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.

What to between getting your first job and starting it by @molin_bryan

Name: Bryan Molin
Twitter name: @molin_bryan
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Maths
Position: Assistant Headteacher
What is your advice about? What to between getting your first job and starting it

  1. If you can, make sure you take a good break and maybe do something that is purposeful to you. This will keep you going in difficult times.
  2. Make sure you have made good contact with the school and head of department. If you can, visit the school once or twice before the start of the job so you know the basics.
  3. Read up on good educational literature/twitter. This is a good time for blue sky thinking in terms of the development of your teaching practice.
  4. Develop links with education professionals, by different means. It is good to know what is happening in other schools.
  5. Before the first day, write a list of key questions regarding things you are not sure about your new school. The first day can be a bit of a blur, there is a lot to take in.

Literacy across the curriculum by @MrsLeggEnglish

Name: Ali
Twitter name: @MrsLeggEnglish
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: English teacher I/c GCSE Literature. Literacy coordinator.
What is your advice about? Literacy across the curriculum

  1. Know your stuff. Understand the basics of literacy: full stops, capital letters, sentencing, punctuation, apostrophes, common homophones, spelling.
  2. Model the basics the best you can. Proof read.
  3. Be relentless in the pupils’ spelling of your own subject specific technical terminology.
  4. Plan extended writing in your lessons whenever possible.
  5. Always correct SPaG errors when marking.