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Published in Professional Learning

HOW2s — My journey

Damian Rollinson first used HOW2s when he was a sessional lecturer. In this blog post, he describes how HOW2s increased his confidence as a teacher and gave him more time to spend with his growing family.

I was 20 years of age, inexperienced, lacked confidence in my teaching ability and spent hours trying to plan my lessons.

I was introduced to the How2 teaching techniques when I was a sessional lecturer, teaching Public Services and Health and Social Care. I was studying for my teaching qualification. I was 20 years of age, inexperienced, lacked confidence in my teaching ability and spent hours trying to plan my lessons. At this point, I was unsure if teaching was the path I wanted to continue to pursue.

Every teacher has their own login, meaning they have instant access to support

 

I was given access to the How2 teaching app by a colleague and a brief explanation of how they can support staff to improve. Looking at the app, I was unsure if I was going to have the time to look and implement these into my practice. A few weeks passed before looking at the strategies again, and it got to the point where I was struggling to plan engaging lessons. I remember talking to a colleague who had been using the techniques; they looked refreshed and spoke about their experiences with passion and enthusiasm. I so badly wanted to be this way.

For any Educators new to HOW2s here’s the on-boarding video our customers use

 

It was a weekend, and I was planning my lessons for the following week, I logged into the How2 app and started to scroll through the techniques. To my surprise, I was amazed at the number of techniques and strategies available to me to use within my lessons. HOW2 was going to make planning my lessons and planning a variety of activities so much easier and quicker. WHY HADNOT LOOKED AT THIS SOONER?

I must have been on the app all day planning my lessons and feeling excited to be using the techniques and being in the classroom delivering to my students. (A feeling I had lacked)

Monday morning was here, and I had a lesson at 9 am. I had incorporated a few How2s into this lesson, level 2 Public services group A. I was confident that I had planned my session well but nervous at the same time as I was unsure the students would buy into the techniques. It didn’t help that there were a few challenging students within the group.

I am not sure what I was worried about, the lesson was great. I adjusted the techniques to suit the mood of the session and to fit in with activities and group dynamics, and it just flowed. It was the best, most enjoyable lesson I had taught to date, and all of the students took part and were engaged throughout, I was excited about my next session. 

Over the coming months, I used the How2 Techniques more and more and challenged my self to use a variety and not just the ones I first started to use. I reviewed my lessons in more detail and planned on how I could use the techniques in different ways to meet the needs of my students. 

Educators can organise HOW2s into their own sets

 

I was receiving good lesson observations and gained an outstanding lesson observation while in a computer room doing a workshop-style lesson ( which at that point I didn’t think could happen). I used the Entry Routine’ technique, greeted the students, followed by the desk work’ technique, which engaged the students from the very start. The desk work activity was a simple question written on the board. Students were asked to think about the question alone for a minute and then discuss it with a partner for a further minute and then share the answer with the rest of the group. I based the lesson around the HOW2 techniques. It just worked.

The one-minute video below shows how quickly educators can find teaching solutions