4 ways to improve reading (and why it’s important)

Reading is a skill that many believe people are born with. It is also one of the most important skills in life. But for some, reading can be an excruciating chore or even impossible task. The good news is there are four ways to improve reading: focus on phonics, reading to help you become a better writer, paying more attention to vocabulary instruction and increasing discussion opportunities.

Reading is a skill that many believe people are born with. It is also one of the most important skills in life. But for some, reading can be an excruciating chore or even an impossible task. The good news is there are four simple ways to improve reading: focus on phonics, reading to help you become a better writer, giving more attention to vocabulary instruction, and increasing discussion opportunities.

1) Focus on Phonics: One of the best ways to improve reading is by focusing on phonics. Phonics is the relationship between letters and sounds. When students learn phonics, they are able to connect the sounds with the letters, which helps them read words. Phonics (together with key sight words) that is taught systematically and over a long period of time could help students learn the phonetic code more quickly in Kindergarten and Year One. That way, they would have more time to read and listen to stories.

2) Reading to Help You Become a Better Writer: Many people do not realize that reading can actually help improve writing skills. When students read, they are exposed to different types of sentence structures, vocabulary words, and grammar rules. By reading often, students can internalize these elements and use them in their own writing. In addition, reading also helps build concentration and focus, two essential skills for any writer. When students learned how to decode in K-1, they spend a lot more time reading literature, history, and science texts in Year 2 & Year 3. This will help them build their knowledge base and vocabulary. This is important for raising comprehension levels.

3) Giving More Attention to Vocabulary Instruction: Another way to improve reading is by giving more attention to vocabulary instruction. One reason why some students struggle with reading is because they do not have a strong vocabulary. Most of the words in a rich vocabulary are learned by reading. However, research shows that if we focus on learning specific words, we can improve our vocabulary. By teaching students new words and providing them with practice opportunities, they will be better equipped to understand what they read. In addition, when students have a strong vocabulary, they are able to express themselves better in writing.

4) Increasing Discussion Opportunities: One final way to improve reading is by increasing discussion opportunities. When students discuss what they have read with their peers, they are able to clarify any confusion and deepen their understanding of the text. In addition, discussions help build critical thinking and communication skills. If students are not given the opportunity to discuss what they have read, they are missing out on an important learning experience. Additionally, if you want to become a confident, articulate speaker, you need to have frequent, purposeful discussions about what you read. You can talk more often and for a longer time to help develop your skills. This also helps increase your interest in reading, which is the first step to becoming a good writer.

Though there are many ways to improve reading, the four outlined here are some of the most important. Focusing on phonics, reading to help you become a better writer, paying more attention to vocabulary instruction, and increasing discussion opportunities can make a world of difference for students who struggle with reading. By implementing these four strategies, teachers can help improve reading for all students. With targeted instruction, every student can become a successful reader.

How excellent schools achieve success!

Excellent schools have high expectations and work tirelessly to ensure that every student has the opportunity to reach their full potential. Learn more about what makes these schools so successful!

An excellent school is one that strives for continual improvement. It’s a learning community where every individual is supported and challenged. Excellent schools are innovative and forward-thinking, always looking for new ways to improve the educational experience for their students. They have high expectations for all members of their community, and they work tirelessly to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Leadership: The capacity to lead in a way that is good for students, workers, parents, and communities may be referred to as organizational leadership. It entails establishing an effective institution by giving excellent ideas to teachers and encouraging children through creative teaching methods. Teachers and pupils will have fresh ideas if they are given with competent growth that is both strong and applicable. Good leadership encourages the teachers, supports them, and makes student-centric decisions. They will create a positive change in the school environment by promoting innovation and creativity in students. The most important characteristic of a successful school is its ability to guide teachers and pupils towards achieving their ultimate objectives effectively.

Communication: It is crucial to have effective communication in education. A successful school should make frequent contact with teachers, students, and parents about what’s going on at the institution so that productive conversation can occur every time someone takes an action that produces the greatest benefit for the kids.

Quality Staff: Staff (both teaching and non teaching staff) at successful schools have a greater sense of empowerment. This creates a feeling of responsibility and trust in the staff’s minds, allowing them to work more productively in the classroom. The improved productivity and coordination that comes with a successful collaboration will help the school grow in confidence, improve job satisfaction, and enhance student learning outcomes.

Parental Engagement: The involvement of parents in their child’s education is essential for the successful learning process. This means that schools should strive to maintain a good relationship with them, which ultimately will benefit students by allowing more parental input and awareness on what goals are being achieved during class time or after-school hours. The school needs to have a solid relationship with the parents in order for them both be able provide effective processes that inform each other on how their child is learning and what steps they will take next. Teachers can offer resources about your student’s development, which you as parent would use when deciding where he/she should go from here!

High Expectations: When a school has high expectations for its students, it can make them more aware of their goals and what they need to do in order achieve these. Schools with rigorous learning outcomes will also demand excellence from each student which improves standards among others as well. This, in turn, creates an environment that is conducive to learning because everyone is working together towards a common goal. The result is usually increased student achievement rates.

Evaluation: The process of evaluation should be an integral part in determining what curriculum is working best for students. Without this, schools cannot know if their teaching strategies are effective or not which may lead to lower levels success on assessments In order achieve these goals it’s important teachers have access and understanding about how evaluations work along with appropriate methods so they can teach more effectively based off data collected during them.

In Summary: Successful schools have a variety of characteristics that help guide pupils and teachers to achieve their goals. Establishing effective communication, promoting innovation and creativity in students, having competent growth, being good leaders, and supporting teachers are some of the most important ones. These qualities create a positive change in the school environment which allows for better job satisfaction among the staff, improved productivity, and enhanced student learning outcomes.

How to help your student settle and thrive in Term 2!

As the new school term starts, here are some tips for helping your students settle in and thrive. From recognizing their strengths and interests, to building a sense of community in the classroom, these tips will help your students feel comfortable and confident as they learn.

The Autumn break is almost over and term 2 is about to start. For most students, the novelty of being back at school will wear off quickly. For some, this can be a challenging time as they settle back into routines and expectations. Here are some ways that teachers can help their students to settle in and thrive during term 2.

Effective teachers take time to help students feel comfortable in class by recognizing their strengths and interests. This can be as simple as asking students about what they did over the break, or what they are looking forward to doing this term. Teachers can also find out more about students’ hobbies and interests, and try to incorporate these into lessons and activities.

Another way to make students feel comfortable in the classroom is by creating an inviting and positive learning environment. This means having a well-organized space, where they can participate without feeling anxious or self conscious about themselves

Creating inclusive climates also involves using praise as positive reinforcement when people do something right – this will encourage more desirable behavior from your kids!

It is important for teachers to be aware of the mental health needs their students may have, and offer support where needed. A positive learning environment helps create an easier atmosphere which can help someone with problems adjusting in class or dealing [with] challenges at home better handle those issues more easily when they’re not feeling alone anymore because there’s always somebody who cares about them no matter what happens during school hours!

Teachers can help students feel motivated and supported by celebrating successes, both big and small. This can involve praising students when they do something well, or sharing stories of success with the class. It is also important to celebrate individual successes, such as when a student does well on a test or completes a challenging task.

Finally, it is important to remember that every student is different, and that settling back into school can be challenging for some more than others. It is important to be patient and understanding, and to offer support where needed. Every student has the potential to thrive at school, and it is up to teachers to help them realise this.

Settling into back into a new school term can be tough for any student. But with a little support from their teachers, students can thrive during term 2. By recognizing their strengths and interests and being aware of their mental health needs, teachers can help their students to feel comfortable, motivated, and supported.

If you’re a teacher, how do you help your students to settle into the new term? Share your tips in the comments below!

The Future of Education: Learning in a Rapidly Changing World

In today’s rapidly changing world, the purpose of education is evolving. Schools are no longer just teaching the 3Rs – reading, writing and arithmetic. They are now also responsible for teaching the 6Cs – critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, citizenship and character. This shift in focus requires teachers to be constantly learning and upgrading their skills in order to meet the needs of their students. It also means that schools need to be more flexible in their approach to curriculum and teaching methods. Universities have a key role to play in preparing new teachers for this changing landscape, and they too must adapt if they want to remain relevant. There are many innovative and creative school systems out there that are leading the way in change. Let’s look closer at what it means to be educated in a rapidly changing world.

The future of education is about more than just the content that is taught in schools. It is also about the skills that students need in order to be successful in the workforce. With technology becoming increasingly important in all industries, it is essential that students have strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They also need to be able to communicate effectively and work well in teams. creativity and innovation will also be key, as businesses always need new ideas and solutions to stay ahead of the competition. And finally, good character and citizenship are important for all members of society. Schools play a vital role in teaching these values to young people.

1. Learning in a rapidly changing world

The world is changing rapidly. In order to keep up, we must continuously adapt and learn new skills. But what does it mean to be educated in a rapidly changing world?

Simply put, it means having the ability to adapt to change. It means being able to learn new things quickly and effectively. It means being able to think flexibly and solve problems creatively. In short, it means being able to continuously learn and grow.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the traditional educational system is obsolete. Far from it. The foundation of a good education is still reading, writing, and arithmetic. But in a rapidly changing world, these basics must be supplemented with continuous learning. We must learn how to learn so that we can keep up with the changes around us. Only then can we truly be considered educated in a rapidly changing world.

2. The purpose of school has changed from 3Rs to 6Cs

The purpose of school has changed over the years from simply teaching the 3Rs of reading, writing and arithmetic to now also include the 6Cs of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, character and citizenship. This change is due to the ever-changing needs of society and the workforce. In today’s world, employers are looking for employees who are not only knowledgeable in their field but also possess soft skills such as critical thinking and communication. Furthermore, with the rise of technology and globalization, collaboration and creativity have become increasingly important. As such, schools need to adapt their curriculum to reflect these changing needs.This change is driven by the needs of the 21st-century workforce, which increasingly values problem-solving and team-building skills. As a result, schools are placing more emphasis on developing students’ ability to think creatively and work collaboratively. At the same time, they are also working to instill strong character traits such as grit and perseverance. By preparing students for the challenges of the modern world, schools are helping to ensure that they will be successful in whatever path they choose to pursue.

3. Schools have adapted teaching methods, and universities are adapting too

Over the past few decades, there has been a shift in the educational landscape. Schools have adapted their teaching methods to better meet the needs of students, and universities are beginning to follow suit. One of the most notable changes is the use of technology in the classroom. Schools have started to use computers and tablets as teaching tools, and universities are starting to offer more online courses. another change is the emphasis on hands-on learning. Schools are incorporating more project-based learning into their curricula, and universities are starting to offer more internship and research opportunities. As society continues to evolve, it is clear that schools and universities will need to continue to adapt their methods of instruction.

4. Innovative schools are leading change with new ideas for education in a rapidly changing world

In a world that is becoming increasingly globalized and complex, it is more important than ever for schools to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century. To meet this need, many schools are turning to innovative approaches to education. By incorporating new technologies, reaching out to international partners, and rethinking traditional educational models, these schools are leading the way in preparing students for the future. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for educational reform, the innovative approaches being adopted by these schools provide a promising roadmap for change. Given the rapidly changing nature of the world, it is clear that schools must also continue to adapt and evolve in order to ensure that their students are best prepared for the challenges ahead.

5. Education is about more than just content taught – skills students need for future workforce success also matter

In recent years, there has been a growing discussion about the purpose of education. Some believe that education should primarily focus on teaching students the content they need to know, such as math, science, and literacy. However, others argue that education should also prepare students for the workforce by teaching them practical skills such as teamwork, time management, and critical thinking. There is merit to both sides of the debate, but for an eye on the future, the latter perspective is more persuasive.

While it is important for students to learn the basic content they need to know, this alone is not enough to prepare them for success in the workforce. The reality is that employers are looking for workers who have more than just content knowledge. They want employees who have the skills necessary to work effectively with others, solve problems, and manage their time efficiently. Therefore, education should focus on teaching these types of practical skills. By preparing students for the workforce, we can help them to succeed in their careers and make a positive contribution to society.

So what does it mean to be educated in a rapidly changing world? It means that we all have to be adaptable and willing to learn new things. It also means that schools need to be flexible in their approach to curriculum and teaching methods. Only by constantly innovating will we be able to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of education.

Want to learn how to be a better teacher? Get to know your school principal.

School principals are often the unsung heroes of the education system. They never leave the classroom, and they are the teachers’ teacher. Principals have a unique perspective on teaching and learning, and they play a vital role in the success of their students. Through getting to know your school principal can help teachers improve their teaching skills to better serve their students.

There are a few things that teachers can do to support their principal in leading the school community. First, get to know your principal and learn about their vision for the school. What are their goals and objectives? What is their philosophy on education? What motivates them? Once you have a good understanding of your principal’s goals, you can help to support them in achieving these objectives.

Second, be a team player. Collaborate with your principal and other teachers to create a positive learning environment for all students. Work together to identify areas of improvement and brainstorm solutions. Be open to feedback and willing to try new things. Step outside the classroom and help your principal with tasks that need to be completed.

While principals play a critical role in school improvement, they cannot do it alone. In order to be successful, principals must work collaboratively with their teachers. By working together, they can create an environment that is conducive to learning and provide the support that teachers need to be successful. When everyone is working together towards a common goal, the students will benefit.

Third, take an active role in professional development. Principals are always looking for ways to improve the quality of education, and they need the support of their teachers to make this happen. Attend professional development workshops or online webinars, and most importantly, share your knowledge with other teachers.

Lastly, show your appreciation for your principal. Let them know that you appreciate their dedication to the school and its students. Send them a thank you note or write a positive review online. Small gestures can go a long way in showing your support for your principal.

School principals play an important role in the education system, and they need the support of their teachers to be successful. By getting to know your principal, being a team player, and taking an active role in professional development, you can help to support your principal in leading the way to a bright future for all students.

You’re a great teacher. Co-teaching can make you even better.

Collaborative approaches to learning can engage students and improve results. How can schools implement this instructional strategy?

For many years, teaching has been seen as a passive profession. The teacher stands in front of the class and delivers information to students who are expected to regurgitate it back on exams. However, times are changing. Teaching is now being seen as an active profession where collaboration and intentional forward planning around a data informed evidence base places the student at the centre of the teaching and learning process. As schools create optimal learning spaces to engage students, co-teaching is one way that this shift can take place.

Co-teaching is an instructional strategy in which two or more teachers work together to deliver content to a group of students. This can be done in a variety of ways, but the most common model is infusing co-teaching via David Thornburg’s three archetypal learning spaces. There are many benefits to this approach, including increased student engagement and improved achievement.

Benefits of Co-Teaching

One of the key benefits of co-teaching is that it allows for different students to be reached. In a traditional classroom, the teacher is responsible for delivering content to all students. This can be a challenge, especially if there are students with different learning styles or abilities. With co-teaching, each teacher can focus on a different group of students, which can help to meet the needs of all learners.

Another benefit of co-teaching is that it provides an opportunity for teachers to collaborate. This can be a valuable professional development experience, as it allows teachers to share their expertise and learn from each other. Collaboration also helps to build relationships between teachers, which can make it easier to work together on future projects.

One of the challenges of co-teaching is that it can be difficult to find the right balance between the two teachers. It is important to ensure that both teachers are contributing equally and that each teacher has an opportunity to share their expertise. Another challenge is finding time to plan and prepare for co-teaching sessions. This can be a challenge, especially if teachers are already working with a full class load.

Despite the challenges, there are many benefits to co-teaching. When done well, it can help to improve student achievement and engagement. It also provides an opportunity for teachers to collaborate and learn from each other. If you are interested in exploring co-teaching, there are a few resources that can help you get started.

The first step is to find a partner. This can be another teacher at your school or someone you know who is also interested in co-teaching. Once you have found a partner, the next step is to decide what content you will teach together. It is important to choose a topic that you are both comfortable with and that will benefit from the co-teaching approach. Once you have chosen a topic, you will need to plan and prepare for your sessions. This includes creating materials, developing activities, and choosing assessment strategies.

Once you have planned and prepared for your co-teaching sessions, it is time to implement them. This can be done in a variety of ways, but the most important thing is to ensure that both teachers are involved and that each student has an opportunity to learn. After each session, it is important to reflect on what went well and what could be improved. This will help you to improve your co-teaching approach and make the most of this instructional strategy.

Co-Teaching Skill Set

Co-teaching is a valuable instructional strategy that can help to improve student achievement however it needs a specific skill set. The skills needed for co-teaching vary depending on the type of co-teaching arrangement you choose to use. However, there are a few skills that are essential for all types of co-teaching. These include the ability to collaborate, communicate effectively, and plan collaboratively.

Collaboration is essential for co-teaching. This includes the ability to work together to develop plans, create materials, and choose activities. It is also important to be able to communicate effectively with each other. This includes being able to share ideas, give feedback, and resolve conflicts.

Planning is another essential skill for co-teaching. This includes the ability to develop a plan that meets the needs of all learners. It is also important to be able to adapt the plan as needed. This may include making changes to activities, materials, or assessment strategies.

Co-Teaching Arrangements

There are a variety of co-teaching arrangements that you can use. The most important thing is to choose an arrangement that will meet the needs of your students. Some common arrangements include:

Station Teaching: In this arrangement, each teacher is responsible for a specific content area or skill. Students rotate through stations, with each station being led by a different teacher.

Parallel Teaching: In this arrangement, both teachers teach the same content to different groups of students. This allows for small group instruction and differentiation.

Team Teaching: In this arrangement, both teachers teach the entire lesson together. This allows for more collaboration between the teachers and allows for more student interaction.

Peer Tutoring: In this arrangement, students work in pairs to help each other learn. This can be done with a specific assignment or task.

There are many benefits to using co-teaching to improve student achievement. However, it is important to keep in mind that this instructional strategy requires specific use of learning spaces.

Learning Spaces

Futurist, David Thornburg offers three archetypal learning spaces to support co-teaching practices. They are the campfire, the watering hole and the cave. Each of these spaces has its own unique benefits and can be used in different ways to meet the needs of students.

The campfire is a space where students can come together to learn. This space is often used for whole group instruction. The benefit of this space is that it allows for student interaction and collaboration.

The watering hole is a space where students can go to receive individualized instruction. This space is often used for small group instruction or one-on-one instruction. The benefit of this space is that it allows for students to receive the attention they need in order to learn.

The cave is a space where students can go to work independently. This space is often used for independent work or for working on assignments. The benefit of this space is that it allows for students to work at their own pace and to complete work on their own time.

Each of these spaces has its own benefits. It is important to choose the right space for the needs of your students. When you are using co-teaching to improve student achievement, it is important to use all three spaces in order to meet the needs of all learners.

Final Thoughts

As we move into the future of education, it is important to explore different instructional strategies that can help to improve student learning. Co-teaching is one such strategy that can offer many benefits. If you are a teacher, how have you used co-teaching in your classroom? What tips would you offer to others who are interested in using this instructional strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

How to Assess Your Teaching Effectiveness: Collection, Analysis and Evaluation of Data

In order to ensure that our students are learning what they need to know, it’s important for teachers to be effective in their assessment practices. Here’s how you can get started.

Teacher effectiveness is a hot topic in education. Teachers are constantly under pressure to assess their teaching effectiveness and improve their practice. There are many different ways to assess teaching effectiveness, but the data you collect, analyse and evaluate play a key role.

Assessment is an important part of any teacher’s toolkit. By collecting, analyzing and evaluating data on student learning, teachers can make informed decisions about how best to teach their students. Using assessment judgements wisely can help teachers improve their teaching delivery and ensure that their students are learning what they need to know. But what does this really mean? And how can teachers go about it in a meaningful way?

If you don’t know what to assess, you won’t know what to teach. To assess your teaching effectiveness, you first need to know what to assess. This means being clear about the goals and objectives of your teaching. What do you want your students to learn? What skills do you want them to develop? Once you have a good understanding of your goals and objectives, you can start thinking about how to best assess whether or not your students are achieving them.

There are many different ways to collect data on student learning. One way to collect data is through formative assessments. Formative assessments are ongoing evaluations of student learning that take place throughout the course of a unit or lesson. They can take many different forms, but often involve activities like quizzes, exit slips, or classroom discussions. Formative assessments help you to understand what your students are learning in real-time, and can be used to adjust your instruction accordingly.

Another way to collect data is through summative assessments. Summative assessments are evaluations of student learning that take place at the end of a unit or lesson. They often take the form of tests or final projects. Summative assessments help you to understand what your students have learned over the course of a unit, and can be used to inform future instruction.

Once you have collected data on student learning, it is important to analyze and evaluate that data. This will help you to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses in your teaching, as well as areas where your students are struggling. Once you have identified these areas, you can start to think about ways to address them.

The final step in assessing your teaching effectiveness is using the data to improve your practice. This means taking the information you have gathered and using it to make changes to your teaching methods. If you find that your students are struggling with a certain skill, for example, you might need to adjust your instruction in order to help them learn it better.

Assessment is an important part of any teacher’s toolkit. By collecting, analyzing and evaluating data on student learning, teachers can make informed decisions about how best to teach their students. Using assessment judgements wisely can help teachers improve their teaching delivery and ensure that their students are learning what they need to know.

  1. Collection of data is the first step in any assessment process. Teachers need to gather information about what students know and can do, before they can begin to analyse it and make judgements about teaching effectiveness. This can be done through a variety of means, such as tests, quizzes, observations or interviews. It is important that teachers collect data in a systematic way, so that they can compare and contrast results over time.
  2. Analysis of data is where teachers begin to identify patterns and trends in student learning. They examine how well students are performing on different tasks, and try to understand why some students are struggling more than others. This process allows teachers to identify areas for improvement in their teaching practice.
  3. Evaluation of data is the final stage in the assessment process. This is where teachers make judgement about the effectiveness of their teaching, and decide what changes need to be made in order to improve student learning. Evaluation involves setting goals and target areas for improvement, and developing plans to achieve these.

Teachers need to use data collection, analysis and evaluation in order to assess their teaching effectiveness and improve their practice. By using these tools, teachers can identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about how to best help students learn. With careful planning and implementation, data-driven assessment can help teachers deliver more effective instruction and improve student outcomes.

Do you have any tips for assessing teaching effectiveness? Share them in the comments below!

Four Ways to Make Personalised Learning a Reality

One topic where there is general agreement across the world’s education community about the desired direction for both teaching and learning is the personalisation approach. To be successful, schools need to focus on more than just improving academic outcomes. They also need to help students develop as leaders and thinkers by engaging them in a meaningful way through technology.

One topic where there is general agreement across the world’s education community about the desired direction for both teaching and learning is the personalisation approach. The shift away from a one-size-fits-all method has caught the attention of teachers, who are drawn to its potential to encourage genuine student engagement as it may help students engage their passions, skills, and needs.

We know that early learners begin to personalise their learning in preschool or pre-kindergarten when teachers and parents encourage children’s curiosity with open-ended materials. Later in primary school, personalised options might include setting goals based on interest areas, choice of topics and personalisation of the learning process.

As learners progress through secondary school, personalised programmes must be expanded to include a variety of options that reflect their personal interests and passions. This could also include an option for early engagement in career pathways. Personalised learning is not just about students having more choice over what they learn but also how they learn it. In some cases, personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablets or other mobile devices can provide access to resources from any location at any time, thus removing geographical barriers. Learners should have opportunities to engage with each other around shared interests so they can work collaboratively on projects at home or online – whether remotely or in their local community via cyber-based online education networks.

By personalising the learning process, students will feel more ownership of their education. Personalised learning also requires personalised assessments or formative evaluations. These techniques are ideal for identifying whether learners are achieving personal goals and can help to inform future personalised options.

Personalized assessment, on the other hand, records the student’s development over time and ensures that his or her personal goals are met through evidence-based plans rather than relying on teachers’ subjective opinions about what a child understands. This enables teachers to personalise instruction even further by determining how best to support every individual student in every class.

Adopting a personalised learning approach across the school requires strong leadership that supports teacher engagement, professional development and collaboration. An approach that equips all students with the necessary skills and knowledge they need to thrive in our ever growing personalised & digital world will go a long way toward improving student learning.

However, this is only one part of the picture. In today’s globalised world, students must also learn to collaborate across cultures as well as engage in critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Teachers play a vital role in encouraging students’ curiosity and teaching them some of the skills that will equip them for personal success not just academic proficiency. Teachers may do so by establishing a culture of high expectations in which all students feel valued, supported, and involved every day at school, whether it’s through more innovative curricula or collaborative learning methods.

When teachers have access to high-quality professional development opportunities, they are better equipped to foster the learning process for their students. Furthermore, once completed some training, they need time to improve their instruction through coaching and mentoring cycles by an instructional leader or mentor. School leaders must also collaborate with colleagues to ensure that personalised options are available in every classroom at every year level no matter the school’s size, budget or location. Teachers and principals should share best practices so that effective solutions can be scaled up quickly across the educational community.

Personalised learning is becoming an increasingly important way to meet the needs of each and every student. By personalising instruction, assessment, and learning content, students feel more ownership over their education and are more likely to achieve their academic goals. To make personalised learning a reality in your school, strong leadership is essential. Teachers need access to high-quality professional development opportunities so they can be best equipped to foster the individualised learning process for their students. Furthermore, collaboration among teachers is vital in order to ensure that personalised options are available at all grade levels and subjects. With the right tools and support, personalised learning can benefit every student – regardless of age, location or interests.

Teachers Work in Very Complex Settings

Teachers Work in Very Complex Settings

As principal, I have been spending a lot of time inside classrooms as I learn more about the teaching and learning within my new school. With a heavily instructional focus, our teachers and actively engaged in facilitating learning for each individual child. So much so that in a single day our primary classroom teachers may participate in more than 1 000 interpersonal exchanges with students. Not only do teachers have numerous interactions with students, they must also interpret complex classroom behaviour on the spot. It is not surprising that most teachers are tired at the end of the day.

Because teachers constantly respond to the immediate needs of the students while they teach, they have little time during teaching to consider future planning for their class. This classroom preparation is completed outside school time often unseen by the general parent population and reflects the complex events that occur within the classroom.

It is not always easy to understand the day to day life of a competent teacher, until “you walk in their shoes”. When teachers make decisions about the activity within their classrooms the following aspects of classroom settings must be taken into consideration.

  1. Many different tasks and events exist in the classroom. Records and schedules must be kept and work must be monitored, collected and evaluated. A single event can have multiple consequences.
  2. Many things happen at the same time in classrooms. During a discussion, a teacher not only listens and helps to improve students’ answers but also monitors students who do not respond for signs of comprehension and tries to keep the lesson moving at a good pace.
  3. The pace of classroom events is rapid. Research suggests that teachers evaluated pupil conduct in public on the average of 15.89 times per hour or 87 times per day or an estimated 16 000 times a year (read Sieber, R. T. (1979) ‘Classmates as workmates: Informal peer activity in the elementary school’ for more detail). Time is all too important and needs to be utilised carefully.
  4. While a teacher is thoroughly prepared for each day often many events that occur are unanticipated. These include interruptions, student behaviour, achievement levels and expectations. Furthermore, much of what happens to a student is seen by many other students as well and they make their own judgments. Student esteem is important and therefore decisions need to be consistent.
  5. Actions, programmes and expectations all play a part in developing background for decision making. Research suggests that history often influences that way classrooms run (We have all heard of the great class and of the difficult class). No single strategy, approach, or technique works with all students and teachers need to call upon their repertoire of teaching skills, knowledge and at times, intuition to help decide the best path forward for a child’s learning.

Schooling has become more complex in recent years with teachers dealing with many issues and circumstances that take them away from their main instructional tasks. To increase the positive aspects of schooling it is imperative that support for our teachers is publicly acclaimed. Remember, self esteem of teachers is an important part of the education process. Be proud of them!!

Building Relationships Through Effective Feedback

Beginning a new school as the designated leader is the perfect time to establish positive relationships. Getting to know staff is an important area that can be enhanced by spending time inside classrooms. This provides support for the class teacher and a offers a common environment for discussions on improving student and teacher learning. It is through the giving of feedback that we can work with teachers on improving practice.

Beginning a new school as the designated leader is the perfect time to establish positive relationships. Getting to know staff is an important area that can be enhanced by spending time inside classrooms. This provides support for the class teacher and a offers a common environment for discussions on improving student and teacher learning. It is through the giving of feedback that we can work with teachers on improving practice.

However, giving feedback can create tension between school leaders and teachers. This can fracture relationships rendering the act of giving feedback to being a mere accountability exercise.

When working with teachers, I like to see the process of giving feedback after an observation as being the difference between evaluating a teacher and developing a teacher. To develop a teacher effective feedback needs to be genuine. Here are a few thoughts on how to give effective feedback:

  1. When meeting with the teacher after an observation ask targeted questions on the area of focus. This keeps the conversation directly at the heart of the teaching process.
  2. Use evidence to help illuminate the area of improvement. By providing explicit examples from the lesson you are focusing on the art of teaching and helping the teacher connect to their lesson delivery.
  3. Give precise praise and not simply warm hearted compliments. Be very clear on what the teacher does well.
  4. Giving feedback is about supporting improvement. State concrete actions to work on.
  5. Finally, it is good practice to provide examples to solidify understanding. Allowing the teacher to also verbally “re-enact” a future lesson using the advice allows you the opportunity to see if the teacher understood your feedback.

However some leaders could get caught up in some common mistakes as they try and support their teachers. such mistakes can inhibit the fostering of good relationships:

  1. The provision of feedback judges the person and not the action. Getting personal in feedback is never a good idea.
  2. Do no provide feedback that is vague as it does not give good direction and guidance to the teacher.
  3. Too many poor leaders try and bury negative feedback in between positive comments, hoping not to upset the teacher.
  4. The observer’s feedback is too general and doesn’t give enough detail for the teacher to work with.
  5. On the other hand, the feedback given is too lengthy and confuses the teacher.

Ultimately, feedback can be one of the most powerful influences on student learning. However it is critical that teachers know what the desired performance or behaviour is expected thus allowing transparency in the coaching and mentoring process. (and success in the relationship building!)