My teacher is a presentation pest

I have a saying I use daily in my class, which I teach them from the second they enter after the long summer break. ‘Miss Eccles is a presentation pest.’ I say to the children ‘I am a presentation’… and then instantly they shout PEST.

It sounds like a ridiculously small thing to get hung up over in the grand scheme of what we need to do as teachers, but I have personally found it has always served to filter into everything they do.

I don’t do it for book scrutinies from SLT. I don’t do it because Ofsted might be looming. I do it because I fully believe that taking pride and care in the appearance of work is directly linked to the quality of the content of the work produced. If you care enough to ensure your work is well presented, you care enough about the content you are putting down in words.

I use art as the biggest drive for this. I admit this is not probably applicable to secondary teaching (although I would be whipping out the watercolours if I was in KS3) but it comes back to hooking a child into learning. I teach the skills in art I wish to promote in that subject all year and use that to inspire them to replicate that joy and excitement in other areas.

I can’t say I have research surrounding it. I don’t profess to say this is something that will work for all settings. I just know that when I ensure I use the ARTs to inspire and have high expectations of presentation, the quality of the written work produced becomes significantly better.

The children won’t take second best on word choice. Art is the one true subject where there is no ‘black and white’ right or wrong. They produced a piece of art that knocks the ball out of the park so they want the vocabulary and sentence composition they use to equally match. Who wants perfect eyebrows but will settle for smudged lipstick?

We are there to deliver knowledge and ensure they retain that knowledge to become the best they can be. But do we need to separate that from a creative experience? I appreciate the arguments around ‘doing’ lessons and how actually they will focus on the activity not the content but if you manage the two together, with effective retrieval, you are onto a winner. You are filling their emotional bucket with joy, building pride and self worth and ensuring curriculum content is retained.

6 thoughts on “My teacher is a presentation pest

  1. Beautiful work and that inspires both the pupils in your class and other pupils (and teachers) who see it.
    I find it can take some pupils time to take that pride in their work but the reward is so worthwhile when they do!


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