Best teaching advice

I thought it would be interesting to share the teaching advice that has always stayed with you.

Mine is something I was told in my NQT year and it absolutely saved me in the classroom, and I have kept it in mind in my tutoring too.

If you’re working harder than your student, you’re not doing it right.

I used to put so much energy into lessons that the kids would sit back and relax while I did all the work for them. When I was told this, something clicked and it has absolutely changed the way I teach in a way that really helps the students. Now my energy goes into planning, and during the lesson I focus on helping guide my students to figure things out themselves.

I was also told to mark books in sets of 5 so it doesn’t get overwhelming. Not as relevant now, as I am a full time tutor, but when I was in schools that one was a revelation!


Very wise advice ! Mine came from both of my teaching assistants.

1 Ring a tiny bell, which ,when heard, means that all students should stop and wave with both

2 Always remember to stop and smell the flowers :cherry_blossom: ( I was an NQT at the time and was always dashing about and never still. Now I’m in my 40’s I totally understand what she meant by this advice ! )

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Mine comes from experience and it is:

  1. Every student has the ability to understand anything, they just need the right teacher. If your student does not understand something that is not because they are incapable its just that you need to change your approach or possibly you are not the right teacher for them.

  2. Keep ensuring the student is following you by letting them explain what they understand from what you have just taught them don’t just assume silence or the nodding of the head is understanding


We used to do the hands raised thing in my old school, but the teacher just raised their hand rather than a bell. It’s brilliant! And I love the stop and smell the flowers :smiley: teaching can be so all consuming it can be hard to remember to take a pause!

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Yes! I sometimes tell students, when they are stressed, that it is my job to help them understand, so if they don’t it is on me to figure out how to make it clearer. It takes pressure off their shoulders a little, and makes them more likely to admit that they aren’t sure. Getting them to explain what they understand helps so much! It is something I really wish I had done more of in my earlier teaching years.

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I mean we are all students of life, so we are all learning and sometimes students can teach us more than we them :slight_smile: