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Just Great Teaching

Written by Ross Morrison McGill

Key Stage 2 Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4

LoveReading View on Just Great Teaching

How to Tackle the Top Ten Issues in UK Classrooms

A very comprehensive and informative book and so obviously written by a teacher. It is neither overwhelming nor patronising, but an honest approach and observation on the workload and approach of teachers today. He demonstrates a true understanding of the pressures we are all under. It is well laid out with the top ten issues in classrooms clearly tackled. In the foreword, Morrison McGill suggests it is possible to dip in and out of the book, to the chapters relevant to you at the time, but I found this quite difficult. I think the book is better read as a whole (even if we are all time poor!)

As I read through the book it was full of so many truths and made me remember practices I knew and features we should all apply in our day to day practice, but can so easily overlook or forget as we get embroiled in the day to day subject teaching. It made me rethink certain things like the value of homework, the effects of exclusion and how we tend to make assumptions on what a student actually knows and understands. The brief checklists on how to recognise dyscalculia and other SEND issues were clear and well laid out, as were the references to the case studies and the relevant quotes along the way.

As a book to make us re-evaluate how we approach or recognise things, it is a valuable tool, it really makes you think. However, as a guide, I find it too wordy to dip into. I don’t think the information is bite sized as stated. The language is straight forward and honest and easy and interesting to read. Definitely a book for the staff room table. His quote on page 222, for me, summarises the whole purpose of the book and should be a mantra for us all – “Teachers simply need the time and space to teach with simplicity and passion, to collaborate and develop.”

Rosie Watch

Just Great Teaching Synopsis

Ross Morrison McGill, bestselling author of Mark. Plan. Teach. and Teacher Toolkit, pinpoints the top ten key issues that schools in Great Britain are facing today, and provides strategies, ideas and techniques for how these issues can be tackled most effectively. We often talk about the challenges of teacher recruitment and retention, about new initiatives and political landscapes, but day in, day out, teachers and schools are delivering exceptional teaching and most of it is invisible.

Ross uncovers, celebrates, analyses and disseminates best practice in teaching. This is supported by case studies and research undertaken by Ross in ten primary and secondary schools across Great Britain, including a pupil referral unit and private, state and grammar schools, as well as explanations from influential educationalists as to why and how these ideas work. Ross explores the issues of marking and assessment, planning, teaching and learning, teacher wellbeing, student mental health, behaviour and exclusions, SEND, curriculum, research-led practice and CPD.

This book inspires readers to open their eyes to how particular problems can be resolved and how other schools are already doing this effectively. It is packed with ideas and advice for all primary and secondary classroom teachers and school leaders keen to provide the best education they possibly can for our young people today.

Just Great Teaching Reader Reviews

In addition to our LoveReading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

A brilliant springboard for the evaluation of any setting’s practice. Full review

Michelle Armstrong-Harris (Teacher Reviewer)

This should be a must-read for every trainee and Newly Qualified Teacher. I wish I had read it when I first joined the profession. Full review

L McAllan (Teacher Reviewer)

The book is incredibly positive, and after reading it, I feel excited about the future of education! There is an astounding number of top tips which can be taken into the classroom or school as a whole. Full review

Jamie Marshall (Teacher Reviewer)

10 chapters, each focusing on one of the key areas of teaching practice, regularly discussed in our SLT meetings! Supported by research, I found this an interesting read and was able to make some instant changes in my classroom! Full review

Alexandra Carr (Teacher Reviewer)

Just Great Teaching Press Reviews

Ross Morrison McGill has been asking penetrating questions about education policy for over a decade. Just Great Teaching doesn't disappoint. In an era of over-tested young people, a teacher recruitment crisis and grave concerns about workload, we urgently need solutions. This book provides a refreshing new vision of how our schools could be. - Fiona Millar, education writer and commentator, @schooltruth

Listening to teachers about the pressures on their time, their wellbeing and their mental health, Ross offers back to the profession the practical wisdom he has accumulated. In the end, it is much more than Just Great Teaching; it is the hopeful manifesto our profession so urgently needs. - Mark Quinn, Programme Leader, London Centre for Leadership in Learning, UCL Institute of Education

Drawing on his considerable experience as a classroom teacher and senior leader, Ross McGill's book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in improving their teaching practice. This is a powerful working document for a better education system. - Bobby Seagull, Maths Teacher, University of Cambridge Doctoral Student, Author and BBC TV Presenter, @bobby_seagull

Just Great Teaching is an excellent synthesis of evidence-based pedagogical methodology that is vital reading for all teachers. School leaders and governors will add value to their schools and their students by reading this book and implementing new strategies to support teaching staff. This book will be very useful for schools updating their curricula under the new 'Curriculum for Wales'; now is the time to improve standards, workload and wellbeing in one fell swoop. - Leah Crimes, Head of Sixth Form, @LeahCrimes

Essential reading for anyone involved in teaching and learning, at any level. Ross reminds you what is actually important in the classroom and provides evidence-based strategies to enable these aspects to be effectively implanted. Case studies from real schools lend credence and valuable references for when you implement the ideas yourself. Everything presented is justified, assessed and evaluated by Ross, giving you the confidence to put it into practice in your classroom. - Chris Fletcher, SCITT Director, Yorkshire and Humber Teacher Training, @sciencefletch

Bursting with fresh ideas, packed with practical tips, filled with wise words, this is an inspiring guide for all teachers. - Lee Elliot Major, Professor of Social Mobility, University of Exeter and co-author of 'What Works?', @LEM_Exeter

Ross outlines the current challenges of teaching practice and follows this up with a compendium of ideas on making teaching and learning effective. The details of education research and the case studies create a resource suitable for any teacher, and they can discuss with their team the ideas that will make for great teaching in their context. - Allana Gay, Headteacher of Vita et Pax Preparatory and BAMEed co-founder, @AllanaG13

Just Great Teaching weaves a path through the key issues relevant to teaching in the UK at the end of the 2010s. It knits together the historical context and the research prior to providing practical advice for the present, occasionally offering a glimpse of a possible future. Just Great Teaching is a hugely useful reference guide for new and experienced teachers and school leaders - it's one to read and use time and again! - James Pope, Director, InspirEDucate, @popejames

Ross McGill does it again. Taking a problem-solving approach to key aspects of teachers' work - marking, assessing, planning and pedagogy - he provides a research-informed, practical set of suggestions to ensure Just Great Teaching. This book walks the talk of teacher and student wellbeing. - Stephen Tierney, CEO, blogger and author of 'Liminal Leadership', @LeadingLearner

Rooted in relevant research and backed with practical examples, Just Great Teaching provides clear solutions to the everyday issues encountered in teaching. Whether you are about to start your teaching career or wish to reflect on your current practice, this book will support and challenge you in equal measure. - Chris Moyse, Head of Staff Development, Bridgwater and Taunton College Trust

An absolute must-read for all educators! Ross seamlessly presents a clear, simple, research-led approach to improve education. He captures every question school leaders, middle leaders and teachers are asking about ten areas of practice, by questioning educators who are faced with difficulties in the currently heavily inspected, political and technological climate. Remedies are suggested to ensure wellbeing and workload are addressed and to ensure that the key principles of teaching and learnings are having a direct impact that leads to Just Great Teaching. - Shafina Vohra, Psychology Teacher and Head of Faculty, @ShafinaVohra

Just Great Teaching provides an honest, solution-focused account on the current state of teaching in the UK. For teachers determined to make lasting improvements to their practice, this book is an outstanding point of reference supported by evidence-based research findings. - Fabian Darku, further education teacher and blogger, @DarkuFabian

Ross provides both practical and evidence-informed suggestions to the main challenges in education. This is underpinned by real examples from schools across the country as case studies to provide context, balance and ideas. This is a must-read for all educators, from teachers to senior leaders, tackling the challenges we all face with practical solutions that can make a real difference to students. - Stephen Logan, Deputy Headteacher, @Stephen_Logan

This book is a celebration of schools that are meeting the challenges all teachers and school leaders face, celebrating diversity and individualism. Just Great Teaching is a research- and literature-informed book that tackles day-to-day issues, such as assessment and marking, planning, teacher workload and behaviour. The complete narrative is presented from the perspective of researchers to the perspective of classroom teachers, with great examples of practice within schools. Ross McGill weaves these first-hand stories, views and research into a manual that starts with thoughtful provocation and then incorporates the testimony of practitioners in a multitude of different contexts and guides you through the application of these ideas within your own. - Pran Patel, Outward Facing Leader, @MrPranPatel

A book that starts from the position of inclusion, valuing every child and member of the school community. Practical and easy to read, it speaks to an audience across the education community. Its content - particularly around wellbeing - provides useful background and advice for parents, charities and others working with schools. - Anita Kerwin-Nye, Lead, Every Child Should, @anitakntweets

Another masterpiece from Ross that speaks to the hearts and minds of teachers and leaders alike. Importantly, it provides practical solutions to the challenges faced in school on a daily basis, and is a call to action for teachers to own their own classroom practice whilst prioritising their own mental health and wellbeing. - Patrick Ottley-O'Connor, Executive Principal, Coach and Leadership Development Consultant, @ottleyoconnor

This is a great new book that goes beyond tips for teachers. The recommended approaches will enhance teachers' learning because the book provides details of how to adopt research-based strategies and explains why these approaches support students' learning. - Elaine Wilson, Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Cambridge, @egwilson

Ross Morrison McGill provides another thoughtful, realistic and brilliant book in a time of changeable practice. It's an essential read for any teacher, giving bite-sized chunks of the best in research-driven methods and covering everything from AI, the science of storytelling, curriculum forward-planning, verbal feedback and more. Just Great Teaching has case studies from around the UK based on real-world techniques and is 'just great reading' for any classroom practitioner from the newly qualified to the longstanding. Ross delivers his brilliant ability to break down complex educational issues into easy-to-manage plans to tackle the difficult issues we face as educators. Truly a masterpiece! - Caroline Keep, Director of Spark at Penketh High School, National New Teacher of the Year 2018, @Ka81

Book Information

ISBN: 9781472964236
Publication date: 5th September 2019
Author: Ross Morrison McGill
Publisher: Bloomsbury Education an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 256 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4

About Ross Morrison McGill

Ross Morrison McGill, aka @TeacherToolkit, is the most followed teacher on Twitter in the UK. His practical, inspiring lesson ideas are what make him so successful. His 5 Minute Lesson Plan is used by teachers all over the world! In 2015 he was listed in the Debrett's 500 as one of the 'most influential people in Britain'. He is the bestselling author of 100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers: Outstanding Lessons, Teacher Toolkit and Mark. Plan. Teach., and is currently studying for a doctorate at the University of Cambridge.

More About Ross Morrison McGill

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