Teaching Teachers how to create Magic

Teaching a class is a lot like driving. You learn all the theory, you get the practical experience, you pass the tests and then you finally become fully qualified. Only then you start to really learn what it is all about.

magic speakingOften teachers and teaching assistants are so pressured by the theory side of teaching that they forget about the magic of teaching.

Christopher Emdin, an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, explains excellently in his inspirational video that teachers don’t realise how to captivate their audience through the use of voice, performance and audience participation.

He encourages teachers to go out into the world and visit places of performance, where people are captivated to their speakers e.g. gospel churches and rap concerts.

These speakers are not trained to educate but they do know how to engage and captivate their audience. This is an essential part of being a teacher. Children find it so much easier to learn when their lessons are engaging and they love it when the teacher appears to be having as much fun teaching the lesson as they do learning it.

At Red Box we always try to encourage our supply teachers and teaching assistants to stay positive and to focus on engaging and exciting content. For a wide range of different teaching opportunities in and around London, why not get in touch?

Failing is Not a Bad Thing

As teachers we understand that not every child will be able to solve a problem the first time or will be able to take in all the information in the lesson. However, a lot of pressure can be put on the child to do so, therefore, we often overlook the process of learning and only focus on the results.

stepsSociety has persuaded our psyche to have a deep rooted fear of “failure.” This way of thinking impacts us from childhood through to adulthood. Children who struggle with learning often have low self confidence and feel like they are “failing” most of the time.

This can often lead to boredom and disruptive behaviour in class.

We need to emphasize that fast learners are not always the best learners. Children learn in many different ways and we as teachers have to ensure that we are using as many methods as possible to assist the whole class. This can be a difficult job but positive feedback is a great way to build children’s confidence in learning.

Teachers also need to educate children that “failing” is part of learning. Failing can aid our learning as through the process of elimination we can find the right answer. It also builds our determination and encourages us to expand our thought process that can aid us with future tasks.

If you love teaching and are looking for a supply teaching position in and around the area of London, Red Box Teachers has a huge range of different options available for substitute teachers and teaching assistants.

Be Engaging and Exciting

At Red Box Teachers we understand how important education is to our children. Children can often resent going to school and hold this resentment throughout their adult education. Therefore, we need to ensure that school is a supportive and fun environment to learn in from the beginning.

fun learningAll children learn at different rates so teachers need to ensure that each level of learning is clear, exciting and engaging. We can often remember more information if we link it to an interesting memory or if we have actively engaged in that memory of learning.

Using a variety of different activities will help you to understand how each child learns and it will also break up the day into more interesting and engaging sections. Try to include stimuli that the children can relate to e.g. a cool cartoon character or a character from a famous book. Creating a story with your lessons lead the children down an action packed journey of fun and learning.

Remember it is not just the end result that counts!

Into Film Scotland

[redbox] school news blogThe Scotland Educational system has recently launched a new programme which will integrate film into the school curriculum in the bid to use films and film making to improve the quality of learning in schools across the country. They hope to utilise films to better communicate the act of learning to children in a more effective way than simply watching a film based off of a study book, or showing an educational film in place of a lesson.

Into Film Scotland

The programme has been backed by the British Film Institute and Education Scotland amongst other organisations. A part of the scheme will allow schools to set up film clubs where they will be able to access a ‘film library’ similar to Netflix or Hulu where they will have free access to thousands of educating films.

Many children are active learners, so instead of reading about history from a history book, or learning a speech on paper, the visual media provided by modern technology today will allow children to absorb far more information than if they tried to read it.

[teachers] film blog

Showing Their Support

The chief executive of the programme; Paul Reeve has stated that as the richest of the educational resources it is only natural to use films and film-making as a way to develop essential learning skills, as well as promoting communication and creativity skills.

He hopes it will have the power to inspire a new generation of thinkers. Even actors are backing the project, such as Film star Ewan McGregor.

RedBox Teachers are always looking for enthusiastic and qualified supply teachers and teaching assistants, plus as we help find accommodation for those commuting to London who wish to live nearer to their designated school, we can find the perfect job for you.

Inspirational Quotes

If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” –Nora Roberts

Everyone has had dog days when they would rather just pull the covers up and the blinds back down and hide away from the world than get out of bed and embrace life’s challenges. It can be hard when you are faced with frequent negativity, and as teachers every day can be a struggle, particularly when you are trying to reiterate a difficult lesson.

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” –C.S. Lewis

However it is important to remember that the job you are doing is a fantastic one. You are helping to cultivate minds, and that is no mean feat. The mind is the greatest gift we have ever been given, and the imagination can take us to places we have never been before, so don’t shirk it!

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”- Gandhi

We hope that this little collection of inspirational quotes from those who have struggled through and made it to the light at the end of the tunnel will help you who are struggling to make that first step. Take the plunge, don’t give up, your pupils are counting on you!


“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”– Abraham Lincoln

[redbox]stars blog

Correcting Wrong Answers in a Positive Way

When teaching a class of children, particularly younger children, it is important to steer your students in the right direction while still allowing them to find things out for themselves. When it comes to giving incorrect answers, there are a few ways you can rephrase your response to their answers. This will help to guide them towards the right answer, without discouraging your students from attempting to answer questions in class.

Move onto another person


If you happen to pick on a student who doesn’t know the answer or who gives an incorrect answer, don’t dwell on them as it can discourage them from offering answers voluntarily. Acknowledge the wrong answer but give encouraging feedback which will minimise embarrassment such as “You’re on the right lines” or “can anyone build on what George has said”.

The aim for encouraging your students to ask and answer questions is not always to get the right answer every time, but instead to build their confidence in asking for help when they don’t understand something. Answering and asking questions is also crucial when building up communication skills, particularly in younger children.

Reward the right answer


This works well in group question and answer sessions. Don’t ignore wrong answers but instead reward right answers with stickers, possibly a chart reward system or even a word of positive praise. This positive reinforcement will both reward the child who answered correctly, and may encourage other children to step up and attempt to answer another question later on in the discussion.

At Red Box we focus on relationships, whether it be a relationship between a supply teacher or a teaching assistant and the school, or the relationship between the teacher and their students. We can offer a new level of support for qualified primary supply teachers and teaching assistants looking for part time and full time jobs throughout the UK.

Encouraging Group Discussion

To increase communication between students and to build a sense of community in your class, it is important to engage in regular group discussion. As well as encouraging the asking of questions and group discussion, it also helps to motivate your students to help each other in times of difficulty.

At Red Box Teachers we understand the importance of having a long lasting relationship with your students, whether the duration of your stay is just for a couple of months or on a more permanent basis. It is important for both supply teachers and teaching assistants to be able to quickly gain a sense of respect from their students, but to also help the class to learn and grow as a whole.

In addition to building a sense of community in your students, it also emphasises the idea that asking questions when unsure about a topic is always encouraged, and is not something to avoid. From a very young age we catch on to the belief that ‘being wrong’ is the same as ‘being bad’ when this is not the case. Engaging in the discussion of wrong answers and motivating the students to ask questions when they are concerned or unsure will help to allay these fears of ‘being wrong’ and you will also help your students to relax in class more.

Some good ways of facilitating discussion are:

pollTaking Polls when getting Answers

This is good for a general poll or when asking for a correct answer to a question. General polls are great for finding out new things about your students and can also highlight various areas that you need to focus more on; i.e. spelling or world history.

Finding the correct answer to a question in a poll is a good way of rewarding students for getting the correct answer while avoiding the potential embarrassment for students who happened to be not so lucky on that particular question.

Reiteration of Previous Lessons

By asking the class what you learnt about in a previous lesson it encourages the children to think back to yesterday or to last week and to remember what they had learnt. Repetition of the lesson will also reinforce the teachings of that lesson and encouraging a group discussion about it will help children to work together to fully reiterate what they had learned previously.

As always, careful encouragement and positive reinforcement of correct answers is the key to building a good relationship with your class. Soon they will be eager to participate in discussions, making it far easier for you to teach the class as a whole and later you may even see some shyer members of the class adding their own input to discussions.

Tips on Your First Day at School – Week 2

Last week we spoke about the first day of school, and the importance of being flexible with your lesson plan as well as letting the children get to know a little more about you as a person. So this week we are going to look at engaging with your new class so that you can learn more about them and how they learn best as a group.

Name Learning Exercises


This can be in conjunction with them getting to know you. As you go around the class, ask that each child says their name clearly and also says one fact about themselves. This can be anything from their favourite colour to the latest film they watched to the number of siblings they have. These answers will facilitate discussion, help to break up the tension and will also provide anchoring points in helping you to remember the names of your students.

Sometimes strange questions like: “tell us something about yourself that nobody knew before” can be good or bad. Try to read the tone of the class. This question could be good as students will be eager to think of an original answer, or it can be a bad question as it could cause long periods of silence. Simpler questions are in general better, but try to think up your own.


Teamwork is crucial. Building a sense of community in class will really help when engaging your students in class discussion. If you try to encourage the idea of your class as a ‘team’ by engaging in group activities and encouraging other children to help their peers who seem to be struggling, this will help your relationship with your class as a whole.

Students tend to perform better when you build a sense of community because they will feel more connected to the class and to the instructor. An established sense of community will help students feel more comfortable when they enter your class, which makes it easier for them to concentrate and makes them more receptive to your teachings.

Whether you are looking for full time or part time work, long term or short term, Red Box Teachers has a vast array of jobs suited to you. Plus for more long distance teaching jobs we can arrange supply teacher accommodation in the local area to help you in any way we can.

Making Lessons Fun! Advice Tips 1

In order to keep children of all ages interested in learning and developing with exciting and engaging content while still sticking to the given syllabus, here are some top tips.



Rewards Systems

As the curriculum requires small goals to be set across the year, implement a small rewards system that will give both you and your pupils something to strive towards, and feel proud of when achieved. Even something as little as a star or a sticker or a ‘Well Done’ stamp can have a great effect on confidence in children, and they will be more inclined to try harder when reaching the next goal.


Take Advice From Those who Have Come Before You


If there are any lesson plans kept from the previous years, look through them for inspiration. Remember that exciting and informative lessons are the key to engaging your pupils, whether early years or at Key Stage 2 level; make them fun!

Whether you are looking for fully qualified supply teachers, or are a supply teacher or teaching assistant looking for a placement, Red Box Teacher’s can help connect you with the right people. Contact us today!

Lesson Outline for Key Stage One (KS1) and Key Stage Two (KS2)

From year one up to year 6 the current guidance given to the majority of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 teachers usually divides lessons into four distinct parts. The planning across London schools varies greatly so this short introduction should be used as a guide only.


To start, use a short activity, this should last for roughly 10 minutes. This may relate to the lesson objective but it does not need to. Make it something exciting, engaging and stimulating to gain pupils attention.


The second part of the lesson is the main teaching session. There should be something interesting given which ‘hooks’ the children into learning more about the subject chosen. The teacher should then carefully guide the children through the objective for the lesson. This is important as it outlines what the children should be learning. In many schools it is also common to use ‘Success Criteria’ which show what the children need to do to achieve the objective.

After the objectives have been outlined then the teaching part of the session should occur. During teaching as many different strategies should be employed as possible i.e. a kinesthetic, auditory and visual mixture to appeal to a multitude of children. Try to keep a good pace during this session to maintain children’s attention. If they go ‘off task’ it is often because they are disengaged o if this happens, adopt a new style or approach.


Next, the children are set an activity which is based on the objective for the session. They should be able to complete this based on what you have taught the children. It is usual for a teacher to support one group and the teaching assistant another, whilst the rest of the children complete the activity independently. However, in some schools it is usual for a teacher to circulate the class ensuring all are on task.


At the end of the session occurs the plenary. A good plenary should reinforce what the children have learnt, reflect on how successful they were at the session and extend their thinking upon the subject taught. Again, try to make this so it makes use of a variety of learning styles.