I am currently in the process of writing the reports for our two trainee teachers who are coming to the end of their first placement – I am sure they will agree its been a “hell of a ride”. Supporting maths trainees is a new experience for our department and one which I think we have relished and will have been worthwhile for all of us involved. As the subject mentor I have discovered the way “my” classes behave for other teachers (not the same); I have been reminded of things that I take for granted (the kids give the books out, not me!); I have even learnt some things along the way (how to find out if a number is a multiple of 3 **I know I probably should have known that last one**) and I love to learn new things!

The way in which we develop as teachers is a very personal thing, but one of the main issues for trainees is developing strategies for managing behaviour and there is no doubt that lesson planning and behaviour are linked. However unless you can assert your authority, and I don’t mean shouting, no amount of lesson planning will make a difference. Effective classroom management is amongst the most important skills required to be a good teacher. Sounds easy eh?

Of course its not easy and I don’t have all the answers but were I to impart one piece of advice for students at the very outset of their journey to becoming a teacher it would be …. Hang on, I must warn you that its not a ground-breaking idea and I’m never going to get a behaviour management book published on the back of it, but here goes …

WAIT FOR SILENCE! Never, ever, under any circumstances, talk unless the entire room is in complete and utter quiet.

That’s it … everything else will come in time.