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Teaching in the Online Classroom: Surviving and Thriving in the New Normal

Review by Vicki Baxter

Doug Lemov and The Teach Like A Champion Team 2020

I was a bit disappointed overall with this book. I was looking for some practical hints and tips to help support some of the struggles I was having with delivering online lessons, whereas this book seems to be written from the viewpoint that you would be reading it at the start of your lockdown learning, rather than in the middle of it. I can see that some NQTs or ITE students may find it useful.

It covers areas such as synchronous and asynchronous learning and discusses and how you can adopt the routines you had in the ‘bricks and mortar’ classroom. I have read TLAC and was hoping that this would be in a similar vein; however, rather than teaching in a ‘new normal’ as the title suggests, it appears to advocate simply reusing strategies previously implemented. I would say that having some hints and tips in the one book is useful and I liked the supporting videos to demonstrate the ideas being put into practice.

I have tried some of the ‘hacks’ in my online, synchronous lessons, such as having students use the raise hand function when they have completed a task and noticed more engagement than previous lessons. I also reviewed the resources I was creating to ensure that I was minimising the clutter. So there are some useful takeaways from the book.