Matt Auger, Head Teacher, Morecambe Community High School
I have read far too many books or articles about teaching that are completely grounded in theory; written by people who have diligently researched the theory but not led it from the position where it really matters, the position of head teacher. John Tomsett manages to marry together the theory and the reality of leading an agenda to improve teaching. Furthermore, he shows a deep understanding of people and teachers. It is fact this that makes the book so innovative: in an era where we are bombarded with meta-studies, theories, research, exemplar schools and anecdotes, John has made improving teaching simple.

Defining -˜good teaching' in our profession has been something that has become almost a bit of a holy grail over the past 15 years. There have also been significant changes, some for good and some for ill. We focused on what a good lesson should look like, now (thankfully) we talk about good teaching over time. John's book sets out the process of how we go about defining good teaching in a way that ensures buy-in from all those who are engaged. It is clear, simple and sensible, and firmly moves people away from a tick-box approach to teaching. In fact, it makes the idea of good teaching simple; are students making progress? Are they learning?
John's book re-enforces that teachers are human beings. They have good days and bad days, they have internal struggles, they experience success, failure, frustration and all of this is ok; it is normal in fact! This reassurance on a day-to-day basis from someone who has been on the journey for a number of years longer than we have offers a sense of security in all that we are doing.
One of the greatest assets of the book is that it points you in so many different directions to research or examples that have led to improvement. The blog that John writes also keeps the book alive; a recent blog post on metacognition is an example of this. The manner within which it is written also draws people in; there is a sense of trust or empathy that starts to develop as you read.
Guest | 20/01/2016 00:00
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