Month: August 2014

Why having the guts to try something new counts for EVERYTHING in teaching

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When you listen to people who are very quick to criticise (and we know there are plenty of teacher bashers around), you could be forgiven for wanting to stick to the same ol’ routines.  But nothing stays the same, does it.....

In teaching, you get really good at ‘the thing’ that you do. You know how the curriculum works, how the classroom energy ebbs and flows, what to subtly change in your planning to get the result you need for your students.

But when you get a particularly difficult group, or have a new curriculum to follow, you don’t have the same intimate knowledge or experience. You do your research, make your most educated assumptions, deploy what’s worked for you at other times and give it your best shot.

If everyone in teaching gave up after the first time they tried something new, what a sorry state the sector would be in.  What unifies...

B is for Behaviour

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Behaviour for SuccessIf you ask pupils in school, the word ‘behaviour’ is usually associated with detentions, names on the board, being sent to the Head of Year, meetings with parents, being on report, sending to the inclusion ‘unit’ and possibly permanent exclusion.  I’m not criticising the process, I’m just giving a simple example of one way of interpreting the noun.

Moving along to a college environment, if you ask the older students, they would (probably) wish for something different.  So the behaviour' word should change its perception and ought to be encountered in conversations about positive steps and expectations of conduct.  That’s not to say that meetings with parents and/or reports don’t happen, but the focus should be entirely different.

Most young people already know the classroom rules, and join college with the mistaken belief that the charters and routines are Actions Which You Must...

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