4 Essential Quick-Reads For New Teachers

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Hayden Reynolds

Hayden is in his second year of teaching and is a science teacher and Director of Houses at Sandringham School in St Albans. He has a keen interest in SEN education having spent time as a TA and is passionate about all things Science! He...
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Do you know what the research says makes a good lesson?

You have passed all of your assignments, waved farewell to your final placement classes and are now ready to be unleashed onto the world of teaching without a safety net and become a newly qualified teacher (NQT).

Must-Read Teacher Research

It can be a scary time, but it can also be exhilarating to step into the classroom that is truly yours, stamping your authority and style along the way. In this blog I share four pieces of essential reading that I think any NQT should become familiar with before getting their teeth stuck in. These links will hopefully help you on your journey to becoming a fantastic teacher.

1. Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction

This article from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is 9 pages of pure gold from Barak Rosenshine. It outlines 10 research-based principles of instruction and some ways to implement these in the classroom.

When planning lessons now I consider how it interacts with these principles. There are numerous blogs from educational researchers with examples of how they apply these in their own classrooms.

Image source: Teaching How 2s

2. Strengthening the Student Toolbox

You’ve got your first GCSE class starting in September and you plan to set some revision homework for an upcoming test. Fine, but have you stopped to consider whether they know how to revise effectively? Or what revision even is?

Dunlosky outlines the evidence for effective learning strategies in this article. I have presented this article (in one form or another) to numerous classes to explicitly outline how to make the most of their revision time: highlighting is just the first step of the journey. Related to this I strongly recommend that you check out the Learning Scientist’s website which is full of wonderful materials to help your learners use their time more effectively.

3. Cognitive Load Theory

Considered by many on twitter to be one of the single most important pieces of educational research. For a superb summary then take a look at the paper from the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation in Australia. Page 7 is well worth a read through!

Is Cognitive Load Theory the single most important thing for a teacher to know? Dylan Wiliam thinks so and the fantastic source he recommends all teachers should read.

4. 101 Great Teachers to Follow on Twitter

I do believe that Twitter is the single greatest CPD resource that is available to educational professionals if used correctly.

I can’t remember the amount of times that I have adapted a fantastic resource or idea I have seen on Twitter. I’ve had some excellent conversations with people who are for more knowledgeable than I am. This all began when I found this list and started following people. A whole new world opened up for me and it can for you too! Read the lists, follow these educators. It may be the best thing you can do In your NQT year.

Here’s a new book that you might be interested in from teachers Martha Boyne, Emily Clements and Ben Wright. It’s called Thrive: In your first three years in teaching and it equips trainee secondary school teachers with the know-how to lay the foundations for a successful career in teaching, long after the challenging first few years are over.

The authors share how you too can thrive during the tricky training year, the daunting NQT year and the crucial RQT year. Using their collective insights, and plenty of evidence-informed strategies and advice, they detail how you can get to grips with the classroom basics – from behaviour management and lesson planning to differentiation and providing for SEND – and effectively continue your professional development.

Let me know which piece of research you find most useful or interesting by leaving us a comment below.

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