This is one of a series of short blogs to hopefully help you thinking about teaching, assessment and learning. Below are some Teaching “Thinks” in what has now become a mini-series.
Whilst all the “thinks”, on a particular page, are connected and inter-related the idea is simply to focus on whichever one or two capture your imagination. Following reflection it’s worth pondering how you might apply it in your class room.
We all remember a special teacher; sometimes s/he is the reason we are in the profession. But what made them special? It would be interesting to muse about what makes us special, what would our pupils say?
We all want to get that little bit better. Occasionally, there are a few elements of our practice which are rather poor. Thinking about the lessons you have recently taught, what would you give yourself 1 or 2/10 for? Is there a consistent issue that needs to be addressed? It won’t become a super strength overnight but nudging yourself forward is possible. Likewise with things you might give yourself a 5 or 6/10 for; what improvement would you want to make?. Small improvement steps soon add up to quite a long improvement journey.
We want to have impact on our pupils; we want them to progress. Thinking about what you’ve done that may have had the biggest impact is important; you want to repeat this as often as appropriate. An equally important question is, “How do you know?” This keeps you honest and real. It allows you look at the impact of your teaching through your pupils’ outcomes.
If you are not too familiar with research have a look at the Education Endowment Foundation’s Teaching and Learning Toolkit or Early Years one. We’re beginning to have much more idea of what is more likely to work in the class room. Research is good place to start when seeking to improve your practice. Avoid silver bullets and snake oil.
You can’t change lots of things at once, you’ll end up confusing yourself and becoming dispirited. Better to focus on one thing, that really matters, over an extended period.
If you prefer to scribble as you think feel free to download a copy of the “Think” page:
Teaching Thinks for Teachers – PDF
Teaching Thinks for Teachers – Word
The other “Thinks for Teachers are:
Planning “Thinks” for Teachers
Assessment “Thinks” for Teachers
Thanks, Stephen. I like little self-questioning, self-coaching processes like this. And they’re useful as part of wider coaching and reflection processes within teams. I might try to develop something along these lines in my new role. I think we’d find it useful as a new team, helping us come together.