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.

If you have a topic you'd like us to cover or if you're interested in covering one yourself in a guest post, please contact us.



guide to improving teacher happiness and wellbeing

.

Rico Patzer

Recent Posts

Questioning in the classroom: How to improve your skills

Posted by Rico Patzer on 5 October, 2020

Teachers use hundreds of questions every day so it's important to use them with purpose and know which questioning techniques have the biggest effect in which situation. From a pedagogical point of view questions serve two crucial roles:

  1. To check for understanding i.e. to identify misconceptions and provide corrective feedback.
  2. To invite dialogue, that is, to help students develop a better understanding of themselves and their progress, share their deeper thinking and to make deeper connections within the content.

Some teachers consider these two purposes to be at odds with one another; they are not. The trick is to strike the right balance between the two and to use them strategically and at the right time within the learning process. The outcome of a good question, whatever its purpose, is that it encourages thinking.

Read More

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)

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

How to get the most out of lesson observations (detailed guide)

Posted by Rico Patzer on 8 January, 2020

Numerous studies over recent years have shown that high-level and consistent performance from teachers in the classroom is central to improving outcomes for learners. So, naturally the education world has begun to examine teacher effectiveness more closely and how it can be improved.

One of the main ways that teachers get feedback on their practice, in order to develop and grow, is through mandatory lesson observations, whereby a headteacher or a member of SLT sits in on a lesson to observe the teacher. However, despite their widespread use in schools, there is a great deal of data that highlights how ineffective traditional lesson observations can be. 

Read More

Get blog notifications

Keep up to date with our latest professional learning blogs.