It is difficult to judge what makes a great teacher. It can be all very subjective, with individuals deciding on teaching methods that worked for them when they were a child; seeing how colleagues teach; how you feel the system you work within wants you to teach! However, the basics all remain the same and, as a teacher, all you want to achieve for each child is to give them the best opportunities to reach their own individual potential.
In their new book, Shaun Allison and Andy Tharby advocate that there are six principles to support great teaching and learning, with these principles relevant to primary or secondary teachers. These principles:
…are all key pedagogical tools which teachers have at their disposal, but refining and exploring the opportunities of these can sometimes feel scary, especially if you get rooted into the same routine without challenging your own teaching style.
The authors examine the evidence presented to the teaching profession and explore how to make a difference to learning to show how the principles can inspire an ethos of excellence and growth, not only in individual classrooms but across a whole school too. In the introduction they note, “As a profession, we have become confused. After many years of educational research, nobody can put a definitive finger on what successful classroom practice really looks like” and this, for us, is at the very heart about what this book is about.
It offers no ‘magic bullet’. It isn’t written to help you successfully impress the inspection regimes. What it does offer though is grounded, first-hand observations and ideas that work to really enhance the learning process for those who are the most important people in the whole educational equation – the pupils.
The strategies offered within the book may all work for you, creating a very successful classroom. Others certainly may not, but what matters is how they are implemented – How one strategy works for you will not work in the same way for another colleague.
The book is relevant to teachers at all stages of their career, and certainly, a resource that should be added to a staffroom for professional development discussions, and is good for dipping into as it is written in an easily digestible way.
Making Every Lesson Count by Shaun Allison and Andy Tharby is published by Crown House Publishing, and available on Kindle or Hardback. Click here to view.