How did incorporating a routine in my teaching benefit my students? 

What daily or weekly routines would be incorporated in your teaching?

How did incorporating a routine in my teaching benefit my students? 

Diary submitted by Gabriella A, Erasmus+ internship in Valencia

Throughout my teaching experience, I discovered the importance of incorporating a routine in one’s lessons. Observing teachers and teaching myself enabled me to grasp how routines allow learners to develop a sense of ease, comfort and confidence and as a consequence ameliorate their academic performance. I believe that creating the right learning environment and enabling one’s students to perform their very best are essential elements to effective teaching and should be every teacher’s aim. In a way, routines can therefore be considered as the “backbone of daily classroom life” (link 1). In this reflective diary, I shall develop the importance of installing a routine by exploring the beneficial outcomes it had on my learners. 

By respecting a rigid structure, teachers can establish a set routine and deliver lessons accordingly. They can use the PPP method for instance, by beginning with a presentation of the class topic, following with practice activities and ending with a production of what has been learned. Additionally, they can begin each class with a warmer, for instance a review of the previous lesson, a short game, small-talk, etc. And they can end each class with a short review of what has been studied throughout the lesson. I believe that having a class routine is paramount to effective teaching because it enables students to feel reassured as they know what is expected from them. 

Specifically, the teacher that I observed during my internship would begin each class with a few general questions about everyday life, giving his students the opportunity to practice speaking in a casual setting. The students would therefore spend a few minutes chatting about various aspects of their personal lives, such as what they did over the week-end, what kind of movies they had seen lately, etc. The fact that every class began in the same way enabled the students to feel comfortable and mentally prepare for the various steps of the set routine. I therefore believe that having a predictable daily routine is paramount to effective teaching as it helps ensure a sense of safety. Moreover, I consider my teachers’ specific choice of consistently having small talk to be a very good option for an increased sense of ease and confidence. Indeed, I noticed that the casual conversations between the teacher and students enabled them to establish bonds thus making the whole teaching process a more enjoyable experience.

Furthermore, I believe that establishing a sense of safety in the classroom leads to enhanced confidence and that confidence is key to efficient learning (link 2). Indeed, studies show that confidence is associated with increased productivity and improved academic performance (link 3). Similarly, the American psychologist Maslow claims that students will only truly progress academically once their self-esteem has been strengthened. As a result, one can argue that creating the right learning environment, defined by increased confidence, is crucial to constructive learning. 

In conclusion, I discovered that establishing a schedule is crucial to giving students the structure and safety they need. Additionally, I believe that incorporating a routine in one’s teaching is necessary as this enables students to develop characteristics that are required for productive learning. Precisely, routines are associated with an increased sense of comfort, ease and confidence; features which all translate into improved learning and academic performance.  

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