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Is thinking of your own ideas a dying art in teaching today?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by sauvignonblanc, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. I am struck by the fact that there seem to be so many threads asking for help with lessons and activities . I regularly see student teachers who spend ages sitting in front of a computer searching for ready made lessons, whilst a fair few colleagues simply lift their lessons from a few well chosen sites. I know I do now use the internet to look for information and ideas.. BUT... I also spend a lot of time thinking, refining, adapting MY OWN IDEAS. I am beginning to think this is a dying art. I taught before the internet and it was surprisingly easy. Are we teaching new teachers the right skills?
  2. NQT2004

    NQT2004 New commenter

    I couldn't agree more. I am shocked by how many teachers are asking for lessons rather than thinking up ideas that are relevant for there class. I am also surprised by the job application requests and lesson ideas for interview lessons-don't they think that people who interview also look on here!

    I have thought this for a while but you put it more politely than I would have!
  3. This NQT uses the internet for help. She also mastered there, their and they're some years ago. Swings and roundabouts?
  4. Martin87

    Martin87 New commenter

    Teaching is about constant self evaluation and a willingness to be open to new ideas.
    The internet is a fantastic resource to provide support/inspiration/new ideas for your class. Though it is obviously dangerous to just lift a lesson plan from the internet without any refining I don't see anything wrong with seeking out new ideas or different approaches.
    TES is a superb platform for teachers to share things that have gone right/wrong and I regularly browse for ideas for my own class. This doesn't mean I don't plan from my own ideas however.
    Your post makes a sweeping generalisation. Have you ever considered that some student teachers are low on confidence and use the internet to gather ideas to benefit their children and ensure they are delivering the best practice they possibly can?
  5. NQT2004

    NQT2004 New commenter

    Teachers being low in confidence makes me question their training, the opener was asking a question that I really think needs discussed. I observed 10 teachers deliver an interview lesson and was concerned by how many of them really struggled to do the actual teaching, most of them had great resources but you could tell they didn't 'own' them. By that I don't mean that they hadn't created them but just didn't seem comfortable using them.

    I think in training the Internet and all schemes of work needs to be addressed, the Internet has changed teaching and how things are shared, this can be good or bad but it is an interesting discussion. It would be nice to talk rather than just slag other posters.

    Sorry to the poster offended by 'there rather than their' I am posting from iPhone which auto creates words- there are probably more mistakes in here- it's v frustrating!
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    *tries hard not to smirk!*

    I use the internet for ideas. I trained in what seems like another lifetime as a secondary maths teacher. My training was great for what I did then. However it isn't proving much help now as a year 2 classteacher! Sooo I ask for help on here and look about on the net. Not generally for whole lessons, but some ideas for activities.

    Confident? I used to be, but am less so these days. Posts suggesting I ought to know everything and have lots of my own ideas don't actually help much.
  7. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Maybe part of the problem is the time scale .Today,, we are constrained to get something done quickly....im my old days of learning, pre everything.....we had time to think through work..and ,although hard at times, to get an angle on an idea. We survived....we also did not have the problems of all our working being judged by Ofsted stds and ideas.We were in essence allowd to fial as we learnt.
    Young teachers want to be up and running ,teaching what they see is a good standard and so their deisre to choose what looks the best.........unfortunately, it does take time to learn the craft,just like any other job and the pressures of modern schools,often led by leadership, pressure is they want them perfect now.....not later.
    This does not excuse lack of personal consideration of the learning and tasks and the adaptation of material to suit the class they teach......but it does mean we need to recognise that they are expected to leap though the hoop perfect...rather than the bedraggled characters we sometimes where when we first started.
    I do get annoyed when a basic search will reveal some ideas......but im willing to help if i feel the person searching is genuine and really stuck..........just as i would in school if i felt a fellow teacher was struggling and needed/asked for help..

  8. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    What you don't have is the experience pre-forum days. During this time many (no not all) teachers taught straight out of a scheme. They just flipped over the page and taught the next lesson. At least the teachers on here are searching for things they need, I would presume because they actually want to deliver good lessons. They aren't asking hey I need to teach maths tomorrow, so what should I do. I do agree that people could search the forum and resource bank first though.
  9. I think some people have misunderstood my concern. Whilst I value greatly the amazing wealth of resources offered by the internet, by forums such as these and by individuals; when I am planning a lesson, I tend to think first about some key points.
    What do the children know already, what will I be teaching them, what's the most engaging way to do it and how will they and I know that they have learned it. Then if I need help I will seek it out.

    What I am seeing though is a large number of people who bypass that really important, ( I think) phase of thinking and leap straight into googling a best fit lesson. I watched a student deliver a lesson found on the internet designed for KS3 students to Year 3 simply because it came up in his search. He assumed that it fitted the learning intention and doled it out. Now obviously there are numerous very skilled, very resourceful teachers, old and new who would never have dreamed of delivering that sort of lesson. However, in my work supporting teachers across a wide spectrum of settings, I am seeing far more reliance on the googling and very little time given to thinking. That's my concern.
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I think there is a huge difference between sharing ideas here and downloading mass produced planning to use without a thought. Surely it's good to share ideas, knowledge and expertise.
  11. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    Was this student in your class?
  12. Sadly no. I wish he had been because then he might not have felt this was the best thing to do. I would have talked him through the lesson, given him some pointers and hopefully prepared him properly as well as telling him where to look for help if needed and how to discriminate between something valuable and dross. That's what I try and do with my teaching students, although it takes a lot of my time.
  13. I def agree with OP. The NQT I work with lifts all her resources off the net and then tries to fit planning around them. We constantly battle about this as we plan 50/50 (well in theory althoughI usually end up redoing most of hers!) Prob is that this is what they are used to- she is totally closed off to feedback to try to create the LO and then an activity to support that aimed at her children. She is in the IT age where google knows best. (Altho she may be an exception as she also seems to be under the impression that teaching is an 0830-430 job even as an NQT! But I digress)
    I remember doing my PGCE not that long ago and we were NOT allowed to use resources we had gotten off net more than once a week. We were told we would never again have the time to make so many resources and utilise our times. I hated it at the time as I was learning, found the PGCE very very hard and was so horrible seeing masses of great resources in my placement schools I couldnt use but was worth it in the end. Def something I think all unis should do
    Now creativity isnt creating something new but lifting others ideas
  14. NQT2004

    NQT2004 New commenter

    I totally agree with your comment about fitting in objectives round resources. I have seen that on a few occassions and it is clear that the teaching is really missing.
    I might be luck with where I work but I believe that people need to deliver lessons in their style. This is hard to explain but as teachers we are people who have interests and experiences. When people bring these with them and make lessons their own they are more successful.
    I am not saying that sharing ideas, resources and lessons is bad but I have also seen student teachers who go straight to these banks and try to make things fit.
    Can I also say I like how this thread has developed into a discussion because I think it is important to talk about how to help people to become better teachers but that doesn't always mean just giving them things.
  15. I think it is a very valid area for discussion. The move towards far more school based initial teacher training, the role of teaching schools and the increasing number of alternative pathways into teaching means that some NQTs have had less opportunity to mix with others, to develop their own ideas and to unpick the process of leading learning. I worry that unless schools, and ultimately over worked class teachers understand how important it is to explain the processes of lesson planning and the thinking that underpins really good teaching, then we will be doing new entrants to the profession a massive disservice. My work means I see a large number of student teachers, recently qualified teachers and young teachers at work. Whilst some are extremely adept at effective lesson planning and teach super lessons, I do see a scary amount of poor quality teaching which doesn't build on previous learning, doesn't meet children's needs and doesn't challenge and engage. Often when I unpick this with them, it is because they do not understand the need to think the learning journey through .
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    and we all recall the pleas for a certain book because people had decided to use the lesson plans without a thought
  17. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Sometimes I despair over trainees who think creative lessons is them being hugely creative all weekend in order to deliver a lesson where children basically follow a set of instructions. In some ways I'd rather they lift a lesson from the net that allows the children in the class to be creative.

    A bit of balance is good.
  18. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    And we all recall wishing we had it in order to sell it for a ridiculous amount of money on ebay or Amazon!
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    good thinking lets buy in bulk for this year [​IMG]
  20. I have 20 copies ready...

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