Instinct and experience tells me that the very best learning potential is a teaching observation, where the feedback is a searching balance of appreciation and challenge. But the model has got to be right…

Sam Shepherd


Have a look at the graph above (the reference escapes me, but do comment if you would like to remind me to pop the reference up there). It’s an illustration of two different types of teacher and how they develop. Some teachers develop to a point, then stagnate. Other teachers continually experiment and develop and although (as a result of the experimentation) that performance may dip below a particular standard from time to time, the overall trend is for continual improvement above and beyond that of the stagnated teacher.

Which is better? The official line here is that the better person is the person who improves the most, but this is a line which would like that improvement not to drop or wobble, but to improve and develop in a clear, preferably predictable straight line.

Alas, this is not how it happens. The path to professional development requires experimentation and…

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Author: TeachNorthern

We are hard working educators with passionate interest in Teaching for a Social Purpose. Everything we've learned is through observing colleagues and students, all of whom are committed to changing the world. And reading interesting stuff. We work at The Northern College in Barnsley and its mission (and thirty-eight year history) of social transformation makes it an ideal base to face the challenges of teaching adults in 21st century England.

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