Date: September 15, 2022

It's how you teach it

In the nineties, there was a very successful TV ad here in the UK that most Brits still remember.

The idea was very simple. Just a short series of clips with famous people in various settings speaking one name to camera:

For John Cleese it was “Geoffrey Bartlett”.

For Anita Roddick it was “Betty Springham”.

For Bob Hoskins it was “Dai Jones”.

For Tony Blair it was “Eric Anderson”.

It all ended on a slide which simply read:

“No-one forgets a good teacher.”

The ad was paid for by the Teacher Training Agency and was designed to get more graduates into teaching as a job.

My two favourite teachers from school were Mr Sly and Mrs Brown.

Mr Sly was a fun and rather intense maths teacher who lived and breathed his subject.

In our very first class he said: “There’s only one word I will not tolerate in this classroom. It’s four letters long and begins with an ‘F’. FAIL.”

Mrs Brown was a sardonic, no-nonsense chemistry teacher who somehow managed to get the best out of everyone, even those who hated science.

If someone wasn’t paying attention, she’d slip off her shoe and throw it in their direction. She was deadly accurate too!

Those teachers weren’t memorable because of what they taught, but how they taught it. One with passion, the other with attitude.

It was the same material that tens of thousands of teachers were teaching all over the country. But they made it their own.

Chances are, whatever you future course will cover, you won’t be the only person teaching that topic.

So how will you make it your own?

Optional exercise: Write down three adjectives to describe your teaching style that combine to make it distinctive.

(My own target style is: hype-free, fun-filled and bite-sized.)

See you soon,

Glen

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