Welcome guys. Thank you so much for coming and joining me today. I'm gonna be talking about whether or not we promote a culture of work or whether we are promoting a culture of learning. And before I start, though, I want to encourage you to go and get yourself a copy of my book for free. I only ask you to cover postage and handling, and that arrives to you. The book is called work, less, teach more, how to be an effective teacher and live a life you love. So the whole point of the book is to reduce your workload and help you to live a balanced life as well as still being an effective teacher, right? We don't wanna neglect the effectiveness of what we're doing with our students. Now, getting back to this episode now, do we promote cultures of work or do we promote a culture of learning?
And you'll be surprised possibly to find out that in classrooms, a student is 50 times more likely to be in a classroom that promotes work over learning. So let's start by talking about what it looks like. If you're promoting work. Now, promoting work basically is when you are checking in on your students to check whether or not they've gotten their work done, right? You're focusing on their getting tasks done. So this can be checking their homework, having a look at their exercise books, to see if they've actually answered all the sets of questions you've asked them to do. Are they sitting in front of you? Are they being quiet? Are they paying attention? Are you prai to them for those kinds of things all the time. And this kind of builds up in a classroom to then for the students to learn that actually what you value is not the learning that's happening, but the fact that they're getting work done, and this can be as simple as you praising them for getting the work done and getting lots of work done.
It can be you focusing on their workbooks or their essays and going, yeah, have the kids, actually have they missed a page. And so maybe they're gonna be held back just to complete a page in their exercise book, or maybe you're holding them back to finish writing that essay that they've got three quarters of the way through, but never completed. And so you're showing them that you're actually valuing them doing work or getting the work done. If you can see this, if you give maybe some bonus points or some, some kind of maybe some bonus credits, if you're in America for students who do more work, right? If you have your extended kids just doing more of the same kinds of questions over and over again, right? That's showing that you're valuing the work. The other thing you can do is you can ask questions, actually point to getting the work done, or you can reward them for who does the most work in your classroom, generally in this kind of a classroom that's focusing on work. There's gonna be a larger focus on summative assessments and a focus on grades and marks and that kind of stuff. It's about getting things done when you're talking to the students and
You're focusing on behavior, you're telling them the things like be quiet, pay attention, no talking, and you're praise to them for making less mistakes. Right? And that's a big one. If you ever praise think, oh, you got it first time. And that kind of stuff, you wanna actually reduce that. And maybe you say, oh, I'm surprised that you manage to get that done in one attempt so that you're actually helping to value learning and not just the work. Right? and you can see this as well. Even when you introduce things, when you start lesson, if you say, okay, today, kids we're going to learn about right. And you're gonna, we're gonna learn about history or we're gonna learn about, you know, the book you're studying in English about Shakespeare. That's setting students up into a, more of a work focused classroom, and these are not bad on themselves.
I'm not bagging any of these aspects out in a classroom. There is definitely a place for pretty much all of these things in a classroom. At some time, the problematic comes. If that is all that gets focused on, if that's all that gets keeps coming up over and over again, as you going well, you haven't finished your work. You have to stay back. You haven't finished your work let's you have to do this, or, oh, look how good you, you've got all the tasks done in such a short amount of time here, get some more work done. And that is a classroom that is promoting a culture where the student sees school as getting work done. And they see learning as getting work done, which is actually not the same thing. Now let's contrast this with a classroom that promotes learning a classroom that promotes learning is promoted.
Curiosity. They have things like wonder walls up, you know, an area where students can ask their questions and stick them up. They're celebrating when students get stuff wrong, right? We're not just going, oh, look, you're great. You've got these. All right, you go, cool. You got one wrong. Let's find out we have a chance to learn here. And that is a classroom that's promoting learning. You also see the classroom. That's promoting, learning, encouraging students to try difficult things. You're encouraging them to go beyond what they think they're capable of. And it doesn't matter if they get it wrong, but they can get it wrong lots of times before they get it. Right. And that is actually part of the excitement of learning that's being celebrated. You can see this teacher asking questions that focus on the thinking or on the process that's happening. So you might ask questions.
Like that's a great answer. How did you come up with that? Or that one's not quite right. Talk me through the steps you took to get to that. And then we'll think about other alternatives that we could have taken, or maybe just ask them, what are you gonna do next? If they're stuck on something, well, what could you do? What, what would you think of? What can you think of that actually tells you what you're gonna do as your next step to overcome that barrier? And you're putting that back on the kids to promote their thinking and promote their whole learning process. And it's also giving you a lot of formative assessment so that you are actually understanding where the kid is going wrong, what you can do to
Help them with their next steps, all that kind of stuff. And so you're actually starting to focus on student progress, right on their understanding, not just on whether or not they can get a question, right, or whether or not they know the content, you're actually helping them to progress. So wherever they're at, when they start in your class through to where they are now and where you want them to go in the future, you're constantly focusing on that progress. And so you might hear teachers celebrate learning with their students and go look where you were like, you started this class and you couldn't do additions up to 10. And now look at you. You can now do multiplication up to 20. That's fantastic. You've progressed so much. Even if that is a student who is in year seven, who's meant to be doing algebra already, right?
You're starting with where they were and their progress. And that is promoting learning in your classroom. These classrooms also focus on the learning dispositions they focus on or learning powers. Maybe if you read a different book. But the whole point here is that you're focusing on the student's ability to collaborate. You're focusing on their ability to keep going. Even when they get things wrong, you're focusing on their ability to problem solve and to find, you know, what am I gonna do next? What's my next step in this research. What's my next step. I'm stuck at this level here. And I need to get further. What do I need to work out to do there? Like their problem solving skills. And they're the things you're talking about in your classroom with your students, showing that you value them. You're not focused all the time on marks or on their grades.
You're actually focusing on their learning skills and how that's going. And so these classrooms often do what they can to make thinking visible. And so they have routines that are used to help to find out what the students are actually thinking. And so, yeah, a classic one is just see, think, wonder you put up an image and you talk, what do you see? What do you think about it? And then what do you wonder? And you get these discussions happening between your students and then the discussions possibly with you as well as a teacher. But you're finding out what they're actually thinking about, such an image, and you can make explicit links to what you're actually want them to pull out of that. But you're starting by that idea of just exploring and enjoying learning and them sharing with you, what they're actually thinking. And in this kind of a classroom that focuses and promotes learning, you also have this idea of becoming part of the topic.
So no longer are we learning about history instead, the students are becoming historians and they're focusing on the process of what is involved in analyzing history in coming up with, you know, is this real? Did this really happen in the past? How do we know it really happened? How do you go about analyzing tech sources or other types of sources and which ones are more weighty? Is it because it's more recent? Is it because of a per particular person who wrote it, et cetera. And so you can do this in any subject, right? You can become a scientist. And so you're focusing just by using that language, you're focusing on helping your students develop the scientific methods and the curiosity that's required for science, or you can have them be trainers
If you're doing PE or PDH. And you know, your student becomes the trainer and they are then developing the skills that a trainer has of actually looking at clients, problem, solving, looking at case studies, all that kind of stuff. And that is our classroom that is promoting learning. And so I wanna encourage you this week in your classroom, reflect on what's been going on. Have you been promoting work or have you been promoting a culture of learning? And if you are promoting a culture of work, don't be discouraged. You are 50 times more likely to end up in that category, but it's about what you do moving forward here and starting to think, how can I make sure I'm also promoting learning in my classroom and don't neglect, work hard work is part of learning, right? Getting lots of work done is part of learning, but it's about the progress.
It's about actually checking the students are learning and promoting their skills as well as that content knowledge. Now, if you have not yet gotten yourself a copy of my book, work less, teach more. I wanna encourage you head over to teacherspd.net/freewLTM for work, less, teach more, grab yourself a copy of my book. You get it for free. I only ask you to cover post and handling, and you can start to reduce your workload and start to have time to reflect and improve what you're doing in a classroom to continue to develop yourself as an effective teacher and promote learning in your classroom. Well, I hope to see you again soon.