Dynamics of the New Classroom

Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.

– Henry Ford


In some parts of the world the classes have just begun and here we still have time to prepare ourselves for the coming year. We all have some tricks to begin the new term, some fun ideas to make students eager to start or motivate the unmotivated. Some of us will teach new classes, some of us will continue with the same students.

We all know that although we teach the same class for many years, each term will have its own dynamics as the individuals will be completely different from each other. Thus the techniques that worked last year may not be useful this year.

In short as a teacher you will have a new group to turn into willing learners. You have to have new tactics to handle the new situation.

If the relationship between you and your new group is good, things will be easier. Maybe it will be a good idea to start with some trust forming activities.

Not only the relationship between you and the class decides the success of the teaching and learning process, but the relationship between the peers will also be a very important factor. The students should learn to trust each other. They should also learn to accept the differences that they have, they should learn to respect each other.

When we consider all these things, we can see that teaching grammar or mathematics is the easiest part of our job. We, as teachers, should find ways to communicate with our students. We should find ways to lead them to become individuals who are well aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

When the classroom is a place where all the students trust and respect each other and when they don’t bully the weaker ones, it will be easier for the teacher to help the students to move one step further.


An activity to teach why we should listen to each other:

Prepare role cards for A and B

On A cards write:

You have just won a scholarship and you are very enthusiastic about it. You know your life will be very different from now on and you want to talk about it with your friend.

On B cards write:

Your friend is very enthusiastic and she wants you to listen to her but don’t listen. Try to distract her, avoid eye contact, interrupt and say something else. Whenever she tries to come to the subject, do something to make your friend understand that you are not interested.

This activity usually works well and student As tell their friends how frustrating it is to see their friends not listening to them,while they are trying to tell something enthusiastically.


A boat doesn’t go forward if each one is rowing their own way.
Swahili proverb

Some sites for ideas:

Drama Games

Kim’s Korner For Teacher Talk

Team Building Activities for Teens

Group Games

Team Building in the classroom

What I’ve bookmarked recently

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Twitter enables all of us to reach fabulous links. These are my recent favourites.

 I know it is possible to survive as a teacher without twitter, nings, PLNs yet teachers should know they are missing great stuff because they just have a PLN at school.

1. Braingle is a site where you can find brain teasers, riddles, logic problems, quizzes that you can use in your classes as a warmer or a filler.

2.  Why Teach with Project Learning?: These days I tend to read and bookmark everything I find about PBL and this is a really useful article pointing out why PBL should be used.

3. Critical Thinking On The Web is a directory for online resources.

4. pikikids is a site which allows you to create comics uploading your own photographs.

5. Tips, Tools and Technology for Educators is a great article with lots of links which enables us to create and collaborate. 

What I learned from my PLN

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 Last two weeks were very fruitful. I had the chance to read great blog posts and thanks to twitter and PLN I learned a lot.

I had prepared my power point presentation for the ISTEK conference before I read Janet Bianchini and Shelly Terrell’s blogs. After reading their posts and Jeremy Harmer’s article, I looked at it again and changed. Now it looks much better.

I got the link to this site via Özge from twitter and passed it to my students who are about to prepare a project on TV.

I really love Sean Banville’s time management tips and now as I’m waiting to meet my husband, instead of window shopping I’m writing this post.

This came from Marisa Constantinides on Sunday morning and it was enough to cheer me up.