What if you marked every book, every lesson? Reinventing the feedback wheel

Improving Teaching

Reinventing the wheel – a mistake?

Of the many criticisms I’ve received as a teacher, one I’ve failed to outgrow is ‘reinventing the wheel.’  In my training year, I remember my professional mentor complaining that new teachers, including me, waste time recreating or modifying existing resources.  Last November, five years later, Kris Boulton and Nick Dennis were still taking me to task for advocating something similar for teachers seeking to incorporate new strategies in their classrooms.  While it’s undoubtedly impractical and undesirable for new teachers to begin planning as though from a blank slate, I can think of fewer than half a dozen lessons I’ve borrowed without any modification at all; to meet my students’ needs, each idea and each lesson needs some degree of modification.  The same holds true for new strategies: each one needs to be fitted in amongst all the existing practices of my teaching – and…

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