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Hey, Mr Tambourine Man!

Guest post by PGCE trainee


Trial and Error

I’m a trainee teacher, two thirds of the way through my PGCE year.
I am engaging in a trial and error process of classroom management strategies, quickly realising there is no “one size fits all” approach.

I don’t want to shout

My own personal preference is to avoid using my voice if I can, however my petite stature doesn’t always give the impression of an authoritarian and so the magical stare that we’re encouraged to try is, at times, redundant. I decided to try out my own style, using something which particularly appeals to me…music.

I’m not just playing a CD

I have used music in several different ways; to immerse my pupils in a fantasy world during descriptive writing activities, to speed them up during tidy-up time etc. and so why not try it when you want to grab their attention?

Enter my new best friend, the tambourine!

One shake and you can hear a pin drop!
Now I’m not saying this will work with any group of children. It happens that some of my class were already familiar with a similar technique and those that weren’t quickly followed suit.

Set out the expectations to make it work

However by simply setting out how it would be used and what I expect of the group when they hear it, I believe I could have achieved this almost instantaneous effect without much trouble at all!
Give it a try!
For a more eccentric, boisterous class, why not go the whole hog and bring in some full-sized cymbals!
I love the satisfaction of overhearing children in my group tell others to be quiet when they see me just reach for the tambourine.

Just call me Pavlov!

Follow me on Twitter: @justine1412

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