Early on in my teaching career I was completely and utterly dependent on worksheets. Some were reasonably good, some were acceptable at best and others were a complete waste of the paper they were printed on.
Thankfully I have moved away from this now. I can safely say I have significantly reduced my reliance on worksheets and as a result have become a better friend to our environment and, dare I say it, a better teacher as a result.
But I still use them. The odd starter here, an exam paper there. Throughout my working week I’m still using more worksheets than are necessary. I can’t quite let go of the comfort of a warm, freshly printed batch of papers in my hands which help me feel psychologically prepared for my lessons.
I have a sneaky suspicion that I am light years behind many, many teachers who might read this and sneer at my outdated teaching methods. But for those of you like me, why not try the following challenge which I have set myself for this next week?
I am going to teach all of my lessons without any worksheets. Not. One. Single. Worksheet. It is that time of year when I feel like I know the students and the classroom is getting more comfortable. I need to do something that will challenge me and help my students get a better deal in terms of their learning. This rule will force me out of my comfort zone and into one of focused creativity. I’m nervous but I know this will forced me to reflect on my teaching in a different way. This can only be a good thing.
Are you up for the challenge?