Today a blog post by the marvellous David Didau (@LearningSpy) entitled ‘Icebergs, taking risks and being outstanding‘ inspired me to think more about how we can demystify ‘outstanding’ and support more teachers with achieving it, more of the time! We have a professional obligation, following a lesson observation (or maybe during an IRIS observation review), to support teacher reflection and give good quality feedback – with a view to either moving towards or consolidating outstanding.
The following, simple table might support such reflection:
The left hand side encourages teachers to reflect on the key features of outstanding teaching. Specific teaching strategies are not mentioned – teachers need to consider what they can do to embed these features into their practice e.g. how can they demonstrate high expectations throughout the lesson? How will effective feedback be given throughout the lesson – from the teacher, self or peers? What strategies will enable all students to access the learning and feel success? How will questioning be used to effectively assess the progress of all?
The right hand side points them towards what we would expect of our students, in an outstanding lesson. If these are missing, what could the teacher be doing to promote them? They will of course, be very closely linked to, and often a result of, the strategies on the left.
A useful starting point for self reflection or a coaching conversation with a colleague maybe?