Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Not all displays are for children

I will let you in on a little secret, this one is mainly for NQTs or students. Not all the displays in my classroom are for the children. At the back of my classroom, high up where only I can see it, is a small display for me. On it is a picture of Jonah from Summer Heights High, a picture of a plus symbol and a sshh picture. These are reminders for me for every lesson.
Summer Heights High was a fantastic comedy mockumentary from Australia. It was written by Chirs Lilley and, as far as I am concerned, is compulsory for all teachers. As well as copious amounts of cringe worthy and hilarious moments there is the character of Jonah, a dissatisfied, foul mouthed and disengaged boy from Tonga. As we follow his character through the short series we get to see school life from his point of view and, most importantly, share his sense of injustice at the world he has to work in. His picture is up there to remind me to never make assumptions about children and to give everyone a fresh start everyday. Something that I always want to do but, sometimes, without my reminder, gets lost in the midst of chaotic school life.

I have a deep voice that carries and, when wrapped up in the enthusiasm for my lessons, can sometimes get too loud. I have this reminder on the wall to remind me to check how loud I am being so that children three classrooms away do not start trying to do what I have asked them.

The plus symbol is easy. It is to remind me to use praise and positive behaviour strategies as often as possible.

Don't get me wrong, these reminders are not used everyday. After teaching this long, they are not even used every week I have had them on a wall at the back of my classroom since my NQT year and I like to have them just so that every so often I remember things that work for me and help keep my classroom a positive learning environment.

At the start of your career in teaching, there are hundreds of things to remember. This, tiny, display helped me to remember some key ideas I wanted in my classroom.

What would be on your display?


  1. I used to have a picture up of Pattie Boyd in my Music room - well if she could be a muse for Clapton & Harrison...!

  2. I had a Thinking Tree on the back wall when I taught in Y6 with Higher Order questioning prompts including Socratic, Bloom's and thinking skills; it made me focus my teaching much more. No room for it at the moment :-(