10 Tips for Developing Your Skills in Stretch and Challenge

  1. Talk to your learners about their feelings about different types of activities, the pace of the lesson, the amount of stretch etc.  Take their feedback into account while also giving your professional opinion so they understand why certain things are done as they are.Give choices where possible and optional extra tasks e.g. “take away homework” – type it into the search box on this site for more information:   http://teachertoolkit.me/
  2. Book a 1:1 with an Advanced Practitioner or coach to discuss your use of stretch and challenge. Review your lesson plan or Scheme of Work together and identify a few useful action points. Try to focus on progress for learners across time and not just pushing every learner in every lesson 
  3. Organise a peer observation and just look at methods of stretch and challenge. Try one or two out and then discuss your experiences with a colleague. Keep it focused and manageable for yourself and relevant to your learners
  4. Discuss the class with your manager. Are there students there who would be better suited to another group, level or programme because it just isn’t challenging enough?
  5. Ask an Advanced Practitioner, a coach or a manager to do a short developmental observation, to look at how well you are differentiating and stretching learners. Pick up a few points to work on or create a phased plan, tackling different aspects of stretch and challenge each half term
  6. Think about some of your own learning experiences. How did it affect you when the teacher didn’t stretch you effectively? How did it help when they did and which approaches did they use?
  7. Reflect on what kind of teacher you want to be for your learners. Identify one or two things you are prepared to do, to enhance their learning, without overloading yourself with unrealistic plans!
  8. Ask a few colleagues for ideas on how they stretch learners and swap some materials or lesson plans, if that helps you reflect on how you could structure the learning
  9. Add a reminder to your online calendar or diary to help you remember to consider stretch and challenge on a regular basis
  10. Video yourself teaching a lesson and reflect on it, looking at the reactions and responses of different learners. Evaluate the lesson in terms of stretch and challenge and identify a few areas to refine in future. Show it to a trusted colleague and have a professional dialogue together
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This entry was posted in Advanced Practitioners, Coaching, CPD for Teachers, Differentiation, FE, High grades for learners, Peer observation, Sharing good practice, Stretch and challenge, Teaching and learning and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 10 Tips for Developing Your Skills in Stretch and Challenge

  1. azumahcarol says:

    Hi Joanne,
    This is an interesting blog post. I hope you are happy for me to re-blog in on my Community of Good Mentoring Practice blog for FE mentors.
    Azumah Carol

  2. azumahcarol says:

    Reblogged this on Developing a Community of Good Mentoring Practice and commented:
    This post is well thought through and spot on. Joanne is not thinking about mentor and their trainees but I can’t find a single point of advice here that does not apply to mentors. This might be advice to offer a trainee. It might also be advice mentors might consider to develop their own practice.

  3. Evelyn Aldous says:

    Peer observations and reflection sessions with coaches excellent ways to uncover blind spots in one’s own teaching practice.

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