60 Targets to becoming a Better Teacher

So I want to become a world-class maths teacher. These are 60 targets I am setting myself.

1. Unit planning first and then lesson planning to keep a track of the overarching goal and mastery
2. Plan lessons based on the objective and post your objective in the simplest language
3. Shortest, simplest and easiest explanation is 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. Instruct students to take notes, whatever you write, they write in their exercise book, get students to write ideas before a discussion
8. Successful learning pushes more cognitive work on the student as soon as they are ready
9. Make the steps explicitly clear, i.e. success criteria
10. Unbundle, what’s the next step/process, why do we do this, explain your thinking
11. Circulate and maximise the benefit of proximity and prove how efficient you are
12. Break the plane, where first student’s desk starts, within 5 minutes, show you own the classroom
13. Circulating and checking carefully and address errors and misconceptions
14. Set high standards for correctness
15. Normalise errors, not quite Tommy, that’s right Zoe, nice work. Praise work on effort but not on right/wrong answers
16. Get students to respond to the answers of others, we are going to evaluate this answer
17. Always wait 3 seconds before taking an answer
18. Normalise cold calling to increase anticipation, participation and progress
19. Cold call and get all students to the right answer, even if it is to repeat the right answer
20. Cold calling a low ability, a middle ability and a high ability student to assess the class
21. Allow some props but make corrections immediately and tell them how to do it better
22. Public praise, be consistent, make them quick, two-claps for Jaydon, let’s do it again but faster
23. Getting students from door to seat as effectively as possible, have a seating plan, tight transitions between activities
24. Greet at the door, notice small things and make pupils feel valued and appreciated, let it be heard by other students
25. Do Now, same place, same routine, no ambiguity
26. Care enough to encourage students to be organised and teach them how to
27. Finite list of equipment, pens, books out as soon as they enter
28. 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
29. 100% compliance is the standard, not the goal
30. Anything worth doing is worth doing well/right every time
31. 3, 2, 1 and 0, wait for 100%, silence, pens down and looking this way
32. Least invasive intervention, and as little as possible, non-verbal and don’t interrupt yourself
33. Positive group corrections, students, you should be tracking the speaker, we need two people and now one person
34. Group responsibility, some people failed to do that properly so let’s try that again, some people seemed to have failed to push their chairs
35. Private individual correction if it wasn’t affecting everyone’s learning, get close and use a voice that is quiet
36. Pubic corrections, limit the amount of time a student is onstage, state what you want them to do, e.g. Matt, I need your eyes this way, and end with a positive, e.g. well, that’s much better
37. If you need to give a consequence, ensure instruction is not interrupted
38. Don’t delay a consequence as it loses significance
39. Use a consequence in a kind and logical manner and put it behind after
40. Show you expected and deal with it calmly
41. Control your emotions and let them know you are always under control
42. 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
43. Fewer words speak much, don’t talk over, don’t engage in other topics when you have set to talk about one topic
44. Don’t engage when a student is giving an excuse about their behaviour, get them to act first and talk later
45. Show with your body that you are committed to each request, turn your feet and shoulders
46. Don’t give verbal warnings before consequences as others will think some levels will be tolerated
47. Be calm, poised and impersonal, class needs to know that an action is taken when poor behaviour is seen by others
48. Don’t talk about what cannot be fixed but what they need to do next
49. Anonymity, check yourself to ensure you are doing what’s asked
50. Quiet power, maintain voice, poise and confidence
51. You must stress small stuff, i.e. rows aligned, chairs tucked in, so big stuff doesn’t materialise
52. Don’t do two things at once, ask one thing and put your arms behind to show you’re serious
53. Culture of excellence, in this class we do everything as well as we can
54. Doing it again, doing it right, doing in better, group accountability
55. Talk aspirations, who your students are becoming, you all look like university students today
56. Don’t praise basic requirements, especially in front of the class
57. Praise publicly when high standards were seen and deserves recognition
58. Be specific with praise, I’ve noticed you have done this and it’s making you do really well in maths
59. Be very warm and strict, having high expectations is part of caring for them
60. Allow genuine versions of joy to shine through

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