Pushing more able students by @ramtopsgrum

Name: Graham Hartland
Twitter name: @ramtopsgrum
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Biology
Position: Head of department
What is your advice about? Pushing more able students

  1. Get them to talk. Set questions like “why is it easier to trace female ancestry rather than male ancestry over the last 100 000 years”. Allow left field answers.
  2. Be a geek, a boffin, a nerd. Answer, within reason, any question relevant to subject. Model ‘good answers’; show off your knowledge.
  3. Research. Read. Where are the controversies? Risks? Benefits? If we can do something, then should we? Why? Allow students to argue.
  4. Think long term so that practicals are seamless with lessons: it’s almost like it’s been planned… respect the class, don’t be random.
  5. Get students to reflect and self-evaluate. Model this: allow successful students to tell others what they do.

Planning IB/A Level History by @Carlnewman9526

Name: Carl Newman
Twitter name: @Carlnewman9526
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): History
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Planning IB/A Level History

  1. Look at past exam questions when you are planning a series of lesson and pick one to shape those lessons around.
  2. Find a historian’s quote that offers a view on the issue in the question. Re-draft the question to put that quote in – this encourages some historiography
  3. Start by giving the overview: tell anecdotes, introduce interesting characters, make the story remembrance. Focus on chronology – dates are pegs that they can hang things on
  4. Now get them to think more analyticall by getting them to look for evidence to support the importance of certain factors/ explanations. Discuss/ debate in class -poke holes
  5. Now have them try a more challenging text eg a chapter from the leading academic historian. This will be easier if they have built up knowledge already but help them with this

First Term Suggestions by @teacherwithbike

Name: TeacherWithBike
Twitter name: @teacherwithbike
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? First Term Suggestions

  1. Before term begins, find out school/department approach to ‘first lessons’. It’s easy for experienced staff to forget that this is totally new territory for new teachers!
  2. Remember that most people are far more efficient and effective when well slept. Getting enough sleep & looking after yourself is part of being good at your job.
  3. As soon as possible, get out of your own classroom and be inspired by others. It’s easy to not have enough time to do this: make time. It’s usually time well spent.
  4. “Don’t smile ’til Christmas” is rubbish, but sorting out your expectations & routines is crucial. It’s fine to rethink/restart your behaviour management processes if needed.
  5. Use at least some of your mentor time discussing important (& interesting) things like your subject and how best to plan lessons in it. Minimise time dominated by admin.

Tips for Longevity in the Profession by @amuseED

Name: Allison Fairey
Twitter name: @amuseED
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Art +RE
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Tips for Longevity in the Profession

  1. Right from the start make sure teaching is indeed the gig for you. You should have gained insights into this when you began working in schools as a pre-service teacher.
  2. Be strict with yourself. Make sure you plan downtime, leisure and family time. Don’t allow workload or the job to rule you or upset that balance.
  3. Seek out ways to fuel your passion for your subject & to determine or test your success as an educator. If you are truly successful you will be satisfied & happy.
  4. Challenge yourself. Continually improve your knowlege. Experiment with what you learn through the reading of research & conversations with knowledgable colleagues & experts.
  5. Be positive & connect with colleagues who are enthusiastic. Feed off & into the energy that is created in these relationships as they will sustain you as you gain experience.

Pushing Most Able Students by @Miss_Toppin

Name: Miss Toppin
Twitter name: @Miss_Toppin
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Pushing Most Able Students

  1. You will never know what your students are capable of until you have stretched them to their optimum capability.
  2. Give them an exam question from the next key stage – type it up into your PowerPoint or worksheet and make it look normal. Then sit back and watch…you will be surprised.
  3. Make sure they understand that failure is a critical component of success i.e. a ‘mastery’ mindset; provide them with famous examples from all walks of life.
  4. Encourage both ‘Blue Sky’ and completely ‘logical’ thinking; teach them the value is knowing which mindset to use for which problem.
  5. DO NOT give them an easy way out; they must think their way out of a question or challenge, even if their answer is completely wrong. Make their minds robust and resilient.

First Term Dos and Don’ts by @fractionfanatic

Name: Julie Morgan
Twitter name: @fractionfanatic
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Maths
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? First Term Dos and Don’ts

  1. Do make sure you are well organised. Lessons will always run more smoothly if you’re not frantically finding resources or setting up.
  2. Do get to know the key staff in the school. Office staff, janitors, reprographics, … are all essential for a smooth first term.
  3. Don’t take on too much. During the first term it is tempting to say yes to everything. Focus on your classes.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. You are not expected to know everything about teaching.
  5. Do try to mix with staff from other departments. It is nice to know colleagues from around the school. Makes you feel part of the whole school.

Reflecting on practice by @mistermarci

Name: Mister Marci
Twitter name: @mistermarci
Sector: Primary
Subject taught (if applicable): Anything/Everything
Position: Teacher/SLT
What is your advice about? Reflecting on practice

  1. Record: Find a notebook, preferably handwritten, and choose a pen you enjoy writing with. Write down initial thoughts on lessons/events/days/theory.
  2. Read: Write until you have exhausted the inner monologue natter: serve the unconscious mind. Then stop. When ready, sit back and read back your unconscious ramblings.
  3. Edit: Make the page bleed: take a red pen (other colours are available) and cross out; filter; add; adapt any – or all – of it. Then read it back.
  4. Focus: Select an area that stands out. Did certain elements or techniques work? Have you identified one area of your practice that you can minimise and make more effective?
  5. Repeat: Ideally daily. Make it part of your ritual. You don’t have to blog or share it, but thousands see value in doing so.

Pushing the most able by @pdonald81

Name: Paul Donald
Twitter name: @pdonald81
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): History/English
Position: Deputy Head
What is your advice about? Pushing the most able

  1. Know your subject really well. It’ll help with all kids and make you feel secure.
  2. Expect them to read a lot and make it substantial and challenging e.g undergrad stuff for really bright A Level kids.
  3. When you read their work, make sure they really know what they’re saying. Sometimes they write well which covers a lack of knowledge.
  4. Get them to consider the merits of arguments they don’t automatically agree with. This will challenge them to really understand how to deconstruct an argument.
  5. Do give praise, but always leave the most able students feeling like they need to impress you more.

Formative assessment by @evahartell

Name: Eva Hartell
Twitter name: @evahartell
Sector: Primary, Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Math, science, tech ed. STEM
Position: R & D municipality level
What is your advice about? Formative assessment

  1. Find colleague
  2. Long term improvement, but get started.
  3. Read the work of Dylan Wiliam & Siobhan Leahy
  4. Watch The Classroom Experiment
  5. Try again

Who to be nice to… by @MikeTylerSport

Name: Mike Tyler
Twitter name: @MikeTylerSport
Sector: FE
Subject taught (if applicable): Sport
Position: Lecturer
What is your advice about? Who to be nice to…

  1. The estates team have two response times: ‘I’ll do it now’ or ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’. Be nice to them if you want stuff fixed (you might even get a go on the walkie-talkies).
  2. The security staff. Next time Jack, or Jake, or Jessica kicks off you’re going to need the burly fella on your team.
  3. The timetabling team are sat at their desks like Chloe from 24, fingers poised. If you want a last minute room booking then you need someone on the inside.
  4. Your computer/projector/camera is going to break: it’s what they do. If you need it sorted at short notice, you’ll need to be on good terms with the AV and IT technician(s).
  5. Be friendly with student services staff. These people are the advice and guidance gurus; they have the answers to all of your students’ questions. All of them. Really.