Are you planning not to smile to your students until Christmas? Many a newly qualified teacher has been offered this pearl of wisdom as they embark on their career, but Hywel Roberts argues that your smile is actually one of the greatest tools in a teacher’s armoury. In fact, we all remember the teachers from our own childhood who made us smile, laugh, encouraged us, and praised us for our efforts.
Teaching and Learning demands effort, not only on the part of the students but also on the part of the teacher, with this enthusiasm, dedication and desire showing through within Roberts’ very readable book which tries to help teachers ignite their passion for teaching and the subject they teach within.
The Yorkshire-based drama teacher now advocates his infectious enthusiasm around schools and universities, but his dedication and belief that teaching is one of the greatest jobs in the world is clear to see. In fact, one recent reviewer commented, “This book will cause you to question your own teaching, methods, approaches and motivation – be prepared to do some serious thinking about your own classroom. When was the last time you `lured’ your pupils into their learning? Hywel talks about `igniting curiosity’, ‘capturing imagination’ and `botheredness’!” (via Amazon).
And that is what this book is all about. Getting pupils learning without them realising that you’ve set a trap and they are learning, being truly absorbed and engaged in the activity that you have set. This is relevant to all stages of education, being relevant at primary, secondary and further education. Take, for example, one of the many ideas offered in the book – Enthuse your pupils by grabbing a bag and asking them what you would need to pack in it if you were going on a trip to: the moon; the north pole; the magical land of Oz; a time travel trip to 1066; an evacuee during WWII. Roberts shows that it doesn’t take a lot to fire off your imagination, with such enthusiasm and commitment being transmitted through to your pupils.
This book gives teachers permission to be brave, set clear expectations, to fight passive imaginations, and to hold on whilst letting go. This certainly is a book to re-ignite your passion for teaching, whilst also offering tips to established and newly qualified teachers.
Picture Courtesy of Jane Hewitt.
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