Think Before You Teach

Questions to challenge why and how you want to teach

By: Martin Illingworth


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Size: 214 x 140mm

Pages : 192

ISBN : 9781781352281

Format: Paperback

Published: May 2015


When was the last time you took a moment to pause and really think about your teaching?

Think Before You Teach is purposefully full of questions: the openings of discussions to have, first with yourself and then, maybe later, with your colleagues. It doesn’t promise all the answers. And it doesn’t tell you what to teach. But it will ask you to think about why you want to teach and how you are going to teach. Arrive at school in the morning armed with a clear sense of why you are there and how you will have an impact on the hopes of your students. Regardless of government policies or school initiatives you remain the most important factor in the learning of your students. The students know it and they are looking to you for a lead. You are the key resource in the room; thinking about how to employ this resource is vital. Take a moment and give yourself that time and space to think.

Teachers think about a lot on a daily basis: the curriculum, classroom practice, assessment, tests and exams, data, lesson planning etc. They think about Ofsted and policy and pressure. There are also the big things to think about. In a changing world what is our purpose as educators? Technology and the internet have changed the knowledge/skills debate. How do we equip digital natives for the future? What is your personal philosophy? To tackle these questions, teachers need hope, humour, imagination and motivation: Martin offers this in scores.

For anybody thinking of entering the teaching profession, student teachers, teacher trainers, NQTs and teachers of all levels of experience. The book explores the various teacher training routes – School Direct, Teach First, PGCE – and the questions teachers should be asking about the path they have taken and their continuing professional development (CPD) needs. By raising questions about pedagogy, good practice, values and responsibilities, to name but a few, Martin encourages all teachers to become reflective practitioners and rediscover their passion.


Picture for author Martin Illingworth

Martin Illingworth

An English specialist with over twenty years' teaching experience, Martin Illingworth is a senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University with responsibility for English and drama PGCE. As an Independent Thinking Associate he has delivered keynote speeches and workshops across the UK, and has also worked internationally ' undertaking research in Cairo, Egypt, and at the University of Toronto in Canada.


Reviews

  1. Martin Illingworth has compiled an easily read text which explores key issues for the reader on why you want to teach and how are you going to teach? The section addressing -˜will your lesson be worth coming to?' is extremely thought-provoking and should be read by all staff. Illingworth discusses a wide range of strategies to promote opportunities for learners to be active participants and reflective learners, who are keen to go past the obvious and think independently. Illingworth is refreshing in his style and pulls no punches as he discusses issues such as the -˜no-brainer academy' and the fine art of telling kids off. This is an outstanding book which will support and challenge all trainee teachers, those already in post and, more importantly, school management teams and governors on how to be positive agents of change and exert influence within a school for the benefit of learners.
  2. As a teacher, it is easy to go throughout a school year in -˜auto-pilot' mode: following the same routines of teaching and school-life; following the same curriculum over and over again; filling out forms; completing assessments; compiling reports-¦.when does it every conclude? It is difficult to stop and ask why you want to teach and how you are teaching.

    In his new book, Martin Illingworth points out that there are a queue of line managers in schools (the folk that say they are learning to walk!) busy telling you what to do, but there are far fewer asking you to think about why you teach! -˜Think Before You Teach' is purposefully full of questions: the openings of discussions to have, first with yourself and then, maybe later, with your colleagues. It doesn't promise all the answers. And it doesn't tell you what to teach. But it will ask you to think about why you want to teach and how you are going to teach.

    Although the title implies that this book is aimed at those thinking about entering the profession, it is actually suited for NQTs as well as established practitioners who may wish to stop and evaluate their own practice, primarily for the benefit of their pupils. The book is strewed with valuable stories, antidotes and recommendations.To tackle the tough day to day questions that teachers raise Martin offers hope, humour, imagination and motivation throughout.

    For anybody thinking of entering the teaching profession, student teachers, teacher trainers, NQTs and teachers of all levels of experience. The book explores the various teacher training routes School Direct, Teach First, PGCE and the questions teachers should be asking about the path they have taken and their continuing professional development (CPD) needs. By raising questions about pedagogy, good practice, values and responsibilities, to name but a few, Martin encourages all teachers to become reflective practitioners and rediscover their passion.



    Read the original review here: http://ukedchat.com/2015/08/08/ukedmag-book-shelf-by-martinillingwor-think-before-you-teach-questions-to-challenge-why-and-how-you-want-to-teach/
  3. All teachers should be asked some of the questions Martin Illingworth poses as they start each year. These questions help us to see beyond the data, the curriculum and Ofsted.

    Every teacher, not just those in ITT and NQTs should use this book to remind themselves of why they want to teach, to see beyond the curriculum and inject some creativity that engages and inspires. The key question the book raised for me is are my lessons ones that I would engage with if I was a student? If the answer is no there has to be change.

    The book highlights the need for teachers to see the students beyond the data. To recognise the flexible, developing, intelligent minds of individual students, rather than a levelled object, is crucial if teachers are to impact and engage. This book puts students at the heart of teaching. We should know our students not their levels. Teaching is becoming a mix of simplified acronyms. It's refreshing to read that teaching is and should be complex.
    For any teacher, whether they are in year one or year 20, this book explores what we should want to teach not what we should have to.
  4. I have just finished Martin Illingworth's excellent -˜Think Before You Teach'. If you are in education or thinking of entering it then IT IS A MUST READ! As a teacher it has made me want to return to school on Monday morning and tear down those metaphorical curtains and let the light in, release the data-monkey back in the wild and teach without fear. It has made me realise that English education needs fundamental change, that I want to be part of that change and I want that process to start now! Martin's book is warm and funny, yet it's also a very poignant assessment of the chaos that is the current English education system with Ofsted, academies, data, teaching training amongst many others coming under Martin's very clear, critical eye. He hones in on the highly politicised decisions that have taken education away from teaching and learning (surely its core purpose) in the shape of marketization, privatisation and caustic competition that has left English education on the verge of collapse. Martin is the type of educator that the profession needs more than ever yet people like him are sadly becoming rarer and rarer due to the atomisation of schools, ill-conceived teacher-training, the formulaic and restrictive nature of what constitutes -˜good teaching' and the fact that many good teachers are leaving the profession. This is a call to arms and Martin is at the forefront of the movement, for the sake of education join him.
  5. This book provides a different way of viewing the act of teaching: thinking. All teachers will understand that teaching is learning; learning is thinking. 'Think Before You Teach' is a must for the profession.

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