The journey of being an effective teacher part 2

This is the second blog post based on this journey. It has been 2 weeks since I last met and observed this class of year 13’s. They have had several lessons since the first blog post, the students have all taken part in a mock paper and those papers have been marked.

The teacher has explained to the class what the process of marking an exam paper is and how they felt that some of them have some gaps in their knowledge. This was done in a friendly constructive manner that was supported by reassuring the students that they are capable of achieving in the exam. The students responded positively to this and went about research what they felt where the gaps in their knowledge.

The teacher told the students if they had any questions they would be happy to talk to the students individually. Some of the students took advantage of this and the teacher explained about the time frames of the exams and how many weeks the students have before their exam. Some students were not sure at what they should be revising. So the teacher who knows the students well and probably could have just listed off what they need to cover took a different approach. They sat down with the students and went through the notes and book with the students, getting them to explain certain sections and got the student to discover what they did not know, thus them taking ownership of their learning and education.

This seems to be very effective and I will almost certainly use this in my own practice. All the students are happy discussing what they are doing in their groups and the teacher is moving from group to group to inquire what the students need help with.

The next blog post in this series will be after Christmas, just after their exam.

The journey of being an effective teacher

This is the first blog post I have done which is based on observations of teaching practice in my school. The head of business studies was kind enough to let me observing his lessons, the main reason for these on-going (bi-weekly) blog posts is to discover the effective use of higher order questioning as well as exceptional teaching practice. The group that these blog posts will be based around is a year 12 set undertaking their AS Business Studies.

The group seem to be very focused on their tasks they are studying “Small firms” lots of references are being made to the local area. The majority of the students seem to be surprised that the many small business in Cornwall are sole traders. The interaction between the teacher and students is very good. The teacher is making the students think about their previous knowledge from GCSE’s. The teacher is giving the students small nuggets of information and allowing the students to develop their answers around those nuggets.

Notes are being made by the students but also being put on the board to allow those who cannot write their notes quick enough. The teacher is trying to coach the answers out of the students by giving then examples of what would happen in the real world and therefore allowing the students to relate to the question and thus give a more personal answer based on their opinion. Students are told to go over their notes and add to them with relevant information relating to their notes via websites and text books. The teacher has effectively given the students a skeleton of what is required and the students have to add to that skeleton.

There is good interaction between the teacher and students as the students are tasked with writing on the board. This gives them ownership of the lesson as they are directly impacting on the whole class when they contribute to the lesson in this way. The teacher ensures that the relevant knowledge has been acquired by reiterating the question he asked earlier in a different way to see if the students can make the connection and give a detailed answer that would be suitable for an exam. This appears to be a very effective way of ascertaining, if what has been discussed in the lesson has been understood.

This has been a fascinating first lesson; I sometimes wonder what the impact would be if we could observe ourselves teaching and what improvements we would make on our own practice. I look forward to the next lesson in 2 weeks time.