Eight tips for a relaxed transition moment

Beginning teachers or colleagues with much more experience, almost everyone struggles with the lesson transitions. It is important that as a teacher, as a leader of the group, you feel good about what is happening. Eight tips for better changeover moments from teacher coach Roelie Zijlstra. More information at www.leerkrachtcoach.nl



  1. Short and sweet

    Prevent a lesson transition from taking unnecessarily long. Tips 2, 3 and 4 help with this. Also consider whether the conclusion of a lesson can be the introduction to a new lesson. If one lesson is about something that will be discussed in the next, mention it and start the new lesson immediately. This makes it easier to hold your attention and leaves no room for unrest.

  2. Be predictable

    For students it is important that you show predictable teacher behavior. Use fixed agreements and build in routines. That way, the kids know what's going to happen, what you want them to do. As a result, they will gradually do what you expect from them.

  3. Look ahead

    Tell the students what to expect in the coming lesson and name desired behavior. For example, say: “In three minutes you will be instructed about residual sums. Make sure you are in the learning position in three minutes. ” This lets the group know that there is room for a moment of relaxation, when that moment is over and why it is necessary.

  4. Make it concrete

    Make what you want from them as concrete as possible for the children. And make that tangible. Tell them what they need, such as their pencil, eraser, and workbook, and that you want them to have it ready. Concretizing is also making time visible. With a timer on the IWB or with an alarm clock; as long as it can be read. Zijlstra: “Ultimately, it's all about clear communication that goes beyond saying: 'Guys, we'll go to the next lesson in a minute and get yourself ready.' Which lesson is about to start? What do you need to clean up? And what do you need? Make that clear. "

  5. Matches needs

    A change of class is a great time for a child to let off steam. And every student prefers to do this in their own way. One person has the need to move, another wants to be alone for a while, a third likes to have a chat. “Meeting those needs is a challenge, but it is possible,” says Zijlstra. “You can take turns paying attention to it. Have them read silently in a book after a lesson and use an energizer in another transition, for example. That way, there is always a child whose needs you meet. ”

  6. Dare to move

    An energizer is an active game in which children discharge. Numerous examples can be found on the internet. Doing something busy to get more rest seems contradictory, but these activities are recommended. “In the classroom you have many children who like to exercise a lot, but who often have to sit still in education as we have designed it,” says Zijlstra. "With an energizer they can quickly get rid of that energy and then get to work with attention." With clear agreements, such as a hand in the air to indicate that you want it to be quiet, you can quickly regain peace.
    Other short games can also provide some air in between lessons. Group-forming activities at the beginning of the school year are also suitable for this.

  7. Look at yourself

    If you reflect regularly, you give yourself the opportunity to adjust your own actions. For that reason Zijlstra coaches with the help of video recordings. The teacher can see for himself what happens in a group during lesson transitions and what does not. You can also reflect by reminding yourself at the end of each working day what went well and what could be improved

  8. Are you a leader?

    And if you do sit down with yourself, consider to what extent you believe in your leadership. What is your body language doing? What do you radiate? Do you stand in your strength as a teacher? “How you can ensure this differs per teacher; everyone is different, ”says Zijlstra. “For some it is about posture, for others it is good to adjust the use of voice. You can also give yourself a certain appearance with clothing. ” The point is that you believe in yourself. "If it fails, students will flawlessly see through it."