I won’t let the secret out just yet – if you think you know which of the scary looking schoolboys is me just leave a comment below.
The reason I’ve put this photo here is to alert you to something of real importance that could help you with behaviour management in your lessons – the power of teamwork.
You see, in that picture there are nine sixteen year old boys who played together to win the prestigious Moorclose Sevens rugby competition way back in 1984. The thing is, individually, we weren’t particularly talented (I could barely catch a rugby ball to be honest – my handling was terrible) but as a team we were unbeatable that year. In fact, in the Cumbria County rugby team that year twelve players from the squad of fifteen were from our school! As a team, we were very, very good.
We each had a part to play, each had a positive contribution to make. We got on well, we enjoyed playing/working together, we helped each other and we achieved together.
The great thing is that the benefits we enjoyed as a rugby team can also be enjoyed by your students in normal lessons simply by including more cooperative learning activities in your lessons.
The benefits of cooperative group work for both you and your students are many…
1. Positive peer relationships are developed. As a result of pupils helping each other to reach a common goal, they build strong bonds. As the sense community grows in a class (through regular group work sessions) there are fewer arguments and fewer fall-outs between students.
2. Lower achieving pupils gain confidence and motivation. By working collaboratively with higher achieving students, low achieving students are able to take part in activities without feeling they lack necessary skills and understanding. By being actively involved in the lesson activities (instead of being bored or frustrated) they are less prone to disrupt. The high ability students also benefit through the process of guiding and supporting their fellow group members – their understanding of the material is reinforced.
3. The teacher saves time. Once students get used to the cooperative learning framework they effectively teach themselves. The teacher is free from constant requests for attention and can give quality support when it is required rather than when it is demanded.
4. Social skills are naturally developed. Skills such as self-expression, decision-making, responsibility, accountability, sharing, listening, conflict management are naturally practiced and developed during group work sessions. This has a knock-on effect of reducing the occurrence of behaviour problems brought about due to a lack of these skills.
OK, back to the photograph. If you can tell which person is me, put a comment in the box below. And if you would like more information on using groupwork in lessons be sure to download the e-guide below. It has LOTS of groupwork activities to try. And it’s completely FREE.
Get you free lesson activities e-guide here: