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January 02, 2012

TIP NUMBER 5 – DON'T BE SCARED TO BE YOU

It became apparent that each teacher, as they went through training, their NQT year, and established themselves within their schools, developed their own method to teach specific topics within their subject.

All I can say is, when observing a lesson, take everything at face value, and reflect on whether you, and your personality, could do the lesson like you have just seen. During my GTP year, my mentors were amazing, offered tonnes of great advice and some wonderful ideas, shared some resources and a few tricks of the trade. As a trainee, use them when stymied. But if you are teaching a lesson about a topic you know well, then develop your own way of doing it. Put your own slant on it, and most of all, enforce your personality on it.

I am quite the showman, I don't mind singing and dancing to entertain the crowd, making a fool of myself etc. This of course, would be a night mare for others. I also love sport, Chelsea til I die, Frank Lampard is my dream man (don't worry, the wife knows), and I have in the past achieved quite a lot in Badminton, Cricket and Golf. To really showcase your passion for a subject, introduce other things you are passionate about also.

Now there are things I would struggle to manipulate to include any of the above. But there is 1 thing students love to do: build models. My obsession with Lego has never diminished since the age of 3, my Lego watch is my pride and joy, and really helps develop a rapport with the class. In my classroom, I have a good stash of Lego models set up: cars, planes, boats, bikes, buildings, space shuttles..... and they make great props.

I would hedge a bet, if you were to ask any student I have taught so far in 4 terms, what my hobbies were, Chelsea, golf and Lego would be mentioned by the majority. Of course, the giant Frank Lampard poster in my classroom is a major give away!

Anyway, in conclusion, what I am trying to say is, do not be scared to put your own slant on things, make lessons your own, and even if you have an unusual hobby nobody else has ever done, well it might make a good starter, show a video of you doing it (I love making videos for lessons). This is the year to fall flat on your face in a lesson, because we are all here to train and develop. To be honest, your NQT year is even better, as you are on your own. If a lesson doesn't go to plan, then only you and 30 odd kids know. And as long as you've put some effort in, they'll appreciate it.

So in a nutshell: Be yourself.


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