The Architecture of High Expectations

A Story After a lesson observation in my NQT year, I sat down with my Headteacher in his office to receive feedback. I thought it had gone okay. There were bits I would do better next time but on the whole I thought I’d done alright. My Headteacher at the time was a kind, positive,… Continue reading The Architecture of High Expectations

Dealing with Defiant Behaviour: ‘The Language of Choice’

In this post, I suggest one strategy for dealing with defiant behaviour effectively. To explain and illustrate this, I want to go back to Mr Blake’s classroom, the first time we visited is here. This time we’re going to meet someone new from his class*. Roxy Mr Blake had just started his Year 4 Maths… Continue reading Dealing with Defiant Behaviour: ‘The Language of Choice’

One year of blogging…

I actually didn’t want anyone to find this blog when I first started writing it. To be honest, I just wanted a place to organise my thoughts about being a young teacher in England who was attempting to make sense of the complexity of the classroom.  It’s now humbling to see that my blog is… Continue reading One year of blogging…

Working with children who ‘hurt’ inside

I was on duty at break time. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a little boy hobbling across the playground. It was Leo in Year 2. He reminded me of a footballer hobbling off the pitch to see the physio (me) for treatment. I turned to look at him. “Sir, I’ve… Continue reading Working with children who ‘hurt’ inside

On Defiant Behaviour

  Defiant behaviour - we’ve all had to deal with it as teachers. I want to offer one humble insight here, building upon a few experiences i've had over the past few years. To do this, I’ve amalgamated a few stories into the one I’m going to share… A critical moment... Mr Blake takes his rambunctious… Continue reading On Defiant Behaviour

(3) Classroom Relationships and The Power of Warm/Strict

This comic has been used with kind permission from Scott Hubeny. My last two posts (found here and here) have been a bit too theoretical. Here's for something a bit more practical... Stretching over three decades, research conducted by Wubbels (2013) suggests that teachers who combine maintaining high expectations for learning with ‘friendly’ characteristics (such… Continue reading (3) Classroom Relationships and The Power of Warm/Strict

(2) What makes a great teacher – pupil relationship?

In my previous post, I discussed whether teacher pupil relationships have an impact on learning outcomes. What was evident from some of the research out there is that it is essential for productive student engagement, which leads to high motivation in pupils to learn. In a nutshell, it is a fundamental component of the ‘precondition(s) for… Continue reading (2) What makes a great teacher – pupil relationship?

(1) Teacher – Pupil Relationships: How important are they?

Image from tes.com If my school was defined by it’s socio-economic context, it would be destined for poor results, dreadful behaviour and high staff turnover. On the contrary, it is none of these things. The children are polite, kind and they enjoy school (of course there are always a few exceptions). Many members of staff… Continue reading (1) Teacher – Pupil Relationships: How important are they?

Seating students for engagement – what does (some of) the evidence say?

In my last post, I raised three issues with group seating as standard in the primary classroom. Of the three considered, only two had any sort of pedagogical value. The arguments related to group seating supporting group teaching and collaboration both at their cores assumed that the configuration of furniture should support teaching. This is… Continue reading Seating students for engagement – what does (some of) the evidence say?

3 issues with ‘group seating’ in the classroom…

      Two days ago I set up my tables and chairs for the new school year. It took me a lot longer and more thinking time than I originally planned. Two years ago I was told to always have my tables set up so that children were in groups of four or six.… Continue reading 3 issues with ‘group seating’ in the classroom…