Classroom Tips

Here are some helpful guidelines for using the Growing Chefs! materials and feeling comfortable in the classroom.

Use your team

  • Co-operate. Remember that your team is there to help you!
  • Get to know your team members.
  • Try to spend some time before and after each class discussing the lesson, what went well, and things to work on for next time.
  • Use your teacher as a resource.
  • Ask questions and accept suggestions.

Prepare

  • Before your first lesson, arrange a meeting with your teacher.
    • Let your teacher know what you expect of him or her during the program. Ask your teacher to share his or her expectations with you.
    • Familiarize yourself with your teacher’s classroom procedures, and find out about special needs of any of the students.
  • Review each lesson before class.
  • Before each lesson, meet with your team to discuss who will lead what parts.
  • Collect any necessary materials before class, or provide your teacher with a reminder, if the school is providing materials.
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early.
  • Learn the classroom rules and set an example by following them yourself.

In the classroom

  • Relax.
  • Be genuine and open. Tell the students a bit about yourself, and encourage them to ask you questions.
  • Expect to be a little nervous. It’s normal.
  • Speak clearly. Project your voice.
  • Show enthusiasm for what you are teaching.
  • Stop often to make sure the students are following you. If you use a word you think they might not be familiar with, ask them to guess what it means.

Classroom management

  • Stay on topic.
  • Keep things active. Every few minutes, ask a question or start an activity.
  • Move around the room and face the class as much as possible. If you are recording notes, have one chef or teacher write things down, while another addresses the class.
  • Keep your eye on the clock:
    • Remember that you do not have to call on every student who raises their hand. One or two answers should be enough. Tell the other students you will get to them next time.
    • Give students time reminders while they are working on an activity. (i.e. Three more minutes to work on your posters!)
  • Let students reach their own conclusions. If necessary, ask leading questions to encourage them to discover the answer.
  • If you don’t know, say so. Don’t try to fool the students.
  • Remember that all questions are intelligent.
  • Ask your classroom teacher to share special attention-getting or classroom management tricks he or she might employ. (i.e. clapping hands or singing a song.)
  • Let your teacher discipline the students. Before your first class, communicate clearly that you wish your teacher to take responsibility for disciplinary measures.
  • Be aware of diverse family makeup. Not all of the children in your class will come from a traditional family. Use words like “at home” or “with your family,” rather than “your mom and dad.”

...and, most importantly, have fun!