From the editor
Have you had a look at this microsite on the NCETM portal? When I read some of the introductory blurb, which asked: "How often have you finished a lesson with a class and been burning to tell someone about an incident that had occurred?" I was intrigued to hear what people were going to say about their lessons – and I wasn’t disappointed!
The microsite allows 19 practitioners from Early Years, Primary and Secondary to record their thoughts as they leave the classroom. There is also a thread in the Maths Café where you can respond to these audio clips.
The first clip I listened to (Actively preventing learning) was from Jill Mansergh talking about how two of her students had helped each other to solve a problem and how she felt about not being the only person in the classroom who can provide all the answers. That struck a chord with me and inspired me to listen to a few more of the sound bites.
Some of my favourites from secondary classrooms were:
Once the novelty had worn off, and I had listened to several clips, I wondered how useful this material would be - there is also a part of the site which gives some suggestions for how you might use this material. There is nothing like falling out of your classroom into the company of supportive colleagues and having those ‘you’ll never guess what’s just happened’ conversations. This site gives me the opportunity to listen to people that I don’t know, in different school settings, talking about what has just happened to them and will inevitably broaden the range of anecdotes and the thoughts that they provoke.
If I’m honest, there are times at school when it is very easy to talk about the personalities in the classrooms – after all, it is our excellent relationships with pupils that create a good climate for learning in the classroom. By listening to these clips, I was not distracted by individual pupils and was not able to make the ‘Is that Fred’s sister? She would say that!’ comments. Instead, it allowed me some distance to consider the anecdotes, decide if there was a more general point that I could extract from them, and see how they might give me an added insight into pupil learning.
What do you think about the audio clips? Why not tell us how you have used them?