The La La Land of good teaching

Having spent some half term time with the family toe-tapping at La La Land and weeping at Lion, here are my film-inspired thoughts on some of the elements of good teaching:

glad

1.
Command the classroom: really own it. Understand your physicality, presence and how you manage them room. No excuses: high expectations, coats, wires, posture, noise. If you are not in charge, someone else is. Secondary teachers, don’t hide at the front.

the_intouchables2.
2.
Challenge everything:
especially confused & lazy thinking and stereotypes. It’s what classrooms are for.

gladia3.
Seating plan is bible: Target group in the ampiheatre. Low progress at front. 

la-laland-kiss4.
Less talk more action: Get straight to long answer qus. Model A* answers from start.

 clint5.
So you think you can be 3 minutes late?  Students on time and, crucially, work up to last minute.

saving-private6.
Imagine a World – Great resources on desks cuts teacher talk. Thirst-quenching starters on the screen.

slumdog7.
Plan and visualise the 3 questions we will ask: Check they are challenging & inspiring.

lion8.
Plan great lessons: Deliver them, mark books. Repeat.

paradiso9.
Listen & then teach to the gaps – regular use of feedback/tests/QLA/mocks at the point of need.

silent10.
Silence: Never , never, never underestimate the power of long sessions of extended silent writing.

et11.
Great relationships: Classroom culture is work-focused, serious, relaxed. Feels like a university seminar.

wonderful-life12.
Earn their love: Help them remember you. Enjoy going the extra mile. Rocking chair moments.

schindl13.
Know why we teach: In a world which poses impossible questions, may my lessons give a fragment of the beauty and the horror of the world our children will lead one day. They must know how to change it. This is why we teach.

series-of14.
Culture of good note-taking: Notes are detailed, extended, annotated, on a journey. Reluctant writers provided with exemplars or teacher crafting on board/keyboard.

atonement15.
Make everything we do high quality: With an edge of class. Demand a lot of thinking, a lot of work,  a lot of pride.

And finally, have a bit of style: Don’t cramp your unique style of teaching and enjoy how you relate to children. It’s the essential ‘you’ of ‘teacher’.

lalaNo really, do: The ‘teacher’s dance’: its a science and its an art. And its meant to be fun.