Last weekend I was invited to Pedagoo London at the Institute of Education to provoke all and sundry with my rambling thoughts on how teachers can behave in lessons if they want to be judged ‘outstanding’. I don’t claim that this is in anyway the most important part of what we do, but it is a huge area of stress for many, and something which is regularly over complicated by feckless school leaders and overpaid consultants. If you’ve ever been told that your lesson ‘lacks sparkle’ or been fobbed off due one boy in the corner coughing for a brief period, you’ll know to what I refer.

The basis of my message is ‘sapere aude’: dare to know. And in the case of teaching, dare to know more than the ‘expert’ observing you. Whilst there will always be some boffins who know more theoretical pedagogy than we do, there will never be another living soul who has the depth of knowledge you do about your class. Of course subject knowledge and a sound understanding of theory and practice are  crucial, but they are as nothing when compared to the quality of the relationships you have with your students.

So, in case you’re interested, here is the presentation I used:

And the following posts may help to understand it better:

Anatomy of an outstanding lesson

Icebergs, taking risks and being outstanding

Go with the flow: the 2 minute lesson plan

The following post goes some way to explaining the huge question mark hovering over ‘flow’ on slide 9.