'Championing the rights of children'

Continuous professional development: teachers teaching teachers

Garry Thu 20 Feb 2014 08:58

Assistant vice principal, Peter Lee, explains how he spiced up best practice exchanges in his school by asking different departments teach each other a lesson.

Teach Off is a continuous professional development (CPD) activity that we developed where departments compete to teach each other for half an hour after school.

The idea for Teach Off came from various discussions with colleagues about the need to freshen up how we were sharing best practice. Like a lot of schools, we used to run a sharing session at briefing on a Monday morning which lasted between five and 10 minutes. We've also held our own TeachMeets and encouraged departments to devote time to showcasing strategies in their meeting time.

But this academic year we recognised the need to use this time more productively and moved towards a flexible meeting time on a Monday after the students leave for the day. We then came up with the idea to give departments 30 minutes to teach a model lesson or a series of strategies they use in their curriculum area. It marked a real step away from our traditional model of sharing and then, while watching the draw for the FA Cup on television in December, we came up with the idea of pairing departments against each other.

Although as part of our quality assurance programme we try to give staff the opportunity to visit colleagues in other curriculum areas, it's still much too rare that teachers get the chance to see what is actually going on in a different subject area. The ability to celebrate, learn from and see other subject disciplines in action seemed something staff would buy into and really enjoy.

Read more... (The Guardian - 20 February)