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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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. 

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TeacherTales: How my lesson observations went from crippling critique to collaborative conversation

Posted by Guest blogger - Josh Roy on 8 November, 2019

Having trained in a challenging environment, being deprived of meaningful (in-school) feedback for about two years, and being bombarded with observations from all possible sides, I feel I should be better placed than any to take criticism.

Don’t get me wrong, I recognise that feedback is fundamental for my development as a teacher. But, I still can’t help the very human reaction that I believe exists in many of us, where negative feedback, however it’s dressed up (EBIs etc.), doesn’t exactly inspire motivation and joy. 

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How to give teachers effective coaching feedback

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 12 June, 2018

Feedback is an important and necessary part of any teacher’s career path. Whether they’re in their first, fifth or fifteenth year of teaching, feedback from senior leaders, peers and reviews is critical to identifying performance weaknesses and strengths, providing teachers with opportunities to grow and develop their practice. What’s more, it often improves communication and better understanding of expectations.  

But there is a world of difference between just giving someone feedback and giving them effective feedback.

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6 simple ways to make your feedback more empowering for others

Posted by Jennifer Hampton on 17 March, 2017

Many of us will have had a range of lesson feedback experiences. With some feedback, ideas are energised and next steps organically emerge. But there’s also feedback that can leave us a little unclear, a little less sure, as well as feedback that that can cause us to disengage or become upset.

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7 useful tips to make coaching feedback formative

Posted by Rosie Neill on 15 December, 2015

To make a coaching session as worthwhile as possible, any feedback given and received needs to be effective. Enhance your coaching session by taking on board these 7 tips from expert coach and consultant, Mike Fleetham.

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New Ofsted lesson observation guidelines

Posted by Rosie Neill on 13 November, 2014

In an attempt to reduce unnecessary workloads for your school and to clarify exactly what is required of you when preparing for an Ofsted lesson observation, the government body has published new guidelines which detail everything you don’t need to do.

Save yourself and your colleagues some time by reading and sharing this quick summary of the new Ofsted lesson observation guidelines:

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