Leading by example

As a faculty head, I think it’s really important to teach across a range of year levels and subjects. It can be hard to staff difficult or low-level classes. No one wants to teach the troubled class or the class with 95% of students in an IEP. But if you want other teachers to take on these classes, you’ve got to lead by example and be willing to take them yourself. You’ll have empathy for your staff on the ground, a broad understanding of the diverse student cohort, show you’re not scared of the ‘dead-end’ subjects and challenge every teaching strategy you had to make you a much more flexible, compassionate, and skilled teacher.

I don’t think high level subjects are difficult to teach – the students are often self motivated, only need to hear content once, will teach themselves, aren’t behavioural issues. Teachers are mostly superfluous for these students. Low level subjects are difficult to teach – you need to be creative and teach in different ways. Students are often poorly behaved. So the best teachers shouldn’t be going to the ‘easy’ classes. They should go where the teaching is difficult and chance of most impact is highest. And maybe don’t give remedial subjects to the first year out teacher.

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