Teaching is a job where what we say matters. Our explanations, our questioning, our modelling, our interactions- they all rely on our talk being focussed and effective. We need clear explanations that bring students who know little about something closer to the level of experts and we need to often say just the right thing in just the right way to ensure that students respond in the way we need. We plan powerpoints, create beautiful resources, mark exhaustively, but nobody has ever asked me to practise what I’m going to say.
Over the last couple of years, I have started talking to myself. In the car, in my house, in my classroom. Here’s why.
Clarity of explanation
Above all, I think that we should practise our explanations. For example, this half term my students in year 10 are studying Romeo and Juliet and I recently taught a lesson which was just me and a visualiser. I explained,