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I'm having trouble spotting when some students start to take a nibble of something subversively during my lessons and I've been told this is one of the many things I need to improve on; i.e. making sure they don't. Any ideas?? I've recently found I am so distracted trying to make sure they are all not eating/ wandering around the room/ chatting that I forget what I was half way through saying, or where I am meant to be in the lesson! Also, I have found this problem greatest when I leave my 'spot' and go to help an individual student.
I was thinking maybe I should make them all put their bags in a corner/ on one table, but this could lead to a lot of, 'oh I need to get this or that from my bag.'
GTP almost at the end (either way), btw.
I'm sure you are discovering that youngsters are brilliant at discovering ways of doing things they shouldn't - perhaps it is the start on entrepreneurship? Perhaps it should be encouraged?
Seriously, what are your school / department policies relating to eating in lessons / laboratories? I would always confiscate food / drink and put it in the bin/sink. Pupils have a choice - follow the rules or face the consequences. On a number of occasions they would say "you can't do that" (I have!) or "I'll get my parent up to see you" (Excellent - do they approve of you breaking rules and potentially poisoning yourself - I never saw one nor had a complaint from the Head)
I would just say to each class "Anyone eating / drinking / chewing from now on will have their items destroyed. It's your choice." [If anyone insists they have a medical need, allow it but insist on seeing it in writing from next lesson]. Make a HUGE fuss about anyone breaking the rules. Any problems, get back up immediately [discuss this with your line-manager first - if they refuse to back you, ask for it in writing to mitigate the "need to improve" comment]. Additionally, impose a punishment for failing to obey instructions - again. follow it through.
Please appreciate that if a child eats a chemical or drinks a fluid and is seriously ill, one of the attacks upon you will be "you allowed pupils to eat / drink in laboratories." There will be witnesses from the pupils and a Court of Law will take this very seriously. HOPEFULLY it will never happen.
It may be too late now, but for future years, you could consider getting students to sign a contract containing safety rules (including no eating) at the beginning of the year, and stick inside cover of exercise books.
In our labs, there is a designated area or shelves for students bags/guitars/umbrellas or whatever. The rules are NO eating/drinking in labs, and students have to get out all the stuff they need for the lesson and stow their bags away before the lesson starts.
This is a much safer state of affairs, and reduces the risk of tripping over bags whilst carrying out practical work/moving around the classroom.
mulletslothIn our labs, there is a designated area or shelves for students bags/guitars/umbrellas or whatever. The rules are NO eating/drinking in labs, and students have to get out all the stuff they need for the lesson and stow their bags away before the lesson starts
I've seen storage in action, but preferred to have bags at the bench, tucked away underneath. If suddenly 30 people decided they needed calculators, or to put away textbooks, no-one went walkabout. It was quite safe.
As with all processes: consider a range of options, think about profit & loss, carry out a risk analysis, make a decision, then carry it through BUT be prepared to amend it in the light of experience.
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