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Showing posts from June, 2016

NQT Professional Enquiries

Our school's NQTs presented their professional enquiries to staff at an in-service session this afternoon, with each one at a different table in the canteen. I was humbled and thrilled by the depth of their thinking, and by the tone and level of their discussions with staff.

I picked up the following key insights from the three enquiries I heard about:

female pupils still often appear to defer to male pupils in group discussions. Randomised groups aren't good enough.pupils prefer to work with friends, but the quality of their discussions might actually better when they are with peers they know less well. With the right support they can realise this themselves.we hold enormous power as teachers, and the language we use with pupils can make a huge difference to how they feel about learning and about themselves as learners. About the ensuing discussions at the canteen tables, I was particularly delighted that: many teachers hung around in conversation with the NQTs long after the s…

Classroom Rules: Imagine it's the last lesson of the year.

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This tweet

Drawing up class rules collaboratively should be compulsory in every class! #edchatie — Bríd (@BridCarlow) June 13, 2016 led me to this video



in which Tom Bennett says that teachers should not negotiate classroom rules with students, because they may produce rules which are not sensible.  I'm not sure if I agree, but it struck me that I should share what I do.

I start new classes by asking them to imagine it is the last lesson of the year. They are walking out of the door, and I have a wee tear in my eye, because they have been the best class I have ever had, and am really going to miss them. I ask them to tell me what they think they will have to do during the year in order to make that happen.

I am not pretending that they are in control, but having generated the list of behaviours (which has always been pretty good, even with some very challenging classes) I ask them if they think they can live up to this list. They have always said yes to me. I must say I only began…