Being an ‘outstanding teacher’ has been a goal the profession has tried, with difficulty, to define for a while now. But it might be more useful to start with what we are really trying to achieve.
We ultimately want our students to become engaged and empowered independent learners, so let’s start with defining the skills and behaviours we want to help them to develop – the features of great Parli learners.
Our behaviours and actions will be whatever helps them to become great learners. And that of course will vary depending on teacher, subject, students, topic, time of day etc etc
But evidence and experience means we have a pretty solid foundation on which to build. For example wee know a shared approach to behaviour is going to allow teachers and students to flourish. Having to establish expectations individually isn’t the best use of our learning time.
And we know, in our school, that home learning is an area that can lead to gaps in achievement opening up as students move up the school. So we all help our students to develop good habits and see the value in their constant review and practise.
I found it useful to go through our Parli Learner model and list the things we do as teachers to support the development of those learning behaviours. It helped to remind me why some of the details matter. For example, taking the register regularly at the start of the lesson is something I often forget to do. Perhaps I see it as an admin task and I don’t see myself as being good at admin tasks but if I re-frame it as a way to help students appreciate the importance of maximising learning time…
Here’s the sheet I distributed at the start of term. We will return to it and our Parli Learner model during the year. As subject teachers and tutors we will be helping the students to see how these behaviours can be developed, where their particular areas for development might be and where they can get support when necessary. We will be helping them to ‘meta’ their learning and grow as Parli Learners.