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  • Writer's pictureSumbella

Teacher Training Session with teachers at Our Own English High School– Fujairah

[#facilitation🙋🏻‍♀️] One of the #teachers I met in a workshop yesterday shared another new take on differentiation. He said it was about one word:


🟡 Empathy


I have added this word up there alongside fairness. 💛


Both are strong, powerful values with which to approach teaching (and life!), & I love what they say about differentiation. It highlights how considerate you need to be for *everyone* in the room.


If you’ve been following along, you’ll know I’ve really been rolling in the deep with exploring differentiation with teachers using Cambridge University Press Education resources in the #MENAregion recently, and trying little tweaks to help improve how we can sense the needs of our participants and learners.


In this post, I share one more way to get a sense of your learners’ status before assigning any new tasks.


Here it is:


❇️💡In the moment of transition between finishing a plenary activity, and starting into the next activity…

❇️🖐🏽…Grab that moment!

❇️🙈…And ask learners to close their eyes or gaze downwards and take some deep breaths.


While their eyes are closed, let them:


✨Sit quietly. Pause. Relax their shoulders.

✨Enjoy the silence (strong contrast to the “noise” of a plenary).

✨Ask them to consider how they feel at this point in the day

✨Tell them (while eyes are still closed) that the next activity could be solo, pair or in a group. Or that it might be inside / outside, depending how they feel. (Any requirement that you want to differentiate for - ask it here. Give them the options.).

✨Let them think about which one they’d like to do.

✨Once they open their eyes, do a quick survey, for example, “One arm up for pair work, two arms up for group work, or no arms up for solo work”, to finish your status check and assign activities accordingly.


Taking a couple of moments to close eyes and do some deep breathing mid-session is good for:


1️⃣ A visual break from the stimulation of the busy-ness of a classroom and other learners

2️⃣ An influence-free chance to choose which activity will suit them without pressure from the group

3️⃣ A quiet moment for you where the group is ’still’, to walk around and do any preparation you need to for the next activity


I did this in yesterday's session with teachers at Our Own English High School– Fujairah, and felt very grateful for the team of #teachers who joined in so readily with these activities & shared generously their valuable ideas & experiences throughout.


💭 Do you have any ways that you weave eyes-closed activities or moments into your workshops or teaching practice? Do you think you’ll try it next time? I welcome your ideas and any tips you’d like to share💡



P.S. Explaining photo 3...👀 I am not willing to be held responsible for how many delicious Twix chocolates I ate before this session. 🙈🙏🏼🤣💛🍫







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