Another dot in the blogosphere?

Problems with teaching tips

Posted on: July 25, 2019

When I read this tweeted teaching tip, I sniggered and shuddered.

When I was a student teacher I learnt about black and whiteboard tips and strategies. I became a part-time teacher educator just one year into my full-time teaching and passed on the same tips. But I did not share anything about shaking hips.

Most student and beginning teachers seem to appreciate practical advice from those more experienced than themselves. But there are issues with when and how they learn these tips:

  • Tips like the board-erasing one are as much about professionalism as they are about image. Some teachers focus on the latter instead of the former.
  • Young teachers learn such tips and strategies at the beginning of their careers or jobs. The learning is not continuous because there is no continuous professional development.
  • The tips and strategies are contextual, but teachers are not always taught when and why. The tips and strategies might not be relevant in other contexts or they cease to be relevant over time.

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