Forcing change

“Gordon Freeman with BrickForge Crowbar’ by Dunechaser

One of the things that I love about teaching is the fact that you are constantly learning, monitoring and improving your practice in response to the pupils you teach. However, I find the hectic pace of full time teaching can often make it quite difficult to make deep changes to pedagogy possible. When things are moving so fast it is so easy to fall back on the tried and tested.

For instance, I really dislike the concept of me standing at the front of a class explaining things for long periods, but when behaviour is slipping, and you have a lot to get through, it is so easy to do just that in an attempt to keep control and motor through the material.

I am the kind of person who thinks deeply about what I do, but that can make me an awful procrastinator. For real change in my practice I often have to force it, and to achieve this I have to put external things in place a force me to work in a certain way, or to break a bad habit. First I identify what it is that I want to change, and then think of an external thing i can change or put in place to make that change happen.

Want to spend less time standing a the front talking to the whole class? Set them up so half of them have their backs to you.

Want to encourage yourself to make creative use of the environment for activities? How about getting rid of some chairs so there are not enough for the whole class to sit down at once?

Making certain things difficult can often force you to work in another way. In the hectic world of the classroom, sometimes I find I have to put to such things in place to force fundamental things about my pedagogy to progress.

Just enough.
IWB slides: A crutch or a necessity?

4 thoughts on “Forcing change”

  1. Deep thinking indeed Oliver, I never would have considered removing seats as a way of forcing lessons to be more active – a simple, but obviously effective tip! I think that we are all guilty of slipping into lecture mode sometimes, even when that lecture may be funny or insightful it is still a lecture and the pupils will remember perhaps half of the lesson (at best!). I’m pondering a similar blog post at the moment after a 100 yard stare feast from a class of would-be higher candidates on my first day back & would really appreciate any comments or thoughts from you in reaction to it. Good luck with the new session!

  2. Taking (carefully thought through) risks is an important part of professional development and then seeing them through even if, perhaps, they may not appear to work at the very start. I love that you've gone ahead and done this!

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