The worst classes make the best lessons…


The start of my second year of teaching saw me taking my first ever young learner class; a small, seemingly manageable class of seven seven-year-olds. Armed with lessons learnt from a year teaching adults in company I prepared my first class sure that we’d be the best of friends by the end of it.

As we only had an hour I kept the plan simple; I’d read them a story, they’d draw me a picture and we’d kick off proceedings with a round of introducing ourselves livened up with the aid of a ball.

Like a good teacher I got to the class early however, to my horror, like good students so did they.  That was 5 minutes before the class started and the classroom was still not set up when one student spotted the ball and the solution- Why didn’t they play with the ball until the class started?

Falling into the age-old trap of imagining an early act of friendship will win you year-round obedience I readily agreed.  The error of my ways soon became clear as my class of seven manageable seven-year-olds was transformed into a football pitch.  Unsurprisingly they weren’t keen to stop the match and start practicing ‘My name is’ when the time for the class to start rolled around.

This led to a none too dignified game of new teacher piggy in the middle as I attempted to wrestle back the ball and control of my classroom.  Sadly after they’d spent 5 minutes running around and screaming the latter was not easy to come by resulting in the longest teaching hour of my life.  But it did mean I fast learnt an invaluable lesson in teaching young learners- Get ‘em in, get ‘em sat down & never let the ball out of your sight.


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