Exploring what matters

Welcome to the IRIS Connect blog space where you can join conversations and discover free resources, tips and summaries. We hope you find something useful for your professional development and learning.

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guide to improving teacher happiness and wellbeing

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Sharing good practice: Strategies to encourage teacher collaboration

Posted by Rico Patzer on 18 February, 2020

Collaboration between lead practitioners and teachers is a powerful professional development activity that can help teachers improve their subject knowledge, think about teaching strategies in different ways and learn new ideas to try in the classroom.

In fact, teachers have been found to learn more from each other than with mentors or in traditional classes and workshops. Even better news is that teachers using collaborative practices are more innovative in the classroom, hold stronger self-efficacy beliefs, and have higher job satisfaction (The Teaching and Learning International Survey—TALIS 2013)

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TeacherTales: How we saved lesson time delivering exam feedback via video

Posted by Guest blogger - Chris Webb on 30 January, 2020

Giving quality feedback to students is time consuming but, as the EEF points out, we know it’s effective in improving the quality of learning. Here at The Blue Coat School we’re always trying to improve how we feedback to students and in the last 18 months we’ve been sharing short videos of us talking through exam questions that students can watch in their own time. 

 

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Coaching for Teachers: What school leaders need to consider

Posted by Rico Patzer on 29 January, 2020

“Coaching done well may be the most effective intervention designed for human performance.”
- Atul Gawande, Personal Best, The New Yorker

Coaching is a fantastic opportunity for experienced teachers to develop themselves further. But also for new teachers, it can give them the confidence, skills and self-awareness needed for a long and successful teaching career.
Researchers and educators have emphasised the importance of teacher coaching for decades, describing it as an essential component of effective continuous professional development.

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TeacherTales: How I support SEND pupils with these 10 tips

Posted by Guest blogger Dr Maria Jagiello on 16 January, 2020

I believe in inclusion and I often wonder if we’re providing the best possible academic progress for our SEND learners within mainstream schools. Do we have enough time to spend with them? How can we improve their progress regardless of sets, or mixed ability classes? How can we teach them to the best of their abilities within overcrowded classes, struggling budgets and other daily difficulties?

I consider myself lucky - I am a SEND specialist teacher who has worked at a special school and is now working in mainstream. It’s given me a different perspective and an opportunity to compare and apply various approaches, techniques and views into my teaching practice. The majority of strategies I’ve learnt from specialising can be easily adapted and adjusted to meet our pupils’ needs in mainstream schools. Here are my 10 tips to support your SEND pupils better.

 

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How to encourage reflective teaching in your school

Posted by Alexandra Spalding on 14 January, 2020

“We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.”- John Dewey

As the Lifelong Learning UK Standards make clear, reflection is a core component of effective continuing professional development (CPD) and key to becoming a skilled teacher.

Meaning a teacher’s ability to reflect on what, why and how they do things, and to adapt and develop their excellence in teaching is the one quality above all that makes them good. 

 

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Effective Teacher CPD: 10+ points to consider before choosing a course

Posted by Rico Patzer on 9 January, 2020

For many school leaders, the importance of effective CPD for teaching staff needs little explaining. As the DfE’s Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development straightforwardly puts it, ‘effective professional development for teachers is a core part of securing effective teaching.’

We know that teachers themselves are also firmly invested in honing and developing their skills. According to an LKMco and Pearson survey, the prospect of making a difference in pupils’ lives motivates 92% of teachers to stay in teaching, so any further opportunities to increase their impact in the classroom are likely to be received with enthusiasm.

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