Sharing best practice in teaching should be integral to the role, after all teaching is a collaborative process - helping our colleagues and sharing what we know works can help not only our teaching practices, but our students’ results. Here are some of our ideas for sharing best practice in the classroom:
Social media and sharing best practice go hand in hand. Twitter is a hub of CPD opportunities and well renowned teachers sharing their tried and tested teaching techniques to help everyone grow as educators. Getting online is easy, it’s just knowing where to look - following the likes of TeacherToolkit and ICTMagic will open you up to an abundance of resources, guides and blog posts that you can use to your advantage, and following hashtags such as #SLTChat #TeacherChat, #UKEdChat and #EdtechChat you’ll be inspired and be able to easily transfer the ideas into your classroom.
Collaborate with Colleagues
The possibilities that social media opens up is vast and incredible, but sharing best practice in your school has just as many opportunities. Opening up a dialogue between you and your colleagues and sharing your successes and failures, can have a huge impact on your growth. If you’re a more senior member of the team you already have an abundance of experience that you can use to help NQTs and other staff which you could pass on through the use of collaborative workshops which shouldn’t be restricted to departments - it’s amazing how certain techniques can be applied to all subjects.
Creating a best practice ‘champion’ for each department could fuel this idea - try implementing a focus group of teachers from across the school body who take ideas from their team and share them with other teachers school-wide who can then cascade these lessons on to their departments. The effectiveness of new ideas could be evaluated by putting them into practice and over time, a bank of proven techniques and high-quality resources could be implemented school-wide, making it easier for new teachers coming into the school or profession.
Share your Ideas and ask for Feedback
Sometimes you don’t realise how good you are at certain aspects of your job, maybe because they seem like second nature to you or because you’ve never been told and don’t get enough feedback on what you’re doing. A great way to get feedback almost immediately is to share your ideas - this could be on a public scale like posting on social media such as Twitter or a Blog - this way you can get feedback from educators from around the globe and hear insights you may not have been exposed to before. It could also be a simple as running through an idea with a colleague and listening to their opinions.
Another way of sharing best practice and expertise is to observe lessons and have your teaching critiqued. The concept may seem intimidating, but being able to have peers review you in action, means they’d be able to offer more insight into your approach within the classroom. Similarly, observing a colleague will allow you to focus on how they command a classroom and enable you to pick up new ideas and approaches, but also provide them with valuable feedback that may not have been picked up on previously.
Create a Resources Hub
A simple yet highly effective way of sharing best practice is to create an internal resources hub within your school. We’ve found that giving our schools the ability to re-use homework previously set has meant that they’re far more inclined to use this feature and in turn increase the ease at which they share best practice. Although, if you’re not a Show My Homework user and don’t have access to the re-use feature or Community Resources, you can use Google Drive to upload resources and lesson plans which can be accessed by all members of the school.
These are just some of the ways you can start sharing your expertise within your school and within the wider teaching community. Sharing best practice is an invaluable technique which we should harness because when we work together, we are undeniably stronger.