Teachers TV documentary on going from good to outstanding!

Teachers.tv have this great documentary on a secondary (junior high) school teaching going from “good” to “outstanding” Β It’s great to see how she improves and how the outside people help her!

Here are a few pick ups:

– Good parts were lots of learning & enthusiasm
– Need more pair work etc, to give teacher a breather

– Teacher speaks too fast = burn out
– Break lesson into episodes
– Don’t want quiet nor loud, want well projected voice
– Practice listenng to your voice to give variety
– Sound tennis!
– Pause on the words you want the kids to pick up

– 80 % kids working 20% teacher working
– Before lesson starts, put work on the board
– Pratice in pairs then teacher selects 2 or 3 groups to come to front (random- addictive!)
– Lip reading
– Persist with new techniques
– Gestures
– Asking the class questions
– Kids work harder when you give them more to do
– Need to trust the kids

It also makes you realise how well GE songs would work with high schoolers if you just play them in class.

If you’d like some feedback on your teaching then take a movie, upload it and send me the link, over the member’s forum we’ve been giving each other lots of advice on getting better and better!

Do you have any other Teachers.tv videos to recommend?

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!

13 Responses to “Teachers TV documentary on going from good to outstanding!”

  1. Liza

    Thanks for posting this Richard. School starts for me on Monday and this is a timely training booster for the beginning of a new school year.

    A lot of this was covered in the Diploma in TESOL I completed and that helped improve my teaching and my motivation no end.

    Great post. Thanks again.

  2. Margit

    It’s really weird for me to see somebody getting this passionate teaching German. Respect, respect!

    BUT, YES! It would make her life so much easier to use some songs.

    The kid’s pronunciation is really good though, and as this is just a gasp into her lessons, I wonder what kind of devise else she is using. I would guess they don’t have the pronunciation from her.

  3. Gumby

    Hmmm. Thanks for the link, Richard. The 80/20 rule really gets me thinking though. First, it looks like she worked so MUCH harder trying preparing and getting the students to finish the projects. I find the best lessons are those where the focus is more on the students than on the materials at hand. Simple is often best. Also she seemed to have been more of a facilitator in ENGLISH. It is probably because of the nature of this particular lesson, but she hardly spoke any German at all in her last lesson.

    Back to the 80/20 rule, is it possible to have independent language learning when only the beginning students are speaking? Wouldn’t they learn more by listening and reacting to the language, rather than trying to produce what they can barely understand?

    I like how at the end, she decided to try to incorporate her own teaching style instead of insisting on one that was very different. It really does take a lot of trial and error to find the right mix.

    I also liked her observer. She was able to give her observations and remain very positive. (I’ve been working if a very anti-praise environment recently, so this was a very nice change!)

  4. richard

    @Margit: I was wondering about her pronunciation! What did you think to it?

    @Gumby: I’m cool with the amount of English. After all if the language is just “he has blue eyes” then anything above that would be too high level for the students.

    “Wouldn’t they learn more by listening and reacting to the language, rather than trying to produce what they can barely understand?”

    I think they understood it here, otherwise they couldn’t have done the output! I know it’s different to TPRS, but I’m still very much in the output camp e.g. Pimsleur, Michel Thomas etc. πŸ™‚

    Totally with you on the preparation thing, that’s one of the reasons I’m moving more to the no prep activities, well except for the computer at the front!

  5. Liza

    Going back to the lady observer who I think rocked, and hopefully not only because the TV cameras were there: for part of my Diploma course I had to do a section on CPD including observation and self improvement.

    I am observed once a year by my headmistress so she can re-apply for my contract with the school.For my diploma work I described how this observation takes place. I’m with Gumby on this one. My diploma assessor was completely taken aback about the “dark ages” approach to assessing and the negative way it is conducted without any feedback or attempt at encouraging CPD. On the whole a thoroughly depressing and de-motivating experience, when I feel it should be the opposite. However, my contract has always been extended which is the main thing.

  6. Roy Melling

    Thanks for uploading the link to this video. Just watching them makes you think about the art of teaching and if there is a magic formula for producing an outstanding lesson.

    As a teacher with no training, I always seek sound advice on teaching skills on the internet.

  7. richard

    Re: feedback

    When I do “you teach” workshops (like the one coming up in fukuoka next week!) the three things I ask everyone attending for each lesson are:
    Good things (start positive!)
    Bad things (need to be honest!)
    Things we can do better for next time (usually this works quite well!

  8. Gumby

    It blows me away at how praise is rarely given! Teachers should be there to support each other, not take each other down! That’s one of the reasons I really like the GE forum. Now this is one very supportive group!

    @Richard, I admit I have never taken any of the two courses you recommended, but from what I have researched on the web, they don’t seem to aim for the 80/20 goal. Students are asked to repeat, but they are monitored and the correct forms are modeled constantly. This monitoring is lost in an 80/20 class.

  9. richard

    One reason for the praise problem is maybe because teaching is such a lonely job? In other professions people work together as teams so often get instant feedback from each other. But teachers very rarely get to work together and usually only get feedback once a year at exam time.

    Could you let me know more about the 80/20 rule?

  10. Gumby

    I’m not sure what it is about praise. It seems the bar is at 100% and then you go into minus teaching.
    You are not praised for what you can do, but instead told how much more you need to get done. I can see the value of always trying to do better, but there has to be a better balance.

    As for the 80/20 rule, it may just be my own interpretation, but I took it as similar to teacher talk. I see this a lot in teacher training seminars. Students should do more talking. I disagree with this. Students need to hear the language correctly modeled more than they need to hear their classmates TRYING to be correct. Of course there is a place for output and you may build up a class to have an 80/20 lesson, but 80/20 from the get go seems to be extreme for a beginning language class.

    Now if you interpret it as letting the students discover the patterns within the language as opposed to direct instruction, THEN I am more apt to agree. It seemed though that in the video, it was more about putting the students on center stage.

  11. cj

    @Richard
    But Pimsleur, Michel Thomas, TPRS and ER are all so affective because they have several things in common. They limit vocabulary. These courses/techniques/methods all focus on high frequency structures and cognates or loan words AND they recycle and combine and repeat and recycle and recombine the high frequency structures with new structures so students hear them over and over again in many different contexts.
    The great advantage to TPRS and ER is that the contexts are fun, engaging or interesting to the learner.

  12. richard

    Agreed CJ, and looking again they must have had a lot of extra input, because as Margit says they didn’t get their accents from the teacher. One possible reason is that if they were using commercially available listening sources (or digital whiteboard software) they probably had licensing issues for including them on the video.

  13. Margit

    οΌ  I was wondering about her pronunciation! What did you think to it?

    looking through it again, I think her pronunciation isn’t bad, but the student’s is much better than hers.

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