Make Your Lesson Go With A Bang

A few year ago when I was heading up our school’s learning and teaching policy group, we were trying to capture the basic requirements for effective learning and teaching. Checklists were flavour of the month so naturally our policy was full of checklists. However, I wondered whether an alternative checklist might be more effective in getting the message across. I kept it pretty much to myself at the time, and somehow I don’t think it would have made it into the official policy document, but I just wonder what effect it might have had…………………. Hope you enjoy!





  • Don’t arrive at the class too early. They won’t be expecting you.  Have another cup of coffee and a blether with your colleagues until the corridor is clear.
  •  When you arrive at the class, start shouting, whether they are behaving well or not. It lets them see who’s boss.
  •  Make sure pupils are well wrapped up in jackets and scarves to keep them more comfortable.
  •  Allow pupils to sit wherever they choose. This makes it easier for them to socialise.
  •  Start issuing instructions to the class before they are all listening, or even better, while some are still arriving.
  •  Keep the aim of the lesson to yourself in case anyone in the class gets wind of it.
  •  Don’t remind them of what you did yesterday. If they were paying attention they should remember.
  •  Remember to interrupt the lesson fifteen minutes in to take the register.
  •  Ask the biggest nuisance in the class to take the register slip to the office. Why should the rest of the school have peace and quiet when you don’t.
  •  Always refer to pupils by their surname. They prefer the formality and respect you more for it.
  •  Punishment exercises are a godsend. Make sure you always have a plentiful supply in the room.
  •  Never allow pupils to talk, even when engaged in group discussion.
  •  Make it perfectly clear you don’t want to be there any more than they do.
  •  Send pupils to the toilet and/or the medical room at regular intervals. It gives them regular exercise, keeps support staff in a job, and gives you a break.
  •  Time your lesson carefully so that you are in the middle of a sentence when the bell rings.
  •  Instruct pupils to throw books, jotters etc in a heap at the front of the room and run quickly to their next class.
  •  Don’t forget homework. This should be shouted at pupils’ backs as they leave the room. That way you can catch them out next lesson when they deny that they heard you.

Have a good day!


6 thoughts on “Make Your Lesson Go With A Bang

  1. Hi Gordon,
    I’m taking from your comment that you would think it reasonable to allow pupils to sit with their friends or wherever they choose. Interestingly, I believe that this is the one aspect of classroom management which should always be determined by the teacher. I also believe that from day 1 pupils/students should understand that groupings will be flexible and subject to change on a daily basis more or less, and the sooner they get over it the better. Would be interested to hear what others think.

  2. Bill,

    I meant that while the other points are clear in their intent, that one is a bit more open to debate in my opinion (I’m scared to type IMHO now!). I think the best option is to be flexible, as you say; sometimes pupil choice, sometimes teacher choice.

    ‘…the sooner they get over it the better…’ hmmm, not sure about that tone. But of course, I don’t live in the real world!


  3. I’m sure you’r right Gordon ie that one is more open to debate. I think it came about after observing a couple of classes where kids had clearly taken over and the teacher was not in control (another emotive word). As I said above, that’s the reason I think it is one area that generally speaking is not up for negotiation as I’ve seen it draining so much time and energy, but I realise it’s a very contentious area and I’m sure there will be many teachers who vigorously oppose the notion that they alone should determine where young people sit in their classroom.

  4. Hi
    I’m in complete agreement, Bill. One of our jobs is to enable youngsters to make connections between all manner of people, understand others’ viewpoints, be courteous and friendly (but not necessarily friends). Social groupings rarely work in my estimation, although this is not to say that occasional open choice cannot be a carrot at times. Just don’t expect the highest quality of work -especiallly amongst teenagers!

    Good luck in your imminent move.

  5. For me the key thing is that the teacher is in control, in the most positive sense of the word, and that young people get used to the idea that the groupings will be flexible and appropriate to the activity. Thanks for the comments and the best wishes Hilery. I’m sure our paths will cross again in my new role.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s