The Staffroom🎙 #8: ‘Slow Teaching, High Impact’ Jamie Thom & James Ramsey

In this episode of ‘The Staffroom’, we chatted with English Teacher and author Jamie Thom (@teachgratitude1) about the way slowing-down and taking stock can lead to better teacher well-being and student outcomes. We also talked to Humanities teacher, James Ramsey about the way low-stakes, high-impact formative assessment strategies are making a difference in his learning area.

In our first interview, Jamie Thom speaks about his book, ‘Slow Teaching: Finding Calm, Clarity and Impact in the Classroom’ and refocusing practice so that teachers only do things for the right reasons. Here’s a break-down of Jamie’s ideas:

  • What inspired Jamie to write ‘Slow Teaching’? How have his professional experiences shaped his reflective ideas on slow teaching and finding calm and clarity in the classroom? (3:40)
  • What does Jamie say ‘Slow Teaching’ is about? (3:40)
  • What is Jamie’s ‘tortoise and the hare’ analogy? How does Jamie believe this fable reflects the teaching profession? (7:55)
  • What made Jamie realise that a slower approach was the key to well-being and making an impact in the classroom? (11:13)
  • Why does Jamie believe nuanced skills such as classroom management, non-verbal communicationetc are essential in developing a slow and measured teaching style? (13:40)
  • Which strategiesfrom Jamie’s book have had a profound impact in his classroom? (18:31)
  • How does Jamie ensure modellingis used effectively with his students? (23:35)
  • What are Jamie’s views on well-being? What are Jamie’s top three well-being tips for a new graduate teacher? (26:17)


Head of Learning Area at Corpus Christi College, James Ramsey, spoke to us about the practical ways formative assessment and feedback is having an impact in his classes. Here is a break-down of James’ responses:

  • How have formative assessmentstrategies changed James’ practice in recent years? (32:50)
  • In what ways does James believe the shift away from frequent summative assessment has changed student mindset? (35:10)
  • What does James think are the main principleswhich under-pin his teaching and learning philosophy? (36:30)
  • Which tech-toolsdoes James believe have helped enhance his use of formative assessment? How do these tools work? (39:50)
  • What practical approaches has James implemented which help save time and/or reduce teacher workload? (42:50)


We hope you enjoy this episode of The Staffroom and found Jamie and James’ ideas as thought provoking as we did. The mantra of slowing down, stripping-back and streamlining teaching has certainly struck a chord with us! We wish Jamie Thom and James Ramsey all the best for 2018.

Until next time!

Jamie, Michael and Tessa






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