Are you nervous when it comes to teaching younger students?

These 7 tips will give you the confidence to engage students from Kindergarten to Grade 3.

1. Pretend like you’re on Sesame Street.

Be enthusiastic, about EVERYTHING. Be childish, be silly, be fun, but be serious when you need to be. The perks of Supply is that you can come in and have a little fun for the day without the responsibilities the classroom teacher has. So enjoy the children but be firm with your expectations and follow through so they know you mean business.

2. Make things a competition.

“I bet our class can be the quietest class walking out to lunch.” “Who here can sit the straightest on the carpet?” “I want to see how quietly the boys can go back to their seats. Now girls, can you beat them?”

3. Model everything.

Be VERY explicit in your explanations. Show them on the board exactly how to set it out. Give them examples of ideas or answers you are looking for. If it is still too difficult for some, write it up on the board or on their page for them to copy.

4. Give lots of praise.

“Oh I love the way you are sitting, Van.” “I can see Neve is trying very hard with her story writing.” “Impeccable handwriting young Luke, your writing is neater than mine!” Even when you think you’ve given the students enough praise, give out a little more.

5. Reward them.

Give out stickers or stamps and you will have them eating out of your hand. You can use games as rewards for their hard work. This will motivate them to work harder to get the chance to play the game again.

6. Read.

They love listening to stories so bring in an engaging picture book. Picture books are perfect for Literacy and Art activities, filling in time, engaging in discussions or just for enjoyment. Don’t leave the house without one!

7. Be remembered.

Tell them if they do fantastic work then you will do something special for them at the end such as a cartwheel, handstand, push-ups or any other fun skill you have. They will do anything to see you being silly and you will always be fondly remembered.

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