First and foremost, the children need to know where they should be, as do you.
The most important tip is to make it your mission to take away the fuss. Ensure that everybody has their place, and everything is known, even if it requires labels to begin with. If I know where I should stand or where I should sit as I come into a room then I cut out the stress or unease that could occur. "I'm meeting a new adult".
That's the frame of mind you should adopt by putting yourself in their shoes; In other words, think, “I need to know where you expect me to sit, and how you expect me to do it. Then, if I'm a bit wobbly, or I'm not very sure, or I don't understand, or I'm quite nervous, or I'm just me, you've made me feel safe and secure”.
It is key to make sure that the children have allocated places which they know is where they always sit to do their learning – whether this be at their desks or sat down on the carpet.
"...communication is the golden ticket for an organised and focused classroom"
Another top tip is to work out how best to organise your students. An idea would be to say,"Right! I'm just going to pop you into places, but I might move you around, because I might need some of you nearer to me, and some of you further away. And I might want you to be near your friends, or not, depending on what we are going to do”.
Make sure they have a place at the table. If you're a guest in the class, the teacher may have organised this already. If not, it's your part to then set the scene. Make sure everyone is clear where they need to be and also knows why. If a child isn't sure – particularly common in the primary age range, they will always end up asking you.
A good explanation to such a question could be, “You'll do your best learning if you sit there”. An alternative approach could be, “Or I can see that you're friendly with that person and I'd like you to work together, because there is going to be a little bit of chatting in this lesson”.
Essentially, do to them what you like to be done to you! It’s important to remember that whilst you’re the teacher in charge now, you were also once 7, 8, 9 or 10!
Lastly, communication is the golden ticket for an organised and focused classroom. Be clear, get it organised, get it crisp and talk to the children about what you're doing and why you're doing it! Whilst it’s the students’ classroom, it is your who owns the education party!
Remember the more organised a class environment is, the more focused your class will be to learn!
About our Community Expert
Editorial Advisory Board Lead
Over 27 years of educational experiences in a number of settings. Developed a clear vision and ethos for inclusion which puts the child at the centre and a clear understanding of how to support, engage and nurture the individual.
Ability to train all staff through effective and reflective continual professional development in behavioural management techniques that begin, establish and maintain change in all.
Jane is our education expert overseeing all content.