Being a practical teacher can really take it out of you. There are often lots of pupils wanting your attention or needing your help. No matter what system I have tried, the only one that has had any success for me is the written queue. By allowing pupils to write their name up on the board in a list I have eased the amount of work I have to put into each class and reduce the chaotic nature of getting help in a practical environment.
The written list helps each pupil see how many others are waiting before them in the list. This lets them know how long they may need to wait before receiving the teacher’s attention.
The list also helps the teacher and the pupil see how many times the pupil has asked for help. Some pupils can be more demanding than others, so it helps bring ‘needy pupils’ to the attention of the teacher. It may even make the pupil more aware of the amount of attention they seek, or don’t seek, each period.
Allowing pupils to write their names on the board breaks the barrier of them always being under stress and criticism when asked to approach the board. The board should be an interactive area for pupils and teachers equally.