11. The first part of the lesson Perspective 3 (Matthew)









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It is important that pupils understand the objectives of the lesson and the behaviour needed for learning to take place. Teachers who communicate this clearly and confidently at the start of the lesson use a range of skills that establish an authoritative 'presence', including signals for gaining the attention of the class, clear verbal and non-verbal communication, and effective use of language to explain and question. When the start of the lesson lacks clarity and structure, teachers can lose teaching and learning time by having to repeat instructions and respond to pupils' requests for clarification.




  • How does Kath communicate the key 'maths' points that she needs pupils to understand and follow? Identify in specific terms the maths teaching points that Kath is trying to convey.
  • Kath feels strongly that everyone in the class should understand ' the big picture.' What do you think she means by this? How do you think she achieves it?
  • Within your department how does the teaching team ensure that pupils across the department are clear about the 'big picture' and that a consistent approach is applied. In your practice, how do you ensure that pupils who have been absent or missed learning for any reason feel included in the lesson?
  • Kath seems to find it quite difficult to gain and sustain the attention of the whole class. This can be a common issue for many new or inexperienced teachers. From observations of staff in your school, what are the most effective ways successful teachers gain and sustain the attention of the class? Describe and discuss these with a colleague. How might you include any of these
  • What do you think are the main characteristics of an assertive teacher? What skills do you think Kath needs to learn? What do you consider to be the most effective ways she could develop these skills? For example: - observation of effective practitioners - coaching partnerships - in-service training and self study - lead Behaviour Professional Support - peer Coaching - team teaching Explain the reasons for your choices. What is the most effective CPD relating to behaviour for learning that you have experienced?
  • When Kath inadvertently placed her overhead slide upside-down, what was the reaction of 8PT? What does this tell you about the relationship she has with the group? What factors contribute to Kath feeling so 'flustered' in this part of the lesson? If you have ever experienced this feeling in your teaching career: - What helped you to manage the situation? - What advice could you offer Kath?
  • How could stated expectation of behaviour required together with clear routines have helped Kath to establish a more productive atmosphere in the first part of the lesson?
    How does Kath deal with interruptions in this part of the lesson? What do you feel she does well? What are the key mistakes she might be making? Why do pupils seem to find it difficult to follow her instructions?
  • When Kath notices that she does not seem to have the attention of the class, she decided to redirect them into the whiteboard task. What would you have done in this situation? Put yourself in the shoes of a member of 8PT who is sitting towards the back of the classroom- what are you thinking? feeling? doing?
  • What are your thoughts about the 'image' Kath is presenting to 8PT? (Consider her posture, with-it-ness, facial expressions, tone of voice and handbag!) What do you think is getting in the way of Kath's lesson planning being effectively delivered? Linda Philipson, the behaviour and attendance consultant thinks she makes 'reactive responses' which throw her lesson off course. Would you agree with this? If yes, describe an example to a colleague and discuss how Kath could be more proactive.
  • Describe Kath's strengths, how might she build on these strengths to develop more confidence and clarify both her pastoral and 'maths teacher' roles?
  • On a scale of 1-10 (1 low, 10 high) how would you rate the following for Kath: - confidence - maths teaching - planning and organisational skills - presence in the classroom - relationships with the class, individual pupils and colleagues (add other areas) - motivation and engagement of pupils - overall effectiveness in terms of pupils' learning What would need to happen for her to move one point up the scale in each of these areas?





Authoritative, Verbal Communication, Non-Verbal Communication,

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