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Posts Tagged ‘Tips for Teachers’

The Perfect Teacher According to Students

October 11, 2015

the-perfect-teacher

Precisely the standards that every teacher should be trying to emulate:

 

Show us that you care

Ofsted says outstanding teachers demonstrate a “deep knowledge and understanding of their subject”. Although passion is inspiring, a deep knowledge and understanding of their children is just as important.

I have a teacher who, from the beginning of my two-year course, has offered an after-school session every single week, for however long we need. I am often the only one there but she doesn’t mind. She has completely changed my life by believing in me, pushing me and caring about me. Obviously, I don’t expect every teacher to be like her, but to know someone values you enough to put time in is amazing.

I have been lucky to have teachers who taught me far more than the syllabus, who showed me how to tackle obstacles head-on and become stronger as a result. Perfectly planned lessons are one thing, but, to an insecure teenager, showing that you care is essential.

Don’t shout at us

The teachers who screamed at my class when I was 11 are the ones I still can’t form any kind of relationship with. Respect isn’t about having 30 silent faces shouted into submission. If you treat us as humans, know what you’re talking about and take an interest in what we have to say, you will gain our respect. Thinking of your lessons spontaneously and spending an hour shouting at us for our “disrespect” won’t get you anywhere.

There’s a teacher who’s renowned at my school – she’s the one everyone dislikes, mainly because she screams and gives detentions all the time. We have no motivation to work for her, because we just can’t talk to her. Shouting us into silence doesn’t give you more authority.

Show us your personality (but not too much)

Let’s face it, nobody wants to be up at half past eight on a Monday morning. But the best teachers are the ones whose personalities are so bright that the lightbulbs inside 30 heads are switched on anyway.

We genuinely like the teachers who smile, who can do the voices in books without feeling embarrassed and can hear one of those innuendos that we find hysterical and not tell us off for being teenagers. We know you’re not here to be our friend, but some sort of relationship is important.

A balance is crucial, however: the teachers who try too hard to “have a laugh” run the risk of students students taking advantage to the point where there’s no going back.

Tell us when we’ve done well

Teachers may be expected to write pages of feedback, but if you want to improve your students’ self-esteem and encourage them to further their thinking, but it’s the verbal feedback that really sinks in. It can be as simple as “You’ve got it”, “Spot on” or “Absolutely” – it could just be an enthusiastic nod and a proud glint in your eye. It sounds simple, but being told that you’ve achieved something means the world.

Verbal criticism in front of our peers is not so great, however. Put yourself in my shoes: you’re in a food technology class and you have forgotten your tea towel. It is a mistake so great in scale that you will still regret it when writing an article four years later. Being told you’re stupid in front of your friends hurts, please don’t forget that.

Remember that we do appreciate you

Believe it or not, we know you have it tough. We know that the stress you are under is ridiculous, that you sometimes do more paperwork than teaching, that a one-hour lesson can take more than an hour to prepare and that you hate learning objectives as much as we do. We know that setting us targets and marking our books can feel like a waste of time when you could be kindling a love of your subject.

We might not always show it, but we really do appreciate what you do. Because when it comes down to it, great teachers are like melodies that you can’t get out of your head. As children and teenagers, we are constantly changing and you – who see us through that time, pick us up from the wrong paths, failed tests and mistakes – are the truly great ones.

 

 

Click on the link to read How to Praise Students Properly

Click on the link to read Tips for Teachers of ESL Students

Click on the link to read Look What This Teacher Did To His Students’ Doodles

Click on the link to read 5 Ways to Change the Face of Education

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Tips for Surviving a Teacher Observation

December 1, 2014

observe

 

Nobody loves being “observed” whilst they are going about their job. Here are some helpful tips courtesy of theguardian.com:

 

As you stand in front of your appraising tutor at your first PGCE observation, you’ll no doubt be feeling anxious. But remember; they’ll have seen hundreds of these lessons and witnessed every type of disaster – which means they’ll rarely be surprised or shocked.

Unlike Ofsted, which makes summative judgements, your tutor is looking for good work to build on.

Graham Birrell, senior education lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, and co-author of Succeeding on your Primary PGCE, says the assessments made by your tutors, mentors and class teachers are formative. “The most important thing to go in with is a positive mindset.”

Joanna Sarri, a newly-qualified teacher, agrees: “Tutors are there to help – not criticise. Everything, including making a mistake, is just a learning point.”

The next thing to consider is the content of the lesson. “Avoid an all-singing, all-dancing lesson – this isn’t a reflection of where you really are as a teacher,” advises Sarri. The technology is bound to fail on the day anyway.

Birrell’s advice is to “think of a small thing to do, and then make it a bit smaller”. Don’t avoid risk altogether – just confine that ambition to choosing an edgy or original lesson topic.

Some basic rules also apply. Don’t start an entirely new subject, and have resources and spare copies of your lesson plan ready – which you should also share with your support staff.

Birrell advises against setting lesson objectives that are too vast; students won’t be able to understand the causes of the second world war in 45 minutes.

A common mistake made by new teachers, according to Birrell, is to plan a lesson aimed at keeping the kids busy. They might all be engaged, but if you can’t identify the learning taking place, the tutor will notice.

Rhiannon Rees, also a newly-qualified teacher, recalls a maths lesson in which physical activities and a hot classroom threw her plans into disarray.

“Although I’d sought advice from colleagues and double checked everything, my timing was hopeless and there wasn’t an easy way to pull things back,” she says. “The children were having a great time – if only we’d had another hour.”

Of course, the occasional sweaty disaster will occur. “Be prepared to abandon your plan if necessary,” advises Sarri. “You’ll impress more by being flexible and spontaneous than by sticking to it.”

Then you’ll be able to show that you know what went wrong – demonstrating that you’re on the road to becoming a self-reflective professional.

We can’t pretend that receiving feedback is always fun. Sometimes class teachers lack the ability to make supportive and productive comments to fellow adults. “They can speak to trainees in a way they’d never dare to talk to children,” says Sarri.

Birrell suggests one reason for this potential source of conflict with class teachers. As part of a target-driven system, they’re often anxious about handing over their responsibilities to a trainee, fearful that children will fall behind academically in the hands of a novice.

Be honest and non-defensive when you hear something tough from an observer. “There’s probably a reason, and in your next observation, you get a chance to prove you can change,” says Birrell.

Rees recommends a gracious smile and taking on board the advice you get.

Observations also remind you of what you’re doing well, says Sarri. Training provides an opportunity to explore your personal teaching style – before you’re subsumed into a school with its own version of “what works”.

Remember that, ultimately, it’s the children who count. You may think you’ve aced an observation or crashed out in the first five minutes. But going forward you’ll be learning from the children – the sharpest tools in the box.

 

Click on the link to read The Call to Have Students Rate Their Teachers is Better than it Sounds

Click on the link to read First Work Out What a Quality Teacher is, Then Evaluate

Click on the link to read 7 Tips for Building a Better School Day

Click on the link to read Tips for Catering for the Visual Learner


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