"You can't keep them on their toes if you're on your knees."
Let us introduce Jim Smith, the Lazy Teacher, and put the record straight once and for all about what lazy teaching is all about.
Ever since we first came across Jim when he was a deputy head in a secondary school in the south west of England, we were impressed with his ability to turn teaching on its head to ensure his students were the ones working hardest.
What we asked Jim to do was to capture his approach to teaching and learning in what became one of the biggest selling education books of the last ten years, The Lazy’ Teacher’s Handbook. It also propelled Jim into being one of the most in-demand speakers in the UK, something he achieved while still keeping one foot or more in the classroom, the staffroom and now the head's office.
You can do that when you teach and lead the ‘lazy way’.
Despite the title, Jim is no slouch and his approach in the classroom - proven repeatedly over various Ofsted visits and round after round of great GCSE and A-Level results - is very much about what the teacher does. It’s just that what the teacher does a great deal more of is to set things up in such a way that the students are the ones working hardest.
It all starts with changing your lesson planning mindset to one that focuses on delegation as much as it does on instruction.
Thanks Jim and thanks again for such a fantastic day. I had a number of staff find me to say Thank you for getting the best CPD they’d ever had!
A brilliant day with Jim, an engaging presenter, left everyone buzzing with ideas. Staff enjoyed the day so much and described him as inspirational, what we needed to move our thinking and practice on
An inspirational speaker. Brilliant! Excellent ideas to enhance the classroom – can’t wait to take it back to the classroom
Fantastic tips on making life less complicated in simple ways
From lesson planning to assessment, and from whole class teaching to group work (yes, he does group work, what of it?!), how can you set things up in such a way that they are doing more and you, the teacher, are doing less. Not so you can put your feet up, but so you can be freed up to do the things that only you can do. To employ fully what the great education academy Gert Biesta refers to as ‘the gift of teaching’.
It’s an approach that Jim has also brought to his role now as a school head, looking at the day-to-day way school works and redesigning it so that everyone still has the energy and the time to breathe, to smile, to be nice to each other and to do their jobs to the very best of their abilities.
For an incredibly entertaining and engaging speaker with practical classroom and leadership ideas a-plenty, plus an approach that has helped thousands get that all-elusive work-life balance cracked, Jim is clearly the lazy choice.
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