2017 Wuxi September Staff Meeting
On Friday September 22, 2017, all the JESIE teachers from Wuxi gathered together with Academic Director Valerjius Gagas, Head Teacher Matthew van Orden, and JESIE staff Dio Diao and Becky Ding for their first monthly meeting.
Everyone shared their experience as new and veteran teachers. Other than classroom management, none of them had any issues and everybody had all the support they needed from their schools.
The discussion then moved to Peer to Peer Observations. Several teachers shared their thoughts on the lessons they had observed. Some issues with classroom management and timing were raised, but, overall, the comments were positive and it was a great occasion to steal ideas from one another.
Deadlines for social media, teaching resources and monthly reports were also discussed. The group also talked about topics for monthly meetings. It was decided that if a teacher has a good effective game they want to share, they will inform others and share it at the next meeting.
At the end of the meeting Matthew shared a classroom management technique that did wonders for the teachers who tried it as soon as they went back to work on Monday.
Matthew's method is very simple, yet highly effective: divide the class between boys and girls —always— and allow 10 points to each at the beginning of the lesson. Allow points for good behaviour, remove points for bad behaviour. Do not allow any talking. Go to students who misbehave and single them out, show them what they did wrong and remove the points. Do the same for students who behave well, show others what they did well and add points. The peer pressure is enormous and is the teacher's best ally: the kids will be dead silent once they understand the rules, and they understand very quickly because the rules are very simple.
All in all, the staff meeting was very productive and beneficial for all sides involved. Sincere thanks to Wang Zhuang Primary School for the use of their conference room and their usual generous hospitality.