Teaching international students by @sjtylr

Name: Stephen

Twitter name: @sjtylr

Sector: International Schools

Subject taught (if applicable):

Position: Teacher, Dir. Learning, IB Coordinator

What is your advice about? Teaching international students

  1. Value students’ identities by learning their real names rather than assigning English names. It’s Kyu-Min, not ‘Kenny’.
  2. Practice pronunciation of kids’ names and check with them to avoid embarrassing errors.
  3. We’re all language teachers. You will need to take more time to teach the vocabulary and conventions of your subject.
  4. Remember that humour doesn’t always translate. If in doubt, don’t.
  5. Remember that students are often in transition. New students coming part-way through the year might have missed transition support and can get left behind. Leaving students need support too.

Special education by @stam_liz

Name: Liz
Twitter name: @stam_liz
Sector: Secondary,Special school
Subject taught (if applicable): Maths
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Special education

  1. Smile and take time to know your students.
  2. Overplan – lots of different activities but don’t rush them so you don’t run out of things to do.
  3. Don’t get stuck on the diagnosis – each child is an individual who HAS a special need but they are far more than that. Use it to inform.
  4. Give the children time to process your instructions – some might need a few seconds to carry out what you ask.
  5. Don’t talk too much – words can get in the way so use symbols, clear language and different activities to get your point across.

Good Habits by @DoWise

Name: Douglas Wise
Twitter name: @DoWise
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Head of Department
What is your advice about? Good Habits

  1. Create seating plans: don’t allow students to choose where they sit.
  2. Be in your classroom before each lesson begins and greet students at the door.
  3. Have work books and resources on the desks, ready to use, at the start of the lesson.
  4. Log all behavioural incidents, good and bad.
  5. Keep your classroom tidy.

Writing reports by @Gwenelope

Name: Gwen Nelson
Twitter name: @Gwenelope
Sector: FE
Subject taught (if applicable): A-Level English courses
Position: FE Lecturer
What is your advice about? Writing reports

  1. Draft your reports on a Word (or similar) document, because as sure as night follows day, whatever software system your school uses, something will go wrong with it.
  2. On said Word document, draft generic excellent, good, ok, and ‘troublesome student’ reports which you can edit to suit individual students. Proof read for literacy errors.
  3. When editing generic reports, take great care with student names AND the relevant gender pronouns
  4. If your school does not have tick box targets, generate a bank of targets that you can then tweak for individual students.
  5. Even with those kind of short-cuts, reports always take longer than you think, so start them sooner than you want to.

Teaching biology by @ramtopsgrum

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

  1. Read. Read read read read read. And then read some more. Rummage in decent second hand bookshops for more reading.
  2. Fill your drawers with Lego, puppets, paperclips, insulated wire, plastic cars, blutak, dice, string, Velcro…. Anything to use as a model to help explain stuff.
  3. Get out and take photographs of interesting things. Get a moth trap, pond dipping net, bird table, dog. Photograph what gets caught.
  4. Always ask yourself ‘why’ and come up with an answer for when the students ask ‘why’
  5. Biology is the interplay of history, geography, English, maths, drama, art, chemistry, physics, RS, PSHE, MFL, PE, geology. So read those too. (See advice point 1)

Marking by @teachwell

Name: Tarjinder Gill
Twitter name: @teachwell
Sector: Primary
Subject taught (if applicable): All
Position: Teacher Advisort/Consultant
What is your advice about? Marking

  1. Repeat comments and next steps as needed. It is still personal if it’s relevant.
  2. If you are able to use symbols, do. They are the most sane way of marking day to day.
  3. If you are going to teach the next step to a group of children then write that down.
  4. Keep on top of it, I know right now it’s not exactly reasonable but even worse is trying to catch up.
  5. Use technology to help when you can so you can copy, paste and adjust. Mix it up with handwritten feedback.

First term by @teachingofsci

Name: Ian Horsewell
Twitter name: @teachingofsci
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Science/Physics
Position: Teacher trainer
What is your advice about? First term

  1. Make templates, not one-offs. Create resources you can reuse for several lessons in a week/fortnight to save time and test it thoroughly.
  2. Learn from the best in the school, not just your dept. Observe experts at behaviour, those who use practical tasks particularly well, those who create great resources.
  3. Make good links with support staff – admin, repro, technicians – because they can make your life much easier. Or harder!
  4. Keep track of your marking time and make sure colleagues know if the school policy is taking you an unrealistic number of hours.
  5. Get decent sleep, eat proper food, and do something active you enjoy. If you burn out from neglecting yourself nobody wins.