Over the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to observe some fantastic colleagues at BGS. During these observations, it has been great to see the excellent teaching that goes on every day at the school. We can often fall into the trap when preparing for an ‘observation lesson’ of thinking that the lesson needs to be ‘exciting’ , ‘fun’ and ‘interactive’ to make the observer go ‘wow’! I have certainly been guilty of this in the past; coming up with exciting new activities simply so that it looks like I can plan ‘whizz-bang’ lessons. On reflection, these lessons often do end up being ‘exciting’ ‘fun’ and ‘interactive’ but this all too often can actually be at the expense of students’ learning, rather than enhancing it.
Having observed a variety of lessons at BGS recently, I have been reminded of how effective it is to have a well qualified, knowledgable teacher in the lesson and simply imparting their knowledge and challenging students to analyse their thinking is really fundamental in student progress.
I know many teachers in other schools who are often criticised for too much ‘teacher talk’ in their lessons but this week I have seen ‘teacher talk’ done very effectively and in a way which promoted student engagement and interest.
I have been reminded that when planning activities we should always measure the success of them by student progress and learning rather than how ‘fun’ they are. This is not to denigrate ‘exciting’ and ‘interactive’ activities per se but we need to make sure that we are discerning between these kinds of activities and gimmicks.