How an unknown resource made my lockdown

Tanya Rogers

Tanya Rogers has been a Teacher of History since 2003, and is from Northwich, Cheshire. Tanya has worked at Hartford Church of England High School in Northwich and Priestnall School in Stockport. Tanya has been an assistant examiner for both OCR and Cambridge International GCSE. Tanya is passionate about teaching and learning, Edu Twitter and finding new approaches to make her teaching innovative.

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I had never heard of Microsoft Teams before April 2020, before lockdown, before remote learning and before COVID-19: I simply did not know it existed! Now it has become an integral and daily part of my teaching life.

I see Teams as a massive interactive classroom that brings a presentation, teachers and students together, allowing all of us to communicate in real time, responding to the needs, answers and questions that arise there and then.

Teams has allowed me to be able to assess pupils quicker than in a normal classroom environment. I can see their responses in the chat instantly, I can provide instant feedback and their peers can read and like their comments too. The pupils are instantly rewarded by their teacher and others too, which benefits the pupil’s self-esteem and wellbeing.

I like the way Teams give their pupils the opportunity to shine, to be the fastest person to respond to a question in the chat and to be able to participate more freely than they might well do at school.

I also like the way Teams has allowed pupils to have a sense of normality by hearing their teacher’s voice and seeing their faces on the screen, direct to their homes.

Teams has allowed the delivery of my lessons to develop and change for the better. I have evolved my lessons to include activities that engage and allow greater pupil participation. Pupils have shown they enjoy speed rounds, multiple choice questions, playing games and quizzes and using the functions that Teams has to offer like the ‘raise your hand’ button.

Sharing hyperlinks in the chat for pupils to watch clips or having a Microsoft Form to complete at the start or end of the lesson has also enhanced the learning experience of Teams. I can definitely see Teams continuing to be a firm part of the remote teaching and learning experience for the foreseeable future!

My 5 top tips for delivering lessons on Teams:

1. Plan a lesson that is going to allow for the most pupil participation, what works well in a classroom situation might not transfer to teams, you want to know they are taking part and are not passive, so use the chat function as much as possible within your lesson.

2. Talk to your pupils during the lesson, read the comments they make in the chat and use their names to verbally praise them; this gives them instant feedback and makes them more involved in the lesson.

3. Use emojis to respond to the pupils’ comments. If you are team teaching with another member of staff use the time that they are delivering to like and love the comments that are being generated in the chat. This gives the pupils instant feedback.

4. Make sure you are mixing your style of questions up; use multiple choice, speed rounds, games like picture reveal, who/what am I, wait time questions; to make sure that the pupils do not get bored of just listening to you read from a screen.

5. Use YouTube clips or video links in the chat for pupils to watch short extracts independently to be a time saver; this stops the transferring over of sharing a screen, and less likely for sound or lagging issues.


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