This post from @Mpershan and this new site have made me think more critically about my practice. It’s not about just teaching lessons which are over the top with intellectual need, contextual tasks and student generated questions. Something I think I may have been neglecting is reflecting on what I do day to day, lesson to lesson, even minute to minute.
So I had a think about what has changed over the last few months in how I do things and I was unhappy to discover a few bad habits have slipped in. One was easy to correct, the other will take some work.
We are supposed to make all students take their hats off in every lesson. Not a big deal, but when it was very cold we relaxed this a little, and I forgot to get back on top of it when things warmed up again. The upshot was suddenly I realised a host fo students were wearing hats in my lesson and one lad decided to refuse when I told him to.
Easy fix here though, reiterate standards and enforce college rules. No more arguments, students reminded of consequences of not following instructions.
Writing on the board
My writing sucks (gods I’m jealous of neat board writers like my mum) and it sucks even more if I try to write facing away. I worked for a long time in my PGCE to try to get to a reasonable standard while watching the class. My previous school was a regular 11-16 comprehensive and I had a couple of groups when this was necessary. I had to get better at it because a) I felt I needed to watch the class and b) they would moan a lot when they couldn’t read it easily (rightly so!)
Wroking at a 6th Form college – I realised today – has made me a lazy with it. I no longer need to watch the class the whole time, so I stopped facing them when I write. They don’t complain too much, and are better at reading my shoddy writing, so that has become sloppy. All in all I sometimes end up talking to the board, and apparently, looking over the last week, writing nonsense sometimes. This has to change. I need to practse facing away and writing and I need to write less. Which is the really tough part. How do you guys deal with balancing recording student responses and writing less?
I’ll let you know how it goes.