Book Shelf Think Before You Teach: Questions to challenge why and how you want to teach by Martin Illingworth @martinillingwor As a teacher, it is easy to go throughout a school year in ‘auto-pilot’ mode: following the same routines of teaching and school-life; following the same curriculum over and over again; filling out forms; completing assessments; compiling reports….when does it every conclude? It is difficult to stop and ask why you want to teach and how you are teaching. In his new book, Martin Illingworth points out that there are a queue of line managers in schools (the folk that say they are learning to walk!) busy telling you what to do, but there are far fewer asking you to think about why you teach! ‘Think Before You Teach’ is purposefully full of questions: the openings of discussions to have, first with yourself and then, maybe later, with your colleagues. It doesn’t promise all the answers. And it doesn’t tell you what to View on Amazon at teach. But it will ask you to think about why you want to teach and how you are going to teach. www.bit.ly/thinkteach Although the title implies that this book is aimed at those thinking about entering the profession, it is actually suited for NQTs as well as established practitioners who may wish to stop and evaluate their own practice, primarily for the benefit of their pupils. The book is strewed with valuable stories, antidotes and recommendations. To tackle the tough day to day questions that teachers raise Martin offers hope, humour, imagination and motivation throughout. For anybody thinking of entering the teaching profession, student teachers, teacher trainers, NQTs and teachers of all levels of experience. The book explores the various teacher training routes School Direct, Teach First, PGCE and the questions teachers should be asking about the path they have taken and their continuing professional development (CPD) needs. By raising questions about pedagogy, good practice, values and responsibilities, to name but a few, Martin encourages all teachers to become reflective practitioners and rediscover their passion.
Lesson Planning Tweaks for Teachers by Melanie Aberson and Debbie Light
Planning a successful lesson is a deeply personal thing, and every teacher has his or her tastes and priorities and a myriad of different ideas and techniques for providing stimulating learning moments. Each plan is tailored to the unique needs of the students. Whether a lesson leads to success or disaster, every plan could be improved. In their new book, Melanie Aberson and Debbie Light offer practical advice and a range of ‘tweaks’ gathered from a different subject areas to improve every facet of lesson planning, from the physical process of writing a plan, to delivering a lesson in class. Each tweak is written as a succinct tip, including the lesson context example and a detailed explanation of how a teacher may wish to use the idea in their own lessons. The book begins with an exploration of formal and informal lesson planning, with templates and completed examples of both, and how you can import elements of each into your existing framework. The authors have written concise guides to popular AfL, questioning, collective learning and many View on Amazon at other techniques and taxonomies, each including both cross-curricular and www.bit.ly/teachertweaks subject specific examples of how these can be used in your lessons. Small changes in your lesson planning can have a large accumulative impact on the whole of your teaching and improve the learning experience of your students and save you time every day. Reflecting on one’s practice is vital to develop as a professional and this is a great book for both established teachers who are looking to hone their skills with incremental gains, or for new teachers looking for a useful summary of modern planning techniques. 18 UKED Magazine