Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Back to (Teaching and Learning) Basics

So they say that you can't teach an old dog new tricks - I'm not sure I agree with that as this old dog loves an occasional new (teaching and learning) trick!  Whether us teachers are up for a new trick in the classroom or not we sure as heck can always get better at the old tricks.  No matter how long you have been teaching you are never too long in the tooth to be revisiting your basic skills in teaching and enabling learning in your class.  

At times the seasoned teacher can become less focused on their basic skills in teaching and enabling learning in the classroom.  We do the basics naturally, almost subconsciously.  It becomes harder and harder for us to analyse our own practice as we just do things with out thinking - we are so used to it.  It is vital that we refocus on these skills from time to time in order to assess why we do the things we do and whether they are still the most effective ways of doing them.

All teachers, experienced and inexperienced, have the ever changing pressures of government intervention in education, exam board changes, curriculum changes, national news and school expectation changes.  This constant sea of change can make us doubt our own abilities and confuse what we know to be effective with what is the hot topic right now.  We need to reflect, research and be assured in out abilities to get the most out of out students. We need to get the basics right.

So, I have decided that, for me, it is time to get back to basics.  I want to rediscover what works for me, look at why it works and make sure I am doing it the best I can.   The posts will look at how and why I do the things I do in my teaching practice and investigate whether they are working in terms of aiding the learning in my class.  These blogs are really more about making sure I am keeping myself in check than advocating any one way of doing anything in your classroom.  

"I write to understand as much as to be understood." Ellie Wiesel

In this series I will be looking at the following topics in no particular order and probably changing my mind as I write them. :-)

  1. Lesson Objectives
  2. Reviewing Learning
  3. Students Feeling Safe and Valued
  4. Language in the Classroom
  5. Marking and Feedback
  6. Assessment and Planning Loop
  7. Attitudes to Learning
  8. Challenge
  9. Enjoyment
  10. Pace
  11. Expectations

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