OTI Primary Update

September 2015

Welcome Back!

This edition is all about 'starting with the end in mind' and 'planning backwards'. How do you lay the foundations and train your class to be the class you would inherit next September? There are 4 by 4's on inducting new classes, setting high expectations, building rapport with the learners and developing a Growth Mindset within your classroom.

There are also examples of how teachers we have worked with have taken these ideas and implemented them into the classroom.

If you have any examples you would like to share, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

New beginnings

From experience, many teachers know the usefulness of inducting their new class. Some of the suggestions above help teachers to learn about their class, others are about setting the tone for the effort or standard you expect from learners.


Building Rapport

September sees the start of the school year. It can be a disconcerting time for learners as well as teachers. For learners, there are new teachers to get used to. For us as teachers, it can be a time when we are kept awake at night trying to remember how to teach and worrying about whether the class will listen to us! As it turns out, these annual fears are groundless. Yet it is a crucial time to establish productive norms and build rapport with learners. Planning backwards from the class of your dreams. A class that you have an excellent working relationship with. A class who will work much harder for you because they see you as someone who can help them on their learning journey.


High Expectations

The most effective teachers we have worked with have high expectations. Often much higher than their colleagues down the corridor. Not only that, they communicate these expectations clearly to their classes. These are teachers for whom learners try much harder and perform at higher levels. Those teachers who have high expectations but who fail to de-mystify them often find themselves frustrated that their classes fail to reach the level they want. Our latest 4by4 provides four ways to help teachers build higher expectations.


Building Growth Mindsets

Learners with a fixed mindset wants to ‘look smart’ even if it means not learning a thing in the process. For them, each task is a challenge to their self-image, and each setback becomes a personal threat. So they avoid the sorts of experiences necessary to grow and flourish in any endeavour. By contrast, learners with a growth mindset take necessary risks and regard mistakes as a chance to learn.