I don’t know if you’ve seen the new Harry Potter movie yet ( I got to see it in Imax 3D in Bangkok on Monday!), but there’s a new Head Teacher at Hogwarts: Dolores Umbridge.

She starts off the first Defense Against the Dark Arts class by telling the students to forget any practical things, that they should just concentrate on theory for the tests because after all “that’s what school is for!”

Hmmm… does that sound familiar to anyone?

Imelda Staunton does a great job of hamming up the acting, but this is just the sort of teacher, and teaching, that we have to fight against everyday at Genki English.

Some people may sneer when they are told to make lessons fun, teach in a “hands on” way or to even teach listening and speaking before reading and writing. But these are the very tools we need to combat the stuck in the mud old school ways of teaching.

In no way is it a case of “let’s just play around”, it’s about moving on to a new way of learning, to get away from the chalk and talk styles that worked fine for the industrial revolution, but which aren’t going to equip our kids for the 21st century.

Have a look at the movie and see how Harry teaches compared with Ms. Umbridge. That’s how we need our classrooms to be!

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. When I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. Now I help teachers just like you teach amazing lessons and double your incomes!