Teaching A Level Literature by @JoBullen1

Name: Jo
Twitter name: @JoBullen1
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Subject Leader
What is your advice about? Teaching A Level Literature

  1. Know your stuff. Annotate the text thoroughly, read study guides, follow links online – whatever it takes to make you an expert.
  2. Don’t neglect writing skills at the expense of content. Build in short writing tasks, perhaps only focusing on one or two assessment objectives.
  3. Encourage academic reading around the topic. Physically put it in front of them if necessary, and direct them to take notes.
  4. Insist upon discussion. Let the silence sit if necessary, and use different strategies to force students to contribute.
  5. Treat them like your other classes. Six short weeks ago they were Year 11s – the same rules apply.

The getting-to-know-you first lesson by @JamesTheo

Name: James Theobald
Twitter name: @JamesTheo
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? The getting-to-know-you first lesson

  1. The purpose of this lesson is purported to be an opportunity for you to get to know your class.
  2. This isn’t necessary. You won’t really get to know them in one lesson. You’ll get to know them well enough over time.
  3. Actually, you should use this lesson for them to get to know YOU: what to expect in your lessons; what to expect from you.
  4. The way to do this is easy: tell them, very simply, your expectations, your rules. Do any book admin you need to do. Then…
  5. …get them stuck into the work. This tells them what to expect of you.

Classroom Organisation by @Reach2A

Name: REAch2 NQT Group (East Anglia)
Twitter name: @Reach2A
Sector: Primary
Position: NQT
What is your advice about? Classroom Organisation

  1. Always think ahead.
  2. Once books are marked for the first lesson on the next day, set up the books on the tables. This saves time in the morning and means your class is always tidy and prepared.
  3. Children love to help the teacher out – always give them the responsibility to hand out books, collect sheets, tidy the cloakroom, etc.
  4. Be fluid with seating plans. Moving children and groups sizes on a regular basis keeps the children on their toes.
  5. Always leave your classroom/desk tidy at the end of the day.

Tights by Anonymous

Name: Anonymous
Twitter name: Anonymous
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Tights

  1. Buy them from Primark where you can get 5 pairs for £2.50
  2. Keep a spare pair in your work bag in case they ladder.
  3. Be organised: You can never have too many pairs of tights. Sometimes you can only wear them once so treat them as if they were disposable.
  4. Wear nude rather than glossy as they look more natural.
  5. Avoid stockings or hold ups as they are not practical and won’t stay up.

Classroom Management by @Reach2.org

Name: REAch2 NQT Group (East Anglia)
Twitter name: @Reach2.org
Sector: Primary
Position: NQT
What is your advice about? Classroom Management

  1. Not smiling before Christmas is a myth.
  2. Set the expectations for the children from the first day of term and keep to these throughout the year.
  3. Be firm but fair.
  4. Make sure all adults in your room set the same expectations and sing from the same hymn sheet.
  5. Building a rapport with the children in your class is important as this forms the basis of your interactions with them for the rest of the year.

Settling in to a new school by @missjavery

Name: Jennifer Avery
Twitter name: @missjavery
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: NQT
What is your advice about? Settling in to a new school

  1. Get to know your department – they are the ones who will help you out when you really need it.
  2. Find out where to access any shared resources, and how to add to it. Most departments will plan together to create a generic scheme of work to work off.
  3. Get to know the support staff. Although not a complete list: TAs, Learning Mentors, IT Support, Caretakers, Cover, Timetabling, Cleaners. They will know more than you!
  4. Know the behaviour policy inside out. There is nothing worse than not being clear on expectations or where (or who!) to escalate the issue to.
  5. Know what is expected of you. Do most teachers run extracurricular activities? How often should you mark books?

UCAS References by @RequireImprove

Name: Requires Improvement
Twitter name: @RequireImprove
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Phyiscs
Position: Teacher & 6th form tutor
What is your advice about? UCAS References

  1. Get as much done in summer term, year 12 as you can. The deadlines in autumn come up very quickly, especially for Oxbridge & Medicine.
  2. Don’t over-inflate predictions (rounding up to the next grade is usually OK). There’s no point a student getting an offer that they have no chance of meeting.
  3. If year 11/12 grades are below expectations, try to explain what went wrong and what the student has done about this.
  4. One big reason unis are interested in extra-curriculars is that they show “spare capacity” beyond school/college work. If that is caring for families, that’s good to mention.
  5. Showing an interest in the subject beyond lessons is good, independent interest is even better. Facilitating student-run activities will help applicants a lot.