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Teaching Tips

Top Ten Teaching Tips

Follow this link to find a series of teaching tips that are taught in a kinaesthetic way using body actions to make them memorable.

Some basic values

 Two stone masons were working in a quarry and when asked what he was doing one replied, "I am re-shaping a stone." The other said that he was building a cathedral.

As teachers what we are doing is helping children to shape and motivate their future. The first step in establishing your relationship with a class has to be a sharing of purpose. Why are they there? What do they want to achieve? This can uncover vital truths. The children are building their future happiness and satisfaction and crucially they will only get the one chance. The world is full of people who hold regrets about their school days. How often parents share their own feelings with the words: "If only . . . "

Establishing the big picture will help provide motivation, and help establish a more disciplined environment.

When I started in teaching back in the sixties and seventies I learned through trial and error what worked with the children. Now that I understand the modern ideas on the ways that the brain works, I can see why those early strategies bore fruit.  In those early days, teaching was a basically 'chalk and talk' approach providing better opportunities for auditory and visual learners leaving kinaesthetic learners in bottom sets or secondary modern schools. We hadn't caught up with the ancient Chinese who said:

Tell me and I forget

Show me and I remember

Let me do it and I understand

From modern research we know that the brain learns when it tries to make sense of something. It likes to build on what it already knows. It learns best when it recognises the significance of what it is doing and is working collaboratively. Learning is a social activity that relies on knowledge construction and not knowledge transfer. The brain learns best when exercised in highly challenging but low threat environments.

We learn best when we are motivated and personally feel satisfaction.

One of the best tips I can pass on the question of discipline is one I received in my training. Never start a lesson until you have 100% attention. However long that takes! In my first lesson with 5C (year 11 bottom set), it took me almost 20 minutes to ensure that every child had stood. This was my first lesson with the class and I was being tested. Yes, twenty minutes. Eventually I uncovered the ringleader who was sitting in the corner. I had to step down from the platform on which the teacher's desk was placed and, with my gown sweeping behind me, walk steadily to the boy in question. The eye contact was reminiscent of a Crocodile Dundee moment with a wild animal but after a few seconds he extracted his legs from the 3 desks they seemed to be under and towered above me. Never had the words, "Sit down" come as such a relief to me, and no doubt them.

From that moment I was able to let the learning establish the control.