How can you maximise your team’s teaching?
Let your team help themselves and each other. Try this method to get the most out of colleagues developing each other.
- Four for a square: set teachers up into groups of four.
- Film: teachers each film themselves teaching.
- Reflect: teachers reflect on what they see, choosing a focal point to improve.
- Present: teachers each give a one-minute presentation to the others in their square, explaining what they will aim to develop in their own practice and why.
- Diaries: teachers pencil in a suitable time for their square colleagues to come and visit them in class.
- Roles: colleagues each adopt a role – teacher, note taker, pupil questioner, feeding back.
- See: three-quarters of the square visit the ‘teacher’ for a 10-minute duration, focusing on their reflection shared during the presentation.
- Chat: the trio discusses what they saw, agreeing on the content of feedback that will be shared.
- Feedback: informal, yet direct feedback is given to the teacher.
- Self-reflection: the teacher who was visited reflects meaningfully on the feedback, seeking further support, resources or research if necessary.
- Swap: all members of the square adopt each role through the process.
Why is it a good strategy?
Johnson, Kraft and Papay (2011) have found that: ‘work environments that promote positive collegial interaction are likely to support student learning.’ Schools which facilitate teacher collaboration can have an even better impact on learning. This Selfie-Squares method allows four teachers to observe practice and feedback to each other. How useful is that?
Ensure the square offer feedback of their experiences to the Senior Leadership Team. This will promote further reflection through a coaching model.