The education market is swamped with books claiming to be helpful and suitable for experienced and new teachers, as well as middle managers and senior leaders. When you take a closer look they cannot keep these promises. Here is a book that really works for all levels and keeps this promise.
Ticked Off takes its approach from Atul Gawande's The Checklist Manifesto, which demonstrates how checklists help to improve standards and avoid errors. Following examples from the fields of science and medicine, Harry Fletcher-Wood shows how aspects of teaching and organisation can be managed more easily by using checklists.
The book's structure makes it easy to read from the beginning to the end, to dip in and out of sections or to look up specific examples. Checklists are presented with examples with food for thought and ideas of how these can be adapted to suit individual purposes. Whilst there are some checklists that may look like they are superfluous, they are actually not. For example, most teachers and schools have got lesson plan pro formas to use, so they would not need a checklist as such. However, in higher education this could be a great resource for those that start seminar teaching and have not had teacher training.
Teacher trainers will find this book an invaluable resource for the trainees in their charge. Whilst focusing on so many aspects of teaching, trainees may forget the obvious and experienced staff would probably not remind them of routines they carry out automatically, possibly even subconsciously. In addition to helping with aspects of work and time-management, Harry Fletcher-Wood does not forget teachers' well-being and introduces checklists to ensure better work-life balance. The final pages in the book demonstrate how teachers can create their own checklists and thereby appreciate the deeper thoughts going into what they do.
Irrespective of the ultimate complexity of the task on hand, a checklist simplifies the task by breaking it down into manageable entities. The real beauty of this book is that the checklists are easy to use and can be adapted for all aspects of teaching and working within education, from nursery and primary school levels through to higher education. All education practitioners will find practical resources to improve their own practice, to lead and train others, to introduce and implement sustainable changes, to deal with difficult conversations, to lead meetings effectively, to gauge student voice and feedback and to involve students by making them responsible for their own learning.
Ticked Off is a great book offering an interesting and practical approach to time management. Having read this book I am now implementing checklists in my own work. If you only have time to read one education book this year, make sure it is this one because this is a fantastic resource.