It is important to develop classroom talk as it allows communication barriers to be reduced and develops communication skills. It is key to developing open lines of communication between teachers and pupils, which in turn helps the teachers assess the pupils’ progress and ultimately improves the children’s learning. It is not enough to just develop key verbal communication skills but also be able to pick up on non-verbal forms of communication as well as active listening skills. Teachers can ensure they are listening to their pupils during discussions which can help to inform them of a child’s progress and thoughts on a subject. By listening to children and giving them a voice in the classroom it helps the teachers assess how their class is progressing and allows individuals to feel valued and respected within their class. It is also useful to allow children to develop their skills in small groups or with their peers to help boost their confidence with oral presentations/ feedback. Methods such as open ended questions allows children to be heard and their points to be made, without the fear of getting the answer wrong. Classroom talk can be widely developed through drama lessons as it encourages children to both be creative and play a role. It can be through the act of role playing that a child is able to come out of their ‘shell’ and gain the confidence to answer questions in class. Drama also allows children to be creative and explore the world in a different way, which they can then bring back to the classroom and use to think about answers in a different way.
A restorative approach is focused around building strong positive relationships, in order to fix any problems or issues that arise within the classroom. Through this approach pupils can each have their say and feel like they are being heard, this can be achieved via questioning. This approach is about fixing the problem first rather than assigning blame and handing our punishments to those in the wrong. It helps to build a positive environment where everyone feels like they are being heard and not being judged, this is achieved by open discussions which also help to resolve problems quickly and effectively. The restorative approach allows everyone to take responsibility for their actions and have a fair outcome for all. This approach focuses on values, skills and processes which help to structure it within schools. It’s through having shared values (positive regard, accountability, reparation, etc), developing associated skills (questioning, active listening, body language, etc) and effective processes (questioning, listening, calming time, etc) in place that allow a restorative approach to be successful.
As part of the health and wellbeing inputs I have watched some videos surrounding early years development and relationship building. The first video discussed how babies brains are very flexible in the fist stage of their life and the experiences they have here shape what kind of pathways are made in their brain for their future development and life. The video also discusses how children react to the environments we surround them with and the affects these environments have on their development. The second video focused more on the importance of these early years experiences and how they can affect the decisions that child makes in adulthood.
It is important as teachers to understand how the brain develops, in order to help every child have the best start in life. It is only through an understanding of a child’s need for a constant, supportive environment that they can produce not only their best work but also develop the key skills they will need for later life. It is important for us as teachers to create an environment for the children in our class which allows them to build resilience and ability to take positive risks. As a teacher it is also important to understand each of your children as an individual and be able to know what their needs are and how you can help support them to achieve in all areas of the curriculum. It is important for children to build strong positive relationships with their family, friends and teachers in order to have a network that supports them in their learning and life.
As a professional I aim to support every child as an individual, allowing their needs to be met. To do this I will strive to create a welcoming and nurturing environment that the children can feel safe and supported in. I will also aim to have open lines of communication between myself the children, their families and colleagues to allow every individual child to gain the support they need in order to develop holistically. The videos have made me realise and think about the affect the environment a child grows up in has on their development and needs within a school environment. As well as the impact I have on that child as a teacher, not only for their curriculum development but their ability to develop the skills they need to create positive relationships within all aspects of their life.