Teacher Tip – Why You Shouldn’t Go It Alone

This week as we entered the new term at Prague Youth Theatre, we had a full team on hand. There were staff registering new students at the door, staff giving out name badges, teachers and assistants. In a large operation like the one at PYT there are so many things to do. Our team has grown considerably along with our intake, but even with smaller clubs and classes, an extra pair of eyes is valuable. Why?

Getting Your Ratios Right

When it comes to teaching, the more personal attention a child can get, the more they can learn. With groups of a certain size, having extra adults on hand means that any children who need extra help can get this support without disrupting the entire class. Splitting the children into groups can also go more smoothly when there are more staff to float around and quickly ensure everyone is on task.

For Everyone’s Safety

Especially in the theatre environment, you may have a number of children being active in the space and it’s not always easy to spot if someone is doing something unsafe. Having an extra pair of eyes in the room helps keep the students safe. Additionally, having two adults in the room means that if either one is treating the students in a way that is inappropriate, there is someone there to stop it or report it. Equally, if an accusation is made against an adult, there is someone there to confirm or deny what happened.

Dealing With Incidents

If you are unfortunate enough to have a child injured or misbehaving, having two adults means that incidents can be dealt with quickly and effectively. Especially with younger children, pausing the entire class to address a problem can make the other students lose focus and lead to further incidents. Having two adults allows one to resolve the problem while the other continues the class with the remaining students.

Two Heads Are Better Than One

We’ve all been in situations where we simply draw a blank – particularly if a group of students are being difficult and you need to quickly change your strategy. When you have two staff members in the room you can bounce ideas off one another and quickly come up with a more effective plan moving forward.

Huge thanks to my own colleagues, assistants and mentors who have helped me to learn and grow as a teacher.

Rebecca is the founder and chief executive officer of Silly Fish Learning Ltd. She is a children's playwright with a vast and varied career in education, primarily teaching drama and English.

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