News and blog

Category: Development

Misconceptions of a new teacher: You can always rely on ‘science’ to tell you how to teach

vitruvian

As the new school year approaches and over 30,000 new teachers begin their career in the classroom, Teach First participant Katie Ashford gives us the final part in her three part series.  

The last two posts in this series have talked about some of the challenges new teachers face in their first term in the classroom. If we aren’t careful, we can end up spend grueling hours planning, fearing lessons with...

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Misconceptions of a new teacher - Inspiring kids is easy

teach_lead_inspireAs the new school year approaches and over 30,000 new teachers begin their career in the classroom, Teach First participant Katie Ashford gives us the second part in her three part series.  

At the end of summer institute, the prospect of entering the classroom was pretty frightening. However, I tried to put this to the back of my mind and...

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Misconceptions of a new teacher - Staying up until midnight makes you a better teacher

tired_teacherAs the new school year approaches and over 30,000 new teachers begin their career in the classroom, Katie Ashford gives us the first part in her three part series.

Every teacher knows that things will never be as bad as they were during the first term of the first year. Gosh, you couldn’t pay me enough...

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Blog: Differentiation less daunting

The idea of differentiation can be overwhelming and often seems too much to tackle for every lesson with a full teaching schedule. I went to an after school professional development session about differentiation with a view to coming away with simple techniques which are easy to implement, without too much extra work. Trainee Science Teacher Emma Richardson shares tips on differentiation.

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Blog: Is reading a skill?

Reading_thumbReading is an urgent issue. We all agree that we must make sure no child leaves school functionally illiterate. Sadly, despite the best efforts of many teachers, some still do. An English teacher’s experiences of the skills/knowledge debate in action.

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Blog: Power, trust and commitment

Adam Lewis thumb Me: So, how did you feel having all of that power?
Student: I liked it. I could do whatever I want and get away with it.

History and RS teacher Adam Lewis explores the impact of power on school leadership...

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Blog: All in it together

Gopal Rao thumbThe military and medics seem to have a solid way of teaching. What is similar about both professions is that the trainers have been through what the trainees are going through. What about teaching?

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Blog: Hands-on training

Forces iconIt was 3:45 in the afternoon and at an Institute of Physics training session my colleagues and I were learning different ways to teach the subject of waves.  Our slight scepticism stemmed from the fact that all of the school’s recent subject professional development had focussed on teaching us the content behind our teaching material. What had failed to be addressed was how to teach the content...

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Blog: Redefining childishness

TED Every now and then when teaching, usually at the end of a long hard day in cold mid-winter, I hear myself saying something that I instantly regret. This happened to me the other day when, out of frustration at a group of year 7s who were bickering over a glue stick, I heard myself say: ‘Stop being so childish.’... so I turned to a TED talk for inspiration...

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Blog: Innovation in schools

Clown costume 2 The word innovation can be over-used, has come to conjure up images of crazy inventions and futuristic gimmicks and is too often confined to conversations about new technology. In schools this can rightly provoke caution from those who warn against change for change’s sake. One thing I’ve found is that aside from gimmicks and clown costumes, the real, meaningful, and shareable innovations can come in the form of seemingly unexciting changes to policies or processes...

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Blog: Preparedness, disappointment and a sense of humour

Gopal Rao thumbI have had two interviews for MBA admissions, and as I return to school from the second, some of my students are receiving offers of interviews at universities. They are requesting practice interviews, and I am only too happy to help. Gopal discusses preparedeness, disappointment and a sense of humour as key themes when coping with interviews.

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Blog: London Festival of Education: Top ten

Trophy Like all the best festivals, the London Festival of Education, hosted by the IoE and TES on 17th November, left me feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, but with that feeling that the world is better than I had thought because of the people in it. Here is a prize giving approach to sharing what, for me, were some of the best bits.

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Blog: Parents evenings and the difference between supportive and pushy

Primary thumb‘Haven’t you just had a holiday?’ ask my non-teacher friends.  It’s been a nearly eight week half term - no, I have not just had a holiday.  Myself and the children were very much ready for a break because they were tired and fed up of sharing a room with the same 30 people and I had a bit of marking to catch up on and parent’s evening notes to write. Our anonymous primary teacher blogger describes the build up to parents evenings...

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Blog: The globalisation of the teaching profession

Alex ReynoldsAs we are all aware, the teaching profession is changing faster than ever before. There are new curricula being discussed, new technologies being implemented and new philosophies being debated. It’s an exciting time to be a teacher! One phenomenon that gets less ‘air time’ is the globalisation of teaching as a profession...

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Blog: The dangerous allure of deadlines

Gopal Rao thumb

I’ve always struggled with deadlines. They’re so inviting – “get on with your other work, don’t worry about me, I’ll just sit to the side while you get on with your other important duties – school work, South Korean dance phenomena, European comebacks in a sport you know nothing about.” They’re evil on a number of levels...

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Blog: TAs worth their weight in gold

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The best TA I have ever had is hard to decide as I am lucky to say I’m spoilt for choice.  I had one who brought me a Starbucks most mornings and completely blitzed my cupboard, removing dead mice and all... Our anonymous primary teacher blogger shares what she's learnt about working with teaching assistants.

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Blog: Two stars and a wish

Primary thumbIt’s already week 3 and it’s as if the summer never happened.  The children are beginning to get to grips with the way we work and the expectations we have, and we even managed a whole PE lesson on Friday afternoon!  Some of the less confident children are starting to relax and share their ideas and some of the more confident ones are testing the boundaries... Our anonymous primary teacher blogger describes the teacher guilt complex, and shares some tips for efficient marking.

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Blog: No honeymoon period...

"There has been no honeymoon period with my new class and I have had to use a multitude of behaviour management strategies. I know it is hard at the beginning of every new year, but I am fairly sure my last class were not like this at the beginning..." Our anonymous primary teacher blogger describes how the start of term has been for her, and gives some useful recommendations for reward systems.

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Blog: A personal statement on personal statements

Gopal Rao thumb4000 characters. That’s all they have for their personal statements. How do you get across everything in that space? How do you know what to put in and what not to? They know it’s boring reading “I” at the start of each sentence, so they use weird twisted sentence structures, confusing subordinate clauses and off-puttingly, the passive voice; and semicolons everywhere.

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Blog: Should there be greater specialisation in the teaching profession?

“The idea that the solutions lie outside the profession is a fallacy.” Ben Levin

Last week's 'Chalk and Talk' seminar raised questions about comparisons with the medical profession when using evidence in education. Professor Chris Husbands, Director of the IoE, responds.

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Blog: "Would you rather be a chicken or a pig?"

Primary thumbThe first week of a new term: classroom displays, philosophy-based INSET, new classroom rules and new ways to break them. Our anonymous primary teacher blogger describes how the term has started for her and gives some useful recommendations for activities and resources.

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Blog: New school year

Gopal Rao thumb

Hair cut. Shirts washed and ironed. Summer gone (where?!). Alarm app on phone rediscovered. Of course, this isn’t just me. It’s teachers and students across the country readying themselves, bright eyed and bushy tailed, for another academic year. This year, I will have even more of a student-eye view...

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Update: Lesson Observations

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The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012 come into effect in September 2012, removing the three hour limit on lesson observations. Governing bodies and local authorities will be free to decide if they would like to alter their policy on observations as part of the appraisal process.

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