Home > Maths, Pedagogy, Teaching > Consistency, Humour, Well planned Lessons and Plenty of Challenge.

Consistency, Humour, Well planned Lessons and Plenty of Challenge.

The following is based on real events, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Today a colleague asked me: “Russell Dunbar, you teach him right? Do you find him apathetic, lazy and a bit of a disruption.” To which I replied, “No, he works really hard and is one of the top achievers and hardest workers in the class.” At first the colleague in question thought I was being sarcastic, but after my insistence for a while, and the interjection of another colleague who has been into a few of my lessons with Russell’s class he believed me. So his next question was “how have you managed that?”

I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week. Russell is a bright lad, and for the past three or four half terms he has been a complete superstar, but if I go back to sept, he was quite a challenge to have in lessons. I’ve been trying to work our how I turned it around, in order to help my colleague have similar success.

(To give you a bit if context: Russell has just gone into year 11 (we move up at springbank). When he was in year ten I split his class and had them twice a week, now I am their sole teacher. The class is set 2 of 7 and their year group is our smallest. Their targets range from C to A. Russell was in the top set in ks3 but was moved down a couple of sets for behavioural reasons by a previous administration. He has now been moved up to mine, and is really excelling. I hope he will continue with maths at A level.)

I thought about what may have caused this. I set out my expectations and standards with the class and every time these were overlooked sanctions were enforced. It was a consistent approach. I also used a lot of praise with the class as a whole and they are all now working really well. With Russell though, and a number of the others in the class, I think that banter has played a good part. They are a class I can have a joke and a laugh with, they know they can have a joke and a laugh with me, but they also know what I expect from them and what they need to do in my lessons. The climate in the classroom during this class’s lessons tends to be fairly relaxed, but full of pupils who are working hard on quite challenging maths. They enjoy the challenge and are now quite motivated.

Consistency, humour, well planned lessons and plenty of challenge, those are the key elements I put into that class. These ingredients mixed with a superb set of pupils make their lessons the highlight of each day.

Consistency, Humour, Well planned Lessons and Plenty of Challenge.

These were the four things I suggested to my colleague to help him win Russell round. I also think that, in general, these four things will help with any class. That’s not to say I think this is the magic formula to make every lesson go amazingly well, but I think it is a good starting point.

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  1. October 16, 2013 at 10:28 pm

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