How could you improve and refine your own classroom practice before the academic year draws to a close?
This is a blog for every teacher to use in the coming weeks to help refine their own practice and pedagogy.
With another exam season almost over and the academic calendar nearing the end of yet another year, if you are lucky enough to work in a school that offers teachers a little bit of ‘gain time’ – remember this? – from revision classes and end of examination groups, teachers will suddenly exhale a ‘sigh of relief’ and suddenly realise that they have some time for planning, marking, peer-observations; perhaps even refining some schemes of work …
During this term, I share the following questions at a time when teachers are given that small amount of breathing space for planning and reflection. Before the summer holidays commence, I write to all main-scale teachers so that you can consider the following for personal reflection;
- What makes you a good teacher?
- How do you know?
- How do you evidence this?
- Do you want to be a better teacher? Yes, but how can you do this?
- What would your colleagues say about you?
- What would your students say about you?
- Are your students inspired by your lessons? What would Grumpy Student say?
- Do you consistently have high expectations for all students?
- Do you take every opportunity to develop literacy; numeracy and cross-curricular links? How? Show me …
- Are you up to date with current practice and expertise in your subject field? When last did you hear experts in your field?
- What resources could you create; adapt and refine?
- What schemes of work do you need to review? What makes a great scheme of work? What features?
- What displays could you update? Could students help you select work for the following year group to view?
- Is it time for a classroom summer-clean? What should be binned?
- Are there any colleagues you would like to observe? Get out there and organise it now …
- Could you use ‘gain-time’ to invite colleagues in to observe you? Do you have an open door? Take a risk?
- How could you improve your marking for the schemes you deliver next year?
- Could you use the opportunity to plan for smarter marking and reduce time spent giving meaningless feedback?
- Why should you review your own staff development needs? What will improve your practice in the classroom? How will you do this?
- What would be your next career step? Have you taken the time out to reflect on this yourself? With a colleague? With a critical friend?
I hope you find time to breathe this half-term and have the time to tweak your own classroom practice.
Happy reflections …