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:
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.
Challenge everything: especially confused & lazy thinking and stereotypes. It’s what classrooms are for.
Seating plan is bible: Target group in the ampiheatre. Low progress at front.
Less talk more action: Get straight to long answer qus. Model A* answers from start.
So you think you can be 3 minutes late? Students on time and, crucially, work up to last minute.
Imagine a World – Great resources on desks cuts teacher talk. Thirst-quenching starters on the screen.
Plan and visualise the 3 questions we will ask: Check they are challenging & inspiring.
Plan great lessons: Deliver them, mark books. Repeat.
Listen & then teach to the gaps – regular use of feedback/tests/QLA/mocks at the point of need.
Silence: Never , never, never underestimate the power of long sessions of extended silent writing.
Great relationships: Classroom culture is work-focused, serious, relaxed. Feels like a university seminar.
Earn their love: Help them remember you. Enjoy going the extra mile. Rocking chair moments.
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.
Culture of good note-taking: Notes are detailed, extended, annotated, on a journey. Reluctant writers provided with exemplars or teacher crafting on board/keyboard.
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’.
No really, do: The ‘teacher’s dance’: its a science and its an art. And its meant to be fun.