Whatever a person’s profession, self-reflection is an important part of making sure you’re doing the best with your work-hours. Teachers, of course, are developing the minds of the future, so it’s important that they can really examine the pros and cons of their work ethic. Adam Lewis, English teacher at Cramlington Learning Village, Northumberland, very much recommends recording yourself in the classroom.
We’ve all been observed whilst teaching, whether it’s by mentors, mentees, colleagues, SMT or even the dreaded OFSTED. We’re given feedback and we try and implement changes to improve our teaching. However, it is often difficult to remember which part of the lesson the observer is referring to, or which student in particular is being criticised for not being focused enough.
Videoing yourself teaching can change all that. Either by setting up a camera at the back of the classroom, asking a colleague to film it for you or investing in more professional hardware designed for schools, you can transform the way you approach professional development.
As some exam questions become more long-winded and essay based, it is crucial that students understand the specific subject matter towards which it is centred, by identifying and being able to differentiate between the main command word, any other key words and any clues the question provides as to what the answer should include. This four-part method helps students to understand the usual types of essay questions by dissecting it into parts.
Our science department have been developing ways in which they can support students with their extended writing – particularly in response to the new style exam questions.
They have had some excellent support from Karen Parks (@betterscience1) who must also be credited for some of the resources and ideas here.
Show students an image like the one to the right. Ask them to then do the following to the mugs, one at a time:
1. Describe the mugs
2. Explain the differences in the mugs
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