A-Level students - what makes a good teacher?

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Airfairy
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#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#1
Sooo even though it only feels like yesterday that I was sitting my A-Levels, I'll be starting my first teaching job in September teaching A-Level Politics and Sociology. The beauty of A-Level teaching is that when you are 16, 17 or 18 years old, you are all old enough for the student-teacher relationship to be more mature and mutual. I don't have as much experience teaching post-16, so I am curious to hear from you.

What do you want from a teacher? Were/are there any specific things that irritated you about some teachers; ie, are there any 'do nots' that you can give me? Think about your favourite teacher - what made them your favourite? etc, etc.
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prophetkid
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#2
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#2
(Original post by Airfairy)
Sooo even though it only feels like yesterday that I was sitting my A-Levels, I'll be starting my first teaching job in September teaching A-Level Politics and Sociology. The beauty of A-Level teaching is that when you are 16, 17 or 18 years old, you are all old enough for the student-teacher relationship to be more mature and mutual. I don't have as much experience teaching post-16, so I am curious to hear from you.

What do you want from a teacher? Were/are there any specific things that irritated you about some teachers; ie, are there any 'do nots' that you can give me? Think about your favourite teacher - what made them your favourite? etc, etc.
Give them the independence when it comes to summer revision time. Give them the option to revise how they want, but be there to offer support/mini classes for difficult topics for those that want them.
Also throw out a lot of practice essays/tests. We hate them but they sure did help me learn content a lot earlier.
My psychology teacher was the worst and simply read from a massive booklet of studies/theories, at the slowest pace possible. We got games of bingo, plasticine making activities and so many childish things. We're 16-18, not 6-8 so please make sure you tailor classes to the age group. Don't be like my psychology teacher!
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claireestelle
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Airfairy)
Sooo even though it only feels like yesterday that I was sitting my A-Levels, I'll be starting my first teaching job in September teaching A-Level Politics and Sociology. The beauty of A-Level teaching is that when you are 16, 17 or 18 years old, you are all old enough for the student-teacher relationship to be more mature and mutual. I don't have as much experience teaching post-16, so I am curious to hear from you.

What do you want from a teacher? Were/are there any specific things that irritated you about some teachers; ie, are there any 'do nots' that you can give me? Think about your favourite teacher - what made them your favourite? etc, etc.
Not doing a levels anymore but i would say don't dictate notes too much, as a dyspraxic person i learnt next to nothing in biology lessons from this.
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mollyxrose
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#4
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#4
Focus each of your lessons on a syllabus point. That way, you'll be able to get through the course and there would be absolutely no reason for any student to claim they "didn't cover that" if they got a tricky exam question since you covered 100% of the syllabus.
Also, let practice exam questions and practice papers be your best friend. My favourite teachers are those that teach a section of the syllabus, then give you exam questions relating only to that topic so that you can practice applying what you just learnt.
One thing I really hated this year was my teachers getting us to self-teach some of the course as they ran out of time towards the end of the year. I have no qualms with independent learning, but I much prefer to be taught and then reinforce my knowledge at home. So, whatever your teaching method, try and finish the course within lesson time!
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Zoelingua
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#5
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#5
Aside from the actual delivery of the content/course, try to take an interest in them as individuals. Building a good working relationship is really helpful and beneficial for you as a teacher and for your students. It makes your job a little easier as you can 'have a laugh' with them whilst they get the work done.

Don't get your students to copy pages of notes from a textbook in lesson time... As someone who did that for the past 2 years in sociology, your students will hate you for it! And I personally find it defeats the use of having a textbook, I prefer to use mine only when I'm revising.

Make the lessons interactive. One of the only things I actually liked that my sociology teacher did was having us sit in groups and plan answers to essay questions, then having use present them to the class. It got everyone talking, and it helps to build their confidence in speaking in front of large groups and of the content of the course.

If possible, let your students have access to all the powerpoints you give in the lessons. The people that write quite slowly will thank you, as will those that want to revise from them in their own time.

Don't ignore the quiet kids. For me, one of the most frustrating things about my old sociology lessons was my teacher used to have about 5 'favourite' kids that she would always pick to answer questions as they were the loud ones that she got on best with. The vast majority of the time, I could have answered the questions that she asked them, but I never would have been picked as I 'don't stand out'. So don't forget to keep everyone involved

As for things my favourite teachers do... Be approachable. Make time to help students that are stuggling with their work (there will be some) as they're often the ones that want to succeed the most. Don't make all the lessons too content heavy; allow some time for general debates about stuff that is relevant to the course. Show your passion for your subject through creating really good lessons/resources, but don't be afraid to 'go with the flow' if what you plan doesn't go accordingly. When you receive homework/essays, return them within a reasonable timeframe. Nothing annoyed me more than waiting 3 weeks to get an essay that wasn't even that long...
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