What’s ‘Good’ got to do with it?

As teachers in the UK, we’re bombarded with advice, targets and products that are aimed at helping us reach the coveted ‘Outstanding’ title. And that’s great. We should aim to ensure ALL our students make good or better progress. We should be raising aspirations, developing active, engaging lessons, and assessing students’ work, making ‘forensic’ use of data to plan targeted interventions. Absolutely, we should be doing that.

And teachers, most of us, want to do that. But there are days (sometimes weeks, terms, years) when it doesn’t seem possible. Arda or Jane or Michelle has just had a melt-down in the classroom, and your lunch break was taken up with covering a colleague’s duty, and you didn’t get the chance to plan this lesson properly last night because you were calling parents and meeting a deadline for a book scrutiny. Sometimes it’s hard enough just to be ‘good enough’, let alone ‘Good’ in the eyes of your leadership team or Ofsted, should they happen to walk through the door tomorrow.

So, rather than focusing on what Ofsted, your line manager or the obsessive head of department in [insert faculty here] classifies as ‘Good’ teaching, this page seeks to round up what works in pedagogical practice, and how to make it work for your setting. Often, this will include various reflections on tried-and-tested methods, whizz-bang advances, quick-fixes, ways to be lazy AND effective, as well as notes on experiments, or attempts at ‘nutting-out’ new ideas.

You, dear reader, are invited to contribute your successes and failures, and offer support, encouragement, comments and advice on what works, and what doesn’t, and what good pedagogy looks like, feels like, sounds like, and works in classrooms across the globe (with a slightly UK-centred focus).

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