Special Guest Teacher – How to Gatecrash a Classroom

It’s a long established hiphop staple for artists to have special guest feature artists on their tracks.

Mixtapes and albums are full of bracketed (feat.) additions, filling tracklistings with a who’s who of genre stars. I’ve always liked this – it promotes collaboration in an otherwise highly competitive arena, allows for healthy competition within songs, adds texture to a mixtape or album and gives artists a chance to shine in controlled doses.

A featured artist can also raise the profile of a song significantly. It’s an old trick for up and coming artists to feature a more established rapper in a bid to validate their music. We’ve even seen Kanye West and Jay Z ‘feature’ Otis Redding on ‘Otis’ despite the fact he died in 1967.

There’s something in this that can apply to teaching.

I recently had a last-minute cancelled English lesson at school, which left me with 50 whole minutes of unplanned time on my hands. Naturally, I went for a wander. I ended up in a colleague’s room, during an art lesson in which he was demonstrating 1 point perspective drawing:

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He invited me to sit down and join in. So I did.

The rest of the lesson I spent as a student, doing the work, collaborating, and trying not to lose a conduct point. I also bounced off my colleague a bit, discussing his plans and aims with the kids. We also discussed how you might apply technical drawing skills in my English curriculum. Here’s what I produced, by the way:

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In a sense, I had been the featured teacher in that lesson. it wasn’t an observation, or ‘learning walk’, or  pupil pursuit, or TA session; it was a casual interaction with someone else’s lesson in which I could reflect on pedagogy and interaxct with students in a different curricular context.

Have you ever featured in a colleague’s lesson? Anecdotes welcome.

Yours, in teaching,

-Unseen Flirtations

TES Teaching Resources

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