I once read somewhere that right handed teachers spend most of their time talking to the right hand side of the classroom. Whilst I had been conscious of using certain words a lot in my everyday teaching (such as “ok”) and not asking the same person to answer a question all the time, I hadn’t really thought about in which direction I was aiming my classroom spiel. After looking into this more closely, I found out that if you let pupils sit where they want, attention seekers will choose to sit at your favoured side, quiet pupils will sit on the other side where they think you won’t see them and those who want to go completely unnoticed will choose to sit at the back on your unfavoured side. In order to combat this, why not try and make a point of moving around the room and talking from different parts of the classroom as this helps keep pupils on their toes. Investing in a wireless mouse or remote control to control your PowerPoint from a distance is a great idea.
If you are a Head of Department one of the hardest things you have to administer is the controlled assessment. If you can persuade your academic deputy head to allow a controlled assessment day then this can really work to your advantage. My experience in the sciences is that a whole controlled assessment can be completed in one day – 25% done! This includes the low, medium and high control elements. The advantages of this day as I see it are as follows.
1. Pupils have continuity from one part of the controlled assessment to the next. They don’t forgot what they have done yesterday.
2. In science there is more demands on the technician team but it’s for a shorter more concentrated period. All equipment can be prepared together
and not spread over several days.
3. The pupils generally do better as they have no opportunity but to give the assessment their undivided attention.
4. If you are organised then you can mark some of the earlier parts as the students complete the later parts.
5. The pupils really enjoy the day. They feel relaxed doing it, can form good bonds with their peers and teaching staff. Bring some biscuits in and have a controlled assessment party! Invite the moderator.
So make sure you represent yourself at your next curriculum planning meeting and put your arguments forward.
A week or more of disjointed lessons can be replaced by one highly structured productive day.
Fed up of writing on scraps of paper that you can then never find when you need them? Do you find that post-it notes lose their stick all too quickly? Maintain a clear and work-friendly desk by using sticky notes on your laptop or computer. These can be found in your Start program. You can add as many as you like and change the colour of each sticky note. They can also be minimised so that when you connect your computer to a projector, no one else gets to see them.