How to...Give Instructions

15th December 2006 at 00:00
Morning, how are...

Freeze! Stop talking! Listen!

What's going on?

All in good time. I need your rapt attention. Only then will I start to explain what we're doing next.

Ah-ha! I see you're practising giving instructions to an unruly class. May I join in?

I will not respond until I have your full attention. I am being calm and reasonable, with an even tone of voice. I will neither shout nor scream. I will simply employ my teacher's stare and my infinite patience. Do you understand?

Well I...

Do not interrupt - or we will have to start again. Follow me. I am the focus of your attention. These waving arms, raised eyebrows, this board with animated graphics, are all here to grab your attention.

Now I will explain our objectives, give examples of final products and evaluations in line with the national curriculum.

But can I...

No! I have here a detailed worksheet explaining the task showing clearly where you might find answers, giving examples of what is permitted and what is not.

Is there anyone who does not understand?


Good. Now I'll give you an example of what I'm looking for based on your prior learning and experience before inviting final questions.

May I...

Not yet! I will give you a minute to settle down while strolling among you in a firm, reassuring, yet faintly patronising fashion.

Finally I will impose a studious silence.

Now you may start your creative writing.

Duncan Grey is author of 100+ Essential Lists for Teachers and Getting the Buggers to Learn (Continuum)

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now