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.


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Lesson observation feedback: 6 tips to improve it

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 4 February, 2019

Have you recently given someone lesson observation feedback? Did you feel like you motivated your colleague and inspired them to try different teaching methods?

If you've ever been on the receiving end of poor feedback then you'll know how unhelpful it is. Feedback is highly personal and can either make or break a situation. According to Professor John Hattie, receiving effective feedback is the factor that has the most impact on a student’s progress. This can also be applied to a teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD), making it one of the most important aspects of CPD.

So, to get the most out of lesson observation feedback, you should always be looking for better ways to give it, whether formally or informally. Here are 6 tips...

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Teachers missing out on vital CPD according to survey

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 1 February, 2019

The vast majority of teachers are facing barriers to accessing essential CPD, a recent survey by the Department for Education (DfE) has revealed.

More than 9 in 10 (91%) teachers have faced barriers preventing them from accessing continuing professional development (CPD). The School Snapshot Survey by the DfE cites the cost of CPD and lack of time as the biggest obstacles.

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Everyone needs a coach

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 28 January, 2019

This is an extract from ‘Your Practical Guide to Video Coaching Teachers’. Download the entire guide for FREE here >

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

Handwritten Time for Coaching on a Green Chalkboard. Top View Composition with Chalkboard and White Cup of Coffee. 3D Render.

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Teacher confidence (efficacy): Why does it matter and how can SLT increase it?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 21 January, 2019

 Efficacy - or a teacher’s level of confidence in their abilities - can be highly influenced by past experiences or your current school culture. For example, a bad classroom experience or negative work environment can quickly diminish a teacher’s confidence.

Interestingly, seeing students grow and working in a collaborative environment can boost a teacher’s belief in their ability and improve performance. Research also suggests that teachers with a strong sense of self-efficacy tend to be better planners, more resilient through failure, and more open-minded and supportive with students.

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Hitting the right notes: improving teaching practice with the Chartered Teacher Programme

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 18 January, 2019

Guest blog from Dr Steven Berryman, Director of Music at City of London School for Girls and Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London. Also, Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching.

As a musician, practice is part of daily life. Or I tell my pupils that it is. We practice to maintain our facility at our instrument (or voice), often using exercises to keep certain aspects in good health (such as sound production) because we want our instrumental/vocal skills to be ready when we need them.

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8 professional development podcasts for teachers and school leaders

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 14 January, 2019

Podcasts can contain a world of inspiring ideas, tips, and advice making them a great resources for teachers’ and school leaders’ continuing professional development.

Whether you listen to them on your commute to work, on your lunch break, or in the evening at home with a glass of something refreshing, you can guarantee you’ll walk away having learnt something.

Here are 8 podcasts from some of the world’s most renowned and highly regarded educators and educationalists that we recommend for teachers and school leaders:

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