Top Ten Teaching Tips

 The following points emerged from discussion with teachers and are presented to you with a kinaesthetic approach to make it difficult to forget.

Each tip is accompanied by a physical gesture and a part of the body. It is probably easier to learn the points by starting top down or from the feet up.

TIP 1: display key words in the classroom. Visualise cards containing KEY WORDS posted around the classroom walls that have fallen to the floor and kick them around, saying "Key words" as you kick.

TIP 2: consider the importance of kinaesthetic learning. Bend over slightly and rub your knees saying "kinaesthetic learners" ( k-nees-thetic). Sorry!

TIP 3: explore outcomes of learning. You need to point to your bottom saying "explore outcomes". I know itís not very pleasant but it is memorable.

TIP 4: share learning objectives with the students. Bring your arms into a self-cuddle saying "share learning objectives".

TIP 5: check to ensure learning is being made. The key word is CHECK as you tap your shoulder and mime a body check saying "check for learning".

TIP 6: make it feel safe to be wrong. Grip your neck in a stranglehold and say "safe to be wrong".

TIP 7: make your instructions and meanings clear. Point to your open mouth and say "speak clearly".

TIP 8: regularly monitor for progress. Form a pair of binoculars over your eyes with your hands and say "look for progress".

TIP 9: give praise regularly. Pat your head and say "regular praise".

TIP 10: stretch the able students with appropriate tasks. Stretch up and reach your hands over your head saying "stretch the able".

A final pointer, as with all learning the brain dislikes learning more than 5 things at a time so divide the tips into 1- 5 from the shoulders down and then 6 -10 from the neck up.

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We all remember things from our school days that we find ourselves unable to forget - a passage from a poem, a word or phrase in French, a formula - and it's my belief that anything can be made unforgettable given the right teaching and learning approach. Why not try to learn our top tips? You may feel a bit silly but I'll wager it will work! Re-visit 3 or 4 times over the next weeks or months and it will be with you for life. However, our real aim is for teachers to use the guidance in the classroom on a daily basis.

 Starting the lesson

At the start of the lesson children need to know: what am I going to do? What am I going to learn? How will I do well? Will I need to use any prior learned skills or knowledge? This needs to be framed in a simple way with a set of clear learning objectives or targets which should be displayed throughout the lesson.

Learning objectives  should begin with the word "To ... " or the words "To be able to . . . "

They need to be appropriate to all learners, often dependent upon what has gone before, and should set out what the pupils should know, understand or be able to do.

They need to be re-visited at the end of the lesson so that the individuals can see how well they did and what they need to do to get better.

Without this moment of reflection the learning will not be reinforced - it is the equivalent of trying to fill a bath with the plug left out.  The PLENARY is the PLUG! Why waste your time teaching when you aren't prepared to hold the learning in place.


A teacher is kindling a fire . . . not stuffing a sausage!