Breaking the plane app
Breaking the plane app

Breaking the plane app

Having recently shared a teaching guide of good practice with our staff, I doubt there is anyone that would challenge the need to vary your teaching position, to “room zoom” or circulate at appropriate times. Simple to move out from the stage and into the audience. ‘Sages’ and ‘guides’ and all that.

Circulate – Moving strategically around the room during all parts of the lesson. (Pg 84)

Specifically, Lemov advocates we move past the imaginary line running the length of the classroom, parallel to, and approximately five feet in front of the board – past the first line of student desks. Without dwelling too much on the validity of this position, Lemov advocates we ‘break the plane’ and do it quickly. Within minutes in fact, at the beginning of each lesson. Thus, promoting teacher “home court advantage” while letting the students know that the teacher really does “own the room” and offering a subtle edge of unpredictability that keeps students on their toes.

Attached to this advocacy is the ‘Position for Power’ – always face as much of the class as possible, power position is where you see students but they can’t see you. The connection between these will quickly become apparent.

Breaking the plane sounds intuitively correct doesn’t it? Common sense (though I could not find any pedagogical research on teaching position via Google Scholar). It is supported by the fact that our Head of English invested in a clicker – releasing her from her PC and free to roam the classroom. Free to move behind the students, where she can see them, looking at the board – putting her in a position of power.

remote-mouse-screenshotThat got me thinking – one step back from buying every teacher a ‘clicker’ at £10-£18 how about remote mouse available for both Android and iOS, Mac and PC.

Remote mouse – fully simulated functions of wireless mouse and keyboard; click, double-click, right-click, scroll and drag. Plus offers a keyboard and key combos.

The added bonus is that I am far less likely to leave my phone behind than I am a clicker – which I have lost and found numerous times already.

Thanks to @gavinsmart and @Mark Anderson for their recommendations.


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