Teaching Craft  

The Legacy of Michael Marland 

As teaching still fights over whether to define itself as an art or a science, there is little doubt that it effectively exists as a craft. The act of managing young people (or learners of any type) is one that improves with practice and time. Michael Marland’s seminal 1970s book ‘The Craft of the Classroom’ is still the best book of its type – a guide for the management of both people and resources in realm of a school.

This section has a more internal focus, though. The teaching of literature requires craft that affect the inner-lives of learners, with all the clumsy messiness that such judgement necessarily entails.  

Lesson Planning

Schools can range widely on lesson planning, from demanding every teacher deliver a PowerPoint in uniform fashion at the same time to the long-term direction being left to the discretion of each teacher. The best planning synthesises both approaches with firm timeframes in place that allow responsive lesson planning that can adjust in accordance with the rhythm of the learners. Here you can find examples of my lesson planning and how it has changed. 

Time Management

Frankly the most undertaught skill in school, time management is especially needed in a job where teacher lack control of the rhythms of their day  Here you will see apps and thought on how to manage time efficiency and wisely, and (ideally) through a varied, responsive philosophy. 

Technology and Education

Many forces influence the use of technology in education. Not all of them have learning at the heart. Here you will read current (and past) best practice on integrating technology in the classroom, with frank reviews on what might work well. 

Marking and Feedback

For teachers of English and literature, marking can be a bane if not implemented wisely. Geoff Barton, current head of the Teacher’s College, said that English teachers need to mark for ten hours a week on average. Techniques to make marking more responsive, interesting and worthwhile are discussed here. 

Like What You See?