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?

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

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.