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Magazine Issue 99: Effective Teaching Part 2 relationships
September 2018

This month: Thoughts about Relationships within the classroom. New resources covering the topics of Pace in Lessons & Effective Communication.

Article: Effective Teaching Part 2 Relationships
New Resources: Around Pace in the Classroom & Effective Communication
Additional Resources: Previous articles for September about New Classes, Fresh Starts, New Begininngs
Premium Resources: Related to Community & Relationships

This Month's Article:

Effective Teaching - Relationships

Effective Teaching - Relationships An Article looking at an essential feature of effective learning: Relationships with and between your pupils.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Teaching & Learning, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Relationships Emotional Intelligence

You've Been There, Right?

Teachers - here are three classroom experiences that I truly hope you've had:

  1. The absolute-rock-bottom-I-have-nothing-left-in-my-toolkit-horror of being in front of a class as control slowly and surely slips from your fingers.
  2. The absolute ecstatic joy of finding the class fully engaged with the task you set them when you return from a 10-minute trip to the photocopier.
  3. The heartwarming, yet sometimes funny feeling of being called 'mum', 'dad', or even 'nan' by one of your pupils.

Or all of them. And why do I wish this (and other similar feelings) upon you? Because they'll help us to think about effective learning relationships.

Horror, Joy & Humour

You really know the value of classroom relationships when they fall apart (see 1. above). I once had a Year 4 class. Tough kids; poor, wily, wiry, streetwise, emotionally honest and very big-hearted. But I didn't see it. I didn't spend time getting to know them - really getting to know them - as individuals or as a group.  The pressure was on for results; the focus on delivering content not developing connections. And so they slipped through my fingers. I tried valiantly to teach them how to spell instead of first teaching them how to care.

With my other classes I did take the time (see 2. above). Trust was there; mutual respect too, and a clear understanding of boundaries. We could do more and achieve more. When I left the room the children kept learning; they stayed on task. And from time to time they would make the slip of calling me 'mum'. (I did once dress up as Widow Twanky for panto day but that is another story. With photos.)

Take the Time

Quality learning relationships underpin quality teaching and learning. But building them takes time - time which gets pinched by packed curricula and a relentless drive for publicly endorsed results. What if we took the time to get to know our pupils and helped them get to know each other? Do you think time invested like this would actually lead to more effective learning and better results? I believe it does. I know it does. It's implicit in respected educational research. Relationships built well, build better learning. So how, with the future in our hands, should we develop quality learning relationships with, and between, our pupils; and with/between our colleagues?

Quality Relationships

An ongoing process for starting, developing and sustaining relationships: 

  1. Get to know yourself;
  2. Get to know the other person;
  3. Communicate well; and
  4. Troubleshoot when needed.

And some suggestions for getting started: 

  1. Know yourself. List three words that describe you; three things you like and three things you've learned in the last week.
  2. Know the other person. Find out three words that describe them; three things they like and three things they've learned in the last week.
  3. Communicate well. Share the above. Listen. Only think about what you are going to say next once the other person has finished speaking.
  4. Troubleshoot. When relationships break down it's usually trust or communication in the spotlight. If things go wrong, seek help, own up, be honest, forgive, apologise, move on, learn.

So next time you feel rock-bottom-horror; ecstatic joy; heartwarming humour or any other feeling that's linked to your educational relationships, ask yourself: What is this telling me about the quality of those relationships? How effective are they? What might I need to stop doing, start doing or simply continue doing to make them the best they can be?

New Resources:


Pace A Thinking Skills Tool for evaluating and improving the concept of 'pace' in teaching.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Professional Development, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Pace Professional Learning CPD
Free Standard Member Resource: Login or Join for Free to access this resource and others.

Pace PowerPoint

Pace PowerPoint A Thinking Tool Template in PowerPoint to help you share Pace in your class and school.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Professional Development, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Pace Professional Learning CPD
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Communication Think Sheet

Communication Think Sheet A Think Sheet about effective and efficient communication.

Categories: Think Sheet, Skills-Based Learning, Any Subject, All Ages

Tags: Communication Relationships Speaking & Listening
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

Old Articles & Resources based around the New School year

New Year, New Classess

New Year, New Classess An Article including a simple checklist to help you prepare more effectively for starting work with new classes and new groups.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Transition, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Transition New Year

Fresh Start - New Year

Fresh Start - New Year An Article full of inspiration as you begin a new academic year or school term.

From the end spring new beginnings.
Pliny the Elder

Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings. 
Muriel Rukeyser

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Transition, Educators, Any Subject

Tags: Inspiration Induction New Year

Tips for a Fresh Start

Tips for a Fresh Start

Teaching Tips for a Successful Fresh Start. Three simple ideas: Affirmation; RPM; 1-Line Diary.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Teaching Tips, Transition, Educators, Any Subject

Tags: Induction New Year

Other Resources covering Community & Relationships, all important at the start of the year.

4 Community Building Games

4 Community Building Games Easy-to-run Whole Class Games with the purpose of building learning relationships and an effective classroom ethos. 4 games with basic instructions.

Categories: Other Resources, Skills-Based Learning, PSHE, Junior, Secondary, Tertiary, Educators

Tags: Collaboration Community Games
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Relationships Think Sheet

Relationships Think Sheet A Think Sheet for developing the basic skills of finding our how things relate to each other.

Categories: Think Sheet, Visual Thinking, Thinking Skills, Geography, Secondary

Tags: Connections Relationships
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Values Think Sheet - Community

Values Think Sheet - Community A Think Sheet combining levels of challenge with a deeper understanding of 'community'.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, PSHE, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Communication Challenge
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.


Flow: The Psychology of Happiness
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow: The Psychology of Happiness <br> by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (2002) tells us that when skill exceeds challenge we get bored but if the task is too hard for our current skill level then frustration sets in. When skill and challenge start to match up we are well on our way to the state he calls 'flow'. Flow has 8 more features on top of the challenge-skill balance.

Available from Amazon

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Categories: Suggested Books

Tags: Flow Happiness Challenge Skill


Community Building Games

Community Building Games Many straightforward community building games.

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Categories: Websites, Transition

Tags: Collaboration Community Games

Next month we think about Positive Education.