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I want you think less as a teacher, and more as a wedding planner.

Yep, a wedding planner!

Because a wedding planner’s a master at proactively setting a scene that brings out the best in everyone.

If you think like one, you’ll have additional ways to create the conditions that unleash learning for everyone.

Here’s 4 wedding planner tricks you can use:

1. SET UP FOR SUCCESS

If you’re thinking like a wedding planner, you’ll set the scene before your “guests” arrive. If you want students working well together, arrange the tables and chairs in a way that best supports these outcomes. The key is to set-up everything well before students arrive (tables and chairs, technology, heating and cooling, lighting, etc.) so the party begins the moment students enter the classroom.

2. USE A SEATING PLAN

A wedding planner knows that where people sit is key. That’s why s/he creates a seating plan prior to the guests arriving. You can use this same proactive system in your classroom. An effective seating plan is essential for a reception and your classroom.

3. USE MUSIC

A wedding planner uses music to create a positive mood. You can too! Consider having upbeat music playing as student enter your classroom. I’ve seen some very tough students turn into playful kids by the kinds of music that was playing prior to a session starting.

4. WELCOME EACH STUDENT

How students feel as they enter the session is important. Find ways to welcome your students as they enter the classroom. Shake their hands. Sit next to students and say hello. If it’s a new group, invite students to introduce themselves to others prior class starting.

We hire wedding planners to create a memorable party. As a teacher who thinks like a wedding planner, you’ll set the stage that supports the party that unleashes learning.


A Question For You:

What’s one way you could think like a wedding planner that would make the greatest impact for your students? 

One Comment

  • Marcia Kern says:

    I taught high school Language Arts for many years in San Diego, CA. A good seating plan was a necessity. I used to have them do a piece of writing (usually a letter answering one that I had written to the group) and asked them to cover a number of subjects. I would then use the writing to help with seating. I would divide up the writing into piiles of “excellent” “adequatre” and “needs some work.” I would then divide up the piles among my groups so that there were some of each type of writer in each group. I would then look at balance of boys and girls, English Learners, and other groupings so that there would be some representation in each group. If I had English Learners who needed a lot of help, I would make sure there was at least one other in their group so they would not be alone. Then I would seat them all the second day in the assigned seats. (Of course some would complain–they were teenagers!) Sometimes, I had to tweak the chart if I had accidentally put loquacious friends together or someone who despised another person together in one group. I tried to change these groups each grading period so students would get comfortable with everyone in the class.

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