50 Targets to becoming an Exceptional Teacher

So I want to become a world-class maths teacher. These are 50 targets I am setting myself.

1. Unit planning first and then lesson planning to keep a track of the overarching goal and mastery
2. Planning lessons based on the objective and posting your objective in the simplest language
3. Shortest, simplest and easiest explanation is always the best
4. Allow sufficient time for independent practice and receive feedback, practice after practice, various formats
5. Minimise teacher talk time, don’t give a too many instructions based activity
6. Short introductory moment that captures what’s interesting and engaging about the topic e.g. real-life use
7. Successful learning pushes more cognitive work on the student as soon as they are ready
8. Make the steps explicitly clear, i.e. success criteria
9. Unbundle, what’s the next step/process, why do we do this, explain your thinking
10. Break the plane, where first student’s desk starts within 5 minutes, show you own the classroom and maximise the benefit of proximity and prove how efficient you are
11. Circulating and checking carefully and address errors and misconceptions
12. Setting high standards for correctness
13. Normalise errors, not quite Tommy, that’s right Zoe, nice work. Praise work on effort but not on right/wrong answers
14. Get students to respond to the answers of others, we are going to evaluate this answer
15. Always wait 3 seconds before taking an answer
16. Normalise cold calling to increase anticipation, participation and progress
17. Cold call and get all students to the right answer, even if it is to repeat the right answer
18. Cold calling a low ability, a middle ability and a high ability student to assess the class
19. Allow some props but make corrections immediately and tell them how to do it better
20. Public praise, be consistent, make them quick, two-claps for Jaydon, let’s do it again but faster
21. Getting students from the door to their seats as effectively as possible, have a seating plan, tight transitions between activities
22. Greet at the door, notice small things and make pupils feel valued and appreciated, let it be heard by other students
23. Do Now, same place, same routine, no ambiguity, finite list of equipment out as soon as they enter
24. Care enough to encourage students to be organised and teach them how to
25. Specific non-verbal signals without getting up, show fingers crossed without getting up to go to the toilet, hold nose for tissue, and respond non-verbally without interruption to teaching
26. 100% compliance is the standard, not the goal
27. Anything worth doing is worth doing well and right every time
28. 3, 2, 1 and 0, wait for 100%, silence, pens down and looking this way
29. Least invasive intervention, and as little as possible, non-verbal and don’t interrupt yourself
30. Anonymity, check yourself to ensure you are doing what’s asked
31. Positive group corrections, students, you should be tracking the speaker, we need two people and now one person, some people failed to do that properly so let’s try that again, some people seemed to have failed to push their chairs
32. Private individual correction if it wasn’t affecting everyone’s learning, get close and use a voice that is quiet
33. Pubic corrections, limit the amount of time a student is onstage, state what you want them to do, e.g. Matthew, I need your eyes this way, and end with a positive, e.g. well, that’s much better
34. If you need to give a consequence, ensure instruction is not interrupted
35. Don’t delay a consequence as it loses significance and use a consequence in a kind and logical manner
36. Show you expected and deal with it calmly, control your emotions and let them know you are always under control
37. Explain that compliance is necessary so you have the best chance to succeed in learning, I need everybody’s eyes so we can begin learning
38. Fewer words speak much, don’t talk over, don’t engage in other topics when you have set to talk about one topic
39. Don’t engage when a student is giving an excuse about their behaviour, get them to act first and talk later
40. Show with your body that you are committed to each request, turn your feet and shoulders
41. Don’t give verbal warnings before consequences as others will think some levels will be tolerated
42. Don’t talk about what cannot be fixed but what they need to do next
43. Quiet power, maintain voice, calmness, poise and confidence, class needs to know that an action is taken when poor behaviour is seen by others
44. You must stress the small stuff, i.e. rows aligned, chairs tucked in, so the big stuff doesn’t materialise
45. Don’t do two things at once, ask one thing and put your arms behind to show you’re serious
46. Culture of excellence, in this class we do everything as well as we can, doing it again, doing it right, doing in better, group accountability
47. Praise publicly when high standards were seen and deserves recognition, don’t praise basic requirements
48. Be specific with praise, I’ve noticed you have done this and it’s making you do really well in maths
49. Be very warm and strict, having high expectations is part of caring for them
50. Allow genuine versions of joy to shine through

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