Standards for teachers
"Enjoy the students; they have one chance at an education; and they have trusted it to you."
Below you can find the entire contents of the 'standards for teachers' section from The Orange Book
The pdf version is downloadable from the bottom of this page
“A school lesson should be of the nature of a dramatic performance from which some interest and amusement may be expected; while at the same time there must be solid and business-like work done. Variety of every kind should be attempted; the (whiteboard) should be used, there should be some simple jesting, there should be some anecdote, some disquisition* and some allusion if possible to current events, and the result should be that (students) not only feel that they have put away some definite knowledge under lock and key, but also that they have been in contact with a lively and mature mind. Exactly in what proportion the cauldron should be mingled and what its precise ingredients should be, must be left to the taste and tact of the teacher.”
The Schoolmaster; a commentary on the aims and methods of an assistant master in a public school, A.C Benson, Eton 1902.
(Disquisition*; a long and detailed explanation or discussion of a subject in depth; usually written)
“In great classrooms in any school there is always that judicious balance of the fun and the fundamentals of learning. Enjoyment, humour and warm relationships abound. So too does an unequivocal focus on practising basic and higher order skills. Aspirational teachers accept no substitute.
Ask any group of students from 7 to 17 what makes for effective learning and they talk about the teacher who loves their subject and who shares that passion with their students through rich tasks and activities. To use a word that has sadly gone out of fashion in some quarters, it is the promotion of scholarship that matters.”
The Restless School, Roy Blatchford, 2014
Standards for teaching at Harris Academy Riverside
Remember the purpose of education
You provide the inspiration.
You are not a teacher of a subject. You are a teacher of children.
Your purpose is to help instil the right habits of learning and the right habits of behaviour.
You are the inspiration for scholarship; you are the lively mind; model it – make reading and recall at the centre of what you do; enthuse and fascinate; keep scholarship skills like extraction of information, note taking, time management, styles of writing and good organisation as part of your dialogue and your environment.
You are the inspiration for the wider curriculum; provide experience and anecdotes; contribute to the broadening of minds; encourage participation in activities, trips and events; spark interests.
You are the role model for behaviour and the mature mind for pastoral development. Know the culture and be part of it; know the procedures and model them in spirit as well as in practice. Model and expect the highest standards of behaviour, respect, compassion and kindness.
If you do these things, you contribute to the development of a student who will be well educated and in the process succeed in many things – only one of which is great exam results.
Know and love your stuff
You are the lively mind.
You should be fluent. Make sure you have the background knowledge to make the lesson interesting and to be able to answer questions informatively. Make sure you understand the context of what you are teaching. Cultivate your knowledge so that you have relevant anecdotes about the subject and can generate some passion about it. Read.
Never teach someone else’s lesson plan – there’s no such thing. If you think about teaching it – it’s yours.
Be interested in pedagogy. Read, observe, listen, go to training.
Be interested in leadership.
Do it before you make them do it
You are the role model.
If you are expecting students to read or have read an article, extract or book, make sure you have done so first at least twice and know it back to front. Make sure you have read the prep articles and know where the prep pack fits the lesson. If you are expecting students to write an essay, write it first; the same goes for questions, activities, tasks – do them first so that you know the practical and intellectual battles the students will face.
Model the right behaviours and correct the behaviours of any adult in the room who fails to do so.
You are in the business of inspiration.
Show the students the best of what humankind can achieve; show them the standard which can be achieved by an expert; in persuasive writing show them speeches by Churchill and Martin Luther King, for example. Show them also the answer you have written; if you have some, show them various attempts by other students - both good and bad (anonymous.)
You are in the business of inspiration; do not teach about assessment objectives in key stage 3; do not structure lessons around acronyms, memory joggers or checklists or use them to construct answers (although they may be used to a limited extent in deconstruction of examples of work.)
Show them how; show exemplary board work, layout, spelling, structure etc.,
Keep the focus right
You are the leader.
Read and re-read the words of AC Benson in ‘The Schoolmaster.’
Maintain a balance so that the students are always with you. Read the class; notice their demeanour. Remember the psychology of Vygotsky on challenge and Dweck on Mindset.
Use humour, compassion, leadership. Use your expertise to keep students in the zone.
Remember that poor behaviour is more often than not a function of the environment you are creating; it may be caused by lack of clarity, access issues, boredom, lack of variety or inappropriate challenge. If you are beginning to get irritable then don’t be surprised if your leadership example rubs off.
Never allow poor behaviour to change the focus; fix it quickly or get someone to help fix it and refocus the mood. Remember that the behaviour you witness is the behaviour you accept. Get assistance quickly if class room behaviour is poor.
You are in the business of inspiration; of leadership – not of friendship or entertainment. You are not their friend or their entertainer; trust your subject; trust in the students’ desire and capacity to learn, trust in your purpose and your relationships.
Set the standard for preparation and scholarship
You are the mature mind.
Make sure you know the entry procedures; they are your best friend.
Be properly prepared – do not be giving things out or looking for things in front of students. Manage time – make sure you get the right balance of depth, understanding and fun rather than plough through tasks and points; focus on depth over coverage; usually less is more.
Model the right habits and importantly, model habit formation; model the fact that the right habits need practice and the wrong ones need eliminating. Be very aware of your body language.
Be very clear on expectations in tasks; give timings for example, give instructions on whether students are working on their own.
Decide when students can speak and when they cannot. Students cannot write and discuss at the same time. Idle conversation has no part in tasks – students talk about the task or don’t talk at all.
Set the tone for the do now and the quiz – it’s silence – model it.
Set the tone for introspective extended writing – it’s silence – model it.
Get results at the right standard of achievement
You are responsible for progress.
Always assume that students who have clarity of purpose, who are switched on and who have seen aspirational models, will surprise you – amaze you - in their capability and creativity. Set the beginning of the lesson at the standard of knowledge and understanding which would be reached by a good student who has done the prep effectively and mastered it. Do not backtrack and do not read prep materials or the studied novel (for example) in class. Do not go over the maths practice in class.
Aim for the aspirational and provide access support for specific individuals when necessary. Use the LSA; get into dialogue. Be aware that first there are fundamental skills and knowledge and then there is far more - but never dumb anything down.
There should be some disquisition; students should spend time in introspective extended writing.
Students should feel that they have put away some definite knowledge under lock and key; do some assessment; know what they know and what they don’t. Make sure basic knowledge is consolidated. The prep tests do this to some extent for you but also use questioning and mini-whiteboards. Keep an eye on the prep scores in your subject.
Make sure you understand and consolidate the academy approaches to building recall.
If you are asking students to read and extract information from texts, make sure you understand and consolidate the academy approaches to reading and extracting information from texts.
Be relentless on basic knowledge and skills; know who needs intervention and arrange it; specific, soon, little and often.
Never hold any student back – switched on is better than on spec.
You are the adult in the room. Keep trying to improve.
Be part of the culture
Culture is like the tide. It will persist and prevail. Know the tide and swim with it.
When you feel down, talk to people. Feed back to SLT and your SPL. Go home and do something else. Don’t sap other people’s energy; don’t gossip; only ever moan upwards.
Enjoy the students; they have one chance at an education and they have trusted it to you.