Before the holidays I had blogged about the first two points in Dave Burgess' book, 'Teach Like a Pirate' - Passion and Immersion. So now, we are onto the R - Rapport!
Since reading 'Teach Like a Pirate', I have come to the conclusion that this is the most important part of the PIRATE philosophy. You cannot get students to take risks in your classroom and get 100% engaged if you haven't built relationships and made them trust you and the other members in your class.
As of today I have now met all of my classes. In the first lesson of each I used a mesh of Dave's 'First Three Days' ideas in the one lesson as we have 80 minute periods and time is of the essence once we cover that first introductory lesson. Each lesson went a little as follows:
1. All the boring admin stuff is done straight up, rolls and timetable checks to make sure I can start to put names to faces and check that everyone is in the right place.
2. The 'greeting' lesson - I greet the class with how I would like them to greet me at the beginning of each lesson. Dave get's a little 'crazier' in this bit, but I'm still working on my confidence to totally make a complete fool of myself infront of my classes!!!
3. The 'World Famous Science Extravaganza' - each student was given a sheet that introduces them to science class this year as the 'World Famous Science Extravaganza' - I also included a link to my YouTube video of my elephant's toothpaste experiment that went slightly haywire so that I could prove that my science lessons are in fact 'world famous' (with over 170K views!) and that I wasn't joking!! Along with this is a list of 'regulations' of my classroom. No 'rules', just expectations of each and every one of them in order for us to have the best 'experiences' in our classroom!
6. A collaborative activity - my older students carried out the 'Moonlanding' activity, where they had to work in groups to determine the importance of a list of 15 items to surviving a crash on the moon! I was blown away by the collaboration and discussion that was coming out of the activity. It was a great icebreaker and a great opportunity to see who is a leader and who is someone who is happy to sit back and watch. Thankfully there weren't many of the latter!
I honestly feel like I have had the best start to a year in my 10 'first weeks' that I've done in my teaching career. I feel excited to go to class as the girls have already shared so much with me and were happy to share a piece of themselves with no only me, but the rest of the class! These activities have already led to conversations with students outside of class and I'm hoping that this translates into a great year ahead for all of us :)