Tag Archives: Teaching

5 ways to improve Teaching

1. Start pay scales at professional levels

In the UK, at this point in time, the union collusion with government has the pay scales set to ensure teaching quality is kept low or at least and a second household income.

Learning to teach is like learning to fly, you start with theory, then you watch an experienced person, then you try for yourself under supervision, then once qualified you have to accumulate recorded and occasionally monitored hours.

While not qualified the highest pay you can get in the counties next to Greater London is £26k/year before tax.

Now, for a partner of the main home earner or a recent graduate who is living with parents that may work. However, for a career change person with significant experience in industry this is nonsense.

Additionally, the £26k applies to all teacher trainees, no matter whether they are scarce resources or not!!

I have experience of teaching Physics, had to leave a PGCE due to NQT pay scales, and yet I can teach computing, or programming and mathematics too. All three are subjects that there is a huge shortage of teachers for yet the ‘offer’ of £26k remains the same as Biology, Geography, History teachers. Market forces are artificially being contained by union nonsense.

The result, the best at Physics, Electronics, Programming, Mathematics, Chemistry, etc. do not share their passion, experience and fun for the subject. The schools end up with the least able teaching.

2. Enable guest teacher appearances

Teachers, once qualified, are isolated and insular. They spend hour after hour with children. They teach the same set each week. Each year the audience change but the subject doesn’t. There is little sense of community between teachers as the plire of department are caught in the c isolation.

Having guest teachers, guest professors, being a guest teacher would build a community of experienced teachers who can explore together innovative ideas on how to engage the class.

3. Enable 360 degree appraisals

4. Involve the students in scheme of work planning

5. Focus on developing curiosity not cramming their heads with facts

I started to write this blog more than a year ago, out of frustration that there was no way for me to enter the profession yet my personal experience had shown me that its such a rewarding role. Nearly two years later and I find my 5 points still incredibly to the point and still proving to be very valid.

This last one is the most important. The one I saw work wonders. If you try and push facts into their heads they resist, even subconsciously. Those that appear not to resist will appear to understand yet when that understanding is checked they will not recall correctly. Simply they had no passion to reflect the learning.

However, if you use questions and exploration you will develop their curiosity, they will ask more questions. Whether its Mathematics, English, History, Art, Religion or Science does not matter. Build the lessons to engage the audience, using whatever techniques you can dream up. Have the students explore, examine, question either as a large group or small groups and have them present back to the class what they discovered. Allow failure to be acceptable in the learning process, discuss and reflect on what confusion led to the wrong understanding, explore why its wrong.

That last part is easier in Physics, however in Art or English the question of interpretation comes to the fore. In many instances an interpretation away from the norm is allowed, however in others this is not the case. However, you will recall as a student yourself what it was that captured your passion for the subject and keep that front and centre.

The mission is not to push out lots of data, lots of facts, but purely to develop a passion for exploration, for questioning, for curiosity. For, if you can teach a child to be curious then you have taught a child to learn, something they will enter the world with that will constantly help them to add value to themselves and to the world as a whole. That has to be the ultimate role as a teacher, to allow and develop curiosity.

I will come back later and fill out the remaining three, perhaps in another few months. I am not sure they need explaination.