Teach the Teacher is a student-led professional development program for teachers.
See how it works at McClelland College.

Who’s involved?

The 2018 Student Representative Council (SRC) Student Voice Team is made up of representatives of all students at the college.

18 students presented and facilitated from across Years 7 to 12, with representation from VCAL and international students and the majority of college staff were present.

What’s it all about?

We embraced the Teach the Teacher Ignite program for the first time in 2018 at McClelland College, Frankston. The session to our teachers promoted positive relationships, raised student voice in the college and the best result was we saw immediate action and differences in the way teachers teach and deliver in the classroom. Mammoth Win!

After the introductory Teach The Teacher workshop, we decided to incorporate De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats throughout the whole process and the Explicit Instructional Model used by our teachers in the classroom for our professional development delivery to teachers.
Our Assistant Principal presented the data analysis and breakdown of the 2017 Attitudes to School survey. From this it was revealed to the SRC that Student Engagement and Motivation was ranked low by students.

Therefore, the three areas that we would explore further as a focus for our PD session to teachers could be one of the following:

  • Student/Teacher Relations
  • Classroom Management
  • Purposeful Learning

This then became the focus for discussion and planning for our next VicSRC workshop.

The SRC conducted a survey of their own cohort based on the findings from the Attitudes to School data. These survey results revealed that for years 10 – 12 classroom management issues were not of great concern but was an issue at years 7 – 9. Our Year 7 and 9 SRC members, in particular, were pushing that this become the focus for the teacher PD. Our next step was to shadow a teacher for the day.

This was conducted like a survey – the teacher being shadowed was to remain anonymous when observations were shared at our SRC meeting. The aim of shadowing a teacher for the day was to observe what was happening in classrooms that had students engaged and motivated in their learning in the classroom.

The students after shadowing a teacher for the day presented their observations to the SRC. It was from these observations that the SRC finally agreed and voted on after much debate what the focus of the professional development session to teachers will be. This was to share and propose proactive strategies to improve teaching and learning in classes where a large number of students were displaying challenging behaviours.

It was acknowledged that the ‘B’ codes, a classroom management strategy use by teachers, worked well when a smaller number of students were disengaged but were not as effective when a large number of students showed challenging behaviours in one classroom or teaching environment. The question can be asked, why are large numbers of students in some classes disengaged and what needs to be done to improve this situation?
Our SRC then spent many weeks researching, asking students and teachers in the college, what works to help manage challenging classes before our teacher PD.

Our teacher PD was structure around De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats. After an introduction from the College Captains and some ice breakers, the hats were introduced to the teachers. Each table was allocated a hat and SRC students to facilitate discussion. The SRC students at each table would then report back to everyone the outcomes from the discussions with teachers on how best to deal with some of the classes in the college who are presenting with challenging behaviours.

Hat Powers (table discussion topics):

    • Feelings – What are my feelings? Why do I feel this way? (red)
    • Judging – What are the difficulties and weaknesses? (black)
    • Being optimistic – What are the positives of students and teachers talking about challenging behaviours? (yellow)
    • Being creative – What new ideas or proactive strategies can we share to help improve learning environments where a number of students are displaying challenging behaviours? (green)

After sharing their responses, we asked all participants to use the Blue Hate – Thinking About Thinking – to tweet a reflection for todays Teach the Teacher session – what’s been learned? What’s next? Why has today been successful?

Reflection Tweets:
““I learnt some useful ideas which I will incorporate in lessons. Enjoyed student participation.”
““Using these strategies in classes.”
“We were provided with an opportunity to discuss something that affects our daily work and hopefully start making some positive inroads in school wide change.”
“Today’s session was successful because everyone was involved, but also all teachers were able to identify common issues faced within the classroom. Therefore, change can be enforced.”


Managing challenging student behaviours 


To use divergent thinking as a tool to share and propose proactive strategies to improve teaching and learning in classes where a large number of students are displaying challenging behaviours. 


  • Positive incentives being introduced into our classrooms – some teachers in the junior levels using awards system for good behaviour
  • Calming music and interesting and varied starts to our lessons
  • Our teachers getting to really know us
  • A mindful break or activity to keep students engaged
  • Less punishments and more modelling by our teachers of what good behaviour should look like
  • Our Principal acknowledging that more needs to be done to recognise those students exhibiting our school’s core values
  • During the school review, some SRC members were invited to share their SRC experience this year and role in promoting student voice and school pride

Next Steps

The success story will continue into 2019!!! The Principal Team invited us to be part of the decision-making and implementation of the School-Wide Positive Behaviours program.