The New World Kids (NWK) program, which is geared to young children and often presented in an after school context, requires a management system that may be different from what children usually experience. Here are some of the guidelines we created for our teachers that might be helpful to others who teach as well. (Especially check out the chants!)
- Before class begins, make sure you know what you are doing and have visualized what materials, containers, spaces and other things you will need during class. You need to have most of your attention on the students instead of on other concerns.
- Over-plan your activities. Have 1 or 2 too many activities just in case you need to switch.
Be energetic and enthusiastic.
- Show enjoyment for the lesson.
- Let the students know they are expected to have fun.
- Do not sit down and “command” students from afar. Get on their level if possible and constantly monitor them. Be ready to move at any minute.
- Keep the lesson lively. If students show flagging interest, be ready with a change.
- Anticipate problems and think of ways to prevent them beforehand.
- Think about safety issues, like using scissors, and structure rules around them.
- Have something positive and open-ended for students to do (like drawing) when they come into class.
Make discipline fun.
- Make the rules simple and practice saying them (in a rhythm and with appropriate gestures) before class and as needed throughout the day. Example:
We don’t hurt others!
We don’t hurt things!
We don’t hurt ourselves!
- If students are really “wild,” do something fun to help them get control. Examples: Dance out all the “sillies” to music. Wiggle fingers, hands, arms, feet, legs, torso, and whole body. Squeeze hands together and “squeeze out all the bad feelings.” (Really squeeze hard and do it several times.) Take big, slow noisy breaths and let them out. Do a “call and response” activity with claps or chants.
- If students need to line up to change spaces, do it with a marching rhythm or song/chant.
- Use a special signal when you need their attention: strike a drum, cymbal or xylophone, clap a rhythm for them to repeat, blink the overhead lights, hold one hand high in the air, etc.
|Don’t forgetYour chores today.Put things up.Put things away.||Put books and suppliesWhere they should go,So they won’t be lostTomorrow, you know!||Take an old piece of paperAnd use it again.If it’s all used up,Throw it in the recycle bin.||This room is yours.This room is mine.Let’s keep it neat.Let’s make it shine.||To get a big job done,It takes everyone.To get a big job done,It takes everyone.|