19 Instructions for my teacher

“The one thing that comes across repeatedly in research on assisting children with school learning difficulties, is that the strategies that teachers employ to help struggling learners invariably benefit all students.”

If you were to ask a struggling child for an instruction manual to create the perfect teacher, what would it include? It seems that some teachers are easier to learn from than others.

If you are a teacher, this list might help you and if you’re a parent or a student, why not give this list to your teacher at the beginning of this term?

Here are 19 instructions for my teacher

  1. At the start of the lesson, be clear about what you want us to do.
  2. Don’t give too many instructions too fast.
  3. Show us how to do something as well as tell us. Use pictures and learning materials – these make it easier to understand.
  4. Be prepared to repeat the instructions.
  5. Teach the basics without rambling on about other things.
  6. Show enthusiasm for your subject.
  7. Let us ask questions to check that we are doing it right.
  8. Proactively check if we are doing it right.
  9. Smile when we ask for help – explain it again and do at least two examples with us.
  10. Write key information neatly and clearly – preferably on a whiteboard or give us a hand-out.
  11. Leave instructions/spellings etc. on the board for a long time.
  12. Help us when we get stuck.
  13. Be patient with our mistakes and when we need help.
  14. Be nice to us – please don’t shout when we get it wrong.
  15. Number lines at both ends – using colour can also be helpful.
  16. Prepare notes to minimise copying from the board.
  17. Allow us to make audio recordings of the homework instructions or put audio on the school website.
  18. Accept and encourage work to be presented in different formats – audio, webcam, audio responses, PowerPoints, video, diagrammatically.
  19. Create a peaceful environment in the class.


  1. Avatar Tania White   •  

    Hi great list. Can you explain further what you mean by number 15?

  2. Avatar Jo   •  

    Wonderful xx

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