Ten Step Teacher Development Guide For Lesson Observers

Ten Step Teacher Development Guide

On our initial teacher training courses, we use a notional development and assessment ‘route’; the idea is that teachers develop practical skills in a certain order and it is difficult to develop ‘ahead’ of yourself. For example, it is felt that a teacher who can’t control their teacher talk is unlikely to master clear instruction sets, so the priority for feedback will be to focus on the high talk rather than the instruction giving. The ‘route’ is a useful indicator for deciding the order of developmental points an observer can suggest, but be wary because as always there are exceptions: very experienced teachers can display a high level of teacher talk but they may still be able to instruct reasonably well, as the class may be used to them or the perhaps the high talk is not at key instructional points of the lesson.  You may find that even in advanced teacher development courses the majority of teachers are still struggling with fairly basic classroom management issues or task design issues. The idea of the development route is that the teacher accumulates the skills, developing themselves until they are able to incorporate all the skills within the ten steps of the teacher development route.

The ten-step teacher development route. The teacher can:

  1. Looks like a teacher

Stand in front of the class, look students in the eye, speak loudly enough to be heard, and appear present and aware of the learners

  1. Has presence and rapport (a professional manner/engagement)

Engage with students, has a pleasant manner, is on top of class administration, has learned names and is in a recognizable teacher role

  1. Control teacher talk

Control the amount they talk and modify their output for different stages of the lesson

  1. Give clear instructions

Efficiently set up a range of task and activities using models, gesture, logical staging, check questions and monitor

  1. Elicit

Establish a context from which to elicit information from learners, filter and direct that information, and engage learners.

  1. Maintains pace with group management techniques

Monitor and adjust the pace through voice, management, techniques and using information gained in monitoring and through awareness of the group.

  1. Uses viral feedback and a learner focus

Move class out of lockstep into different workgroups, setting up a variety of interactions depending on the task and learner ability; use viral feedback, encourages students to support and help each other.

  1. Hears and answers learner questions

Engage, probe and demonstrate linguistic knowledge when answering learner questions; provide appropriate practice, particularly in the area of language awareness.

  1. Give oral correction and pronunciation drilling

Filter errors, correct students using a range of techniques and correct terminology. Drilling is well organized, both choral and individual.

  1. Use learners as content givers

Elicit and incorporate learner output to transform it into useful lesson content


10 Step Teacher Development Guide  Downloadable copy

Jeanette Barsdell

November 2019









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