‘What matters most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least’
Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Highly effective school leaders prioritise what most improves school culture and teaching.
How well do American books about teaching transfer across the Atlantic here in England? Before I started teaching, I read Doug Lemov’s Teach Like A Champion. I got a lot out of it. Its practical micro-techniques such as Cold Call, Do Now, and Check for Understanding were very helpful as a new teacher. My Head of Department had read it, and warned me that some of the techniques may have worked in America, but wouldn’t work here. She was particularly sceptical of techniques like Do It Again, the idea of repeating transition routines until they were perfect and until they minimised wasted time: English kids, apparently, wouldn’t put up with that. If I had to retitle it…
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