For the inspiring Teach Meet he organised, Stu Kemp talked about solutions to a range of issues we face daily. Here are some of his ruminations:
Bottom set year 9:
Entrance policy – They cross the ‘learning threshold’ of my lab.
They have 60 seconds to get their folders out.
Open their book.
Get on with connect/create a summary of last lesson.
All in silence, they must be silent!
Exit policy – They must be sitting down, they must be silent.
I will not talk until all rulers, pens, etc. are away.
Movement in class – Do it like bacteria – quietly. Chairs cannot be scraped. Must be lifted.
Work hard on the relationships
Be assertive, authoritative and inspire confidence in your expertise. However, if students don’t connect with your human qualities- let them know.
‘I work for you. You work for yourself.’
Marking and feedback:
Photocopy brilliant work with your feedback on it.
Hand it out; show the kids what great work looks like.
Ask the kids to make improvements based on what they know is great work.
When they improve their work, make sure they add the word ‘improvements’.
Get the pens out and live mark their work. When you are live marking they must be silent.
DIRT time is important:
When you introduce a new concept, check at least 3 times with three different students. Saves constant micro-
teaching and repetition.
Every subject has concepts that take many steps to grasp, or skills that take hours to hone. Instead of always providing a different extension activity, why not offer an extension project- something for the students to work away at over the term or the year?
Finished? No. Never.
And finally, remind your students (and yourself, at times):