Teaching - how to teach lower ability students? Watch

Obiejess
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So I was asking some of my teachers, who all know me very well - and they all thought I'd be an excellent teacher. Apart from one thing. This is the thing I thought would be a barrier to my ability as well.

I don't know, as one of my teachers put it, I'll be able to 'get down there' and explain something to someone who isn't very bright - without pushing them too hard. I think I'd do really well with a GCSE or an A Level group, but I am unsure as to whether if I had someone who really didn't want to learn, and I didn't know how to explain a concept to then I would deal with it?

How would you do it?


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Angelil
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I think you're asking two different questions there.

The first is more about how to deal with disaffected learners. Just because a child's behaviour is bad, it doesn't mean they don't have the ability to complete the work you're asking them to.

The second is more about students who genuinely don't understand something after you've explained it the first (or second, or third, or fifth...) time.

In both cases I think the key is to deploy a variety of teaching methods so that students are not always doing the same type of activity all the time. This increases the possibility of a high percentage of the class being engaged by the topic and understanding it.

However, this won't work all the time. You do need to have the patience, with lower-ability students, to explain the task or concept more than once. If you're intelligent yourself (which I'm sure you are!) then with luck you should be able to work out different ways to explain the same idea (clearly if your first explanation didn't work, then you need to try another way). You also need to make time in your lessons for regular progress checks - not just asking the whole class if they have any questions (as some students won't want to reveal the fact that they don't get it in front of all their friends) but also going round the room and seeing students individually, encouraging high-ability students to help those around them once they've finished their own work, etc. Lots of strategies you can use.

With whose who are badly behaved, as well as sticking with a variety of teaching methods (within reason....you're not a performing seal!), you also need to stick to the school's behaviour management policy. Make clear to the kids from day one that you do know it inside out and that it will be applied (stress the inevitability of it, not the severity). Escalate sanctions as per the school policy. It may well be that eventually you have to use detentions, that children may have to be removed from your classroom etc. It's sad but there will occasionally be kids who persist in misbehaving (not just for you, but many of their teachers), and if they ultimately stop others from learning then it may well be that you're unable to keep them in the room and give them the chance to learn.

Hope this helps a bit.
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rachel.h
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Bad behavers are an entirely different case to lower ability students. For low ability kids, sometimes I can find strategies that work straight away and simple differentiation can help. But for others, the knowledge of the SEN department is vital. In the schools I've worked in, they know these kids inside out and can tell you exactly how to best help them. They arrange screenings for them and arrange support accordingly... They often support them in homework clubs or intervention sessions as well. Even if they don't know the individual child that well, they have a lot more expertise in SEN than I do, so I make good use of it.

But it sure isn't easy, especially when some kids are only entitled to so many hours support in lessons per week, which they may never have in your lesson.
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Andy98
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Make a game out of it, that's how I had to tutor a few people.
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Obiejess
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Anyone know how I could organise secondary school work experience?

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Veggiechic6
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You have to break things down into very basic steps. Don't assume anything, make sure you explain every little detail. If you explain one way and they don't get it, explain in a different way. Keep trying different approaches, preferably using different materials (objects to touch, things to watch etc) and eventually the penny will drop.
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Andy98
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(Original post by Obiejess)
Anyone know how I could organise secondary school work experience?

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Talk to the person in charge of it

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Obiejess
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(Original post by Andy98)
Talk to the person in charge of it

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There is no work experience offered at our school.

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Andy98
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(Original post by Obiejess)
There is no work experience offered at our school.

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Hmmm that's odd.... Ask a teacher?:dontknow:

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Obiejess
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(Original post by Andy98)
Hmmm that's odd.... Ask a teacher?:dontknow:

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They decided to scrap it. Any work experience I organise has to be independent. I'd probably organise it for during study leave.

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Andy98
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(Original post by Obiejess)
They decided to scrap it. Any work experience I organise has to be independent. I'd probably organise it for during study leave.

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For us they scrapped that
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Angelil
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To organise work experience, write to or telephone head teachers of schools you are interested in.
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Mr CS
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You need to look up differentiation and how to reach out to pupils of all different abilities with your teaching. There's a load of information in regard to differentiation on TES. You should definitely consider reading that because a lot of people think differentiation just means setting different work/tasks for different ability pupils but its much more than that. You can differentiate during your plenary for example. You can also differentiate by using selection during questioning.

An example of this would be to ask easier questions to the less abled pupils and more difficult questions to the more abled. What you would hope for then is that the less abled listen to the answers of the more abled and learn from fellow pupils. Fellow pupils are more likely to use 'their language' and make something easier to understand. Of course, you as a teacher have to be careful when doing this to ensure there aren't any misconceptions being relayed to other pupils.
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Edminzodo
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Patience is key.

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