injury while a convulsion is taking place. If the seizure lasts for more than five minutes, or if there are breathing difficulties, call an ambulance. Alternatives Confusion, a dreamy state, twitching or wandering, which the child has no memory of later, could be signs of epilepsy. Check with parents immediately. The child could be allowed to sleep at the back of the class or taken elsewhere to rest. If medication is necessary, be very wary of volunteering to administer it. Some treatments require rectal insertion.

Avoid Alarming the child or the rest of the class. In a potentially epileptic child try to avoid anxiety and stress, flashing lights, stark geometric patterns. Could he be dyslexic, and how can I find out? Description Dyslexia comes from the Greek meaning 'difficulty with words'. Many dyslexics describe the page as having letters bouncing around on it, making reading difficult. Once described as a middle-class problem because concerned parents attributed slow progress in their children to dyslexia rather than accept they were not able readers, dyslexia is undoubtedly a real problem which should be tackled as soon as it is identified.

Where access to first aid training for an educator is limited, a record of the actions taken by the service provider to ensure the educator has knowledge of first aid and achieves a first aid qualification within 4 months of starting work at the service. If training cannot be accessed, the service provider must make sure the new educator has some first aid knowledge and achieves a first aid qualification within four months of starting work at the service.

Services that apply the clause as a matter of course, or apply it to their existing educators, will not meet the regulatory standard for HS If a service provider believes they cannot access first aid training for a new educator before the educator has children in their care, they should work through the steps below to decide if the condition clause can be applied. The service provider is responsible for recording all decisions and actions.

This is required under the revised documentation requirements for HS The service provider can contact its regional Ministry office for advice and help. First aid training and qualification for educators means the successful completion of Unit Standard First aid for young children as a minimum and registration of the qualification on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. First aid certificates are only valid for two years. Most service providers should be able to access training for their educators. However, sometimes it can be difficult for new educators in rural and remote areas to access first aid training.

Service providers should take this into account before taking on rural or remote educators who are not first aid trained. They should make sure new educators are first aid qualified before they have children in their care. Children in remote areas who need first aid are vulnerable if emergency assistance e. However, where home-based education and care is needed in rural and remote areas and it is proven that first aid training cannot be accessed before the care is needed, then the service provider may justifiably apply the condition.