Jim Smith text
Lazy Teacher text

Lazy Teacher Book
ISBN: 978-184590289-6
If you want your students to learn more and you to work less, this book provides you with all the arguments and evidence you need to become a lazy, but outstanding, teacher. Gathered over ten years in the classroom, the tried-and-tested techniques shift the emphasis away from the teaching and onto the learning making your life so much easier in the process.

Are you working when everyone else seems to be doing something more exciting? Maybe your marking could be done by someone else. Are you fed up with planning lessons? Why not get the students to plan them for you. Besides, personalised learning shouldn't really involve thirty lesson plans!

This powerful book is packed full of easy-to-apply and highly effective strategies, strategies which Ofsted have rated as 'outstanding'. What's more, they all have the seal of approval of real students in real classrooms. In fact, many of them have been thought up by the students themselves, but that's why Jim Smith is called The Lazy Teacher. So, next time someone says to you 'get a life', this book will make it possible.

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I just wanted you know what an impact your session had. We always evaluate inset and for the first time we had 100% positive response (graded on a scale of 1-4, 1 being extremely useful - all responses were 1!). But we also witnessed evidence of your ideas immediately, we are currently doing both learning walks and lesson obs and 'Jim Smithisms' are everywhere.

Thank you for making the time to work with us, it was perfectly pitched, a real boost, not only to L&T, but to morale as well.

I have also planned my group work scrutiny, thank you for your ideas - which I also used when explaining the rationale behind the strategy....I still feel I may have to wear a flak jacket but one that's only shrapnel proof not machine gun !

Seriously - thank you, the session was .....(I quote from one of our 'Clives')..... 'really quite good' - trust me, that's high praise indeed!

I joined my current school as Deputy in 2010. Five months later we were in Special measures. (I did see it coming, but couldn’t convince the Head in those five months that drastic change was needed.)

About that time I stumbled across your first book `The Lazy Teacher’s Handbook`. (I have since had it stolen by one of many teachers who were desperate to get their hands on it). A lot of what you were saying really resonated with me, a) because you were spot on and b) because a lot of your principals, I was already applying to my teaching.

In the school the teaching profile was awful with maybe only 3 of the teachers with any capacity to improve. I began a coaching programme starting with one of these teachers. His grades were coming out as inadequate or requiring improvement.

I worked closely with him and soon enough he ‘got it’ and his teaching was improving very quickly.

The first HMI visit came and 16% of lessons were deemed good.

With this other teacher, I put together a programme of coaching. I told him about some of your principals and we worked on getting them and some of our own across to selected staff.

As we improved staff, they too grew into coaches. Our guiding principal was always that the children needed to be working harder than the teachers.

To cut an already long story short, in November 2011 we moved out of special measures with 64% of teaching at least good. I got an outstanding and so did two other staff members.

I think at that point I messaged you on Twitter.

Since then I read your second book and with my teaching buddy we set about formalising some of our coaching processes. (again based on yours and our principals).

One piece of work we undertook was devising a model to show progress in observations in the second half of lessons. (We’d spotted a big difference between getting observed first half and second half).

Anyway, this week things have come full circle really. We got OFSTED on Wednesday and Thursday and although I can’t say too much, we are very pleased.

My mate was observed three times and nailed two outstanding lessons. Another of the originals nailed outstanding twice too and the other nailed a good.

No lesson observed was less than good and our only improvement point is to move all teaching to outstanding.

To top off an excellent week a flyer landed on my desk yesterday for your course and I’ve finally managed to get the breathing space to book myself and my teaching buddy on to it.

Your books have aided us so much already and we wanted to see your principles in practice first hand. We are already working on a plan to cascade outstanding practice around to even more staff and hope we can pick up a few ideas.

So after all of that (sorry I'm not great with words) I just wanted to say a big thank you for the help and inspiration your work provided, it gave us structures to tag our ideas on to and we look forward to seeing you in Birmingham on December 2nd , all being well.

Thanks again'


'This book deserves a place in every staffroom. Place it on the centre table, invite all staff to enjoy it and then, to misquote Auden,
Stop all the bells, disconnect the LCD
Deny the kids a wordsearch with a mental age of three
Dazzle the inspector and with seated bum
Bring on Independence, and let Learning come.'

'If you imbibe the essential principles he outlines in the book, you'll find yourself with a great toolkit of pupil-proof teaching techniques which will make you enjoy your teaching more and help you get better results.'

'This is an outstanding book, easily readable and 'flick-through-able' and jammed full of excellent ideas for outstanding teaching and learning.'

'Written in an engaging and down-to-earth style, The Lazy Teacher's Handbook is packed full of 'things to try' in lessons, but is also underpinned by a view of teaching and learning that is humane and hopeful.'

' Many teachers and support workers have problems with the application of differentiation... use this excellent book as a staff reference to enable staff teams to review and question their current practice.'

'...both practical with hundreds of good ideas and readable at the same time.'

'This is an ideal book for those students and teachers willing to think creatively - outside the box.'

'Without doubt this text evokes reflective practice and a review of traditional teaching methods.'

'...a book to dip into and I am sure many teachers will find new ideas and strategies as well as some well-known favourites.'

'Explains how teachers can enjoy their responsibility by helping the learners to realise that they have to share the work and in doing so they will enjoy it and find it fulfilling.'

'...a welcome reminder of the ability most teachers possess as well as being an invaluable reference point. And I for one am looking forward to reclaiming my Lazy Sundays.'

'An invaluable resource in our development of the PELTS at Priory Community School. Following an INSET from Jim we purchased the book as a reference guide to becoming a 'lazy teacher'. We have been asking for several years teachers to develop more independent learners in their classrooms, Jim's take on it makes it happen from a 'lazy' point of view! Each area of school uses the resource and our evaluation has been that this book has led our teachers and students to a position where learning takes over from teaching. The students now do the hard work of thinking and doing not the teacher.'

Thank you so much the book couldn't have come along at a better time for me. I was becoming bored with doing the same things every day. We have pushed our GCSE results from 44% to 70% in five years but we've damn near killed ourselves doing it! What you said last week really resonated with me and echoed some of the things that we often discuss as a department but never have a solution for. The 'Lazy Way' is really beginning to have a positive impact on the way we approach teaching and learning in the department.