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Grace Coker, our maths specialist, considers how rehearsing a teaching technique outside of the classroom can support practitioners to enhance their teaching skills and embed habits.

I’ll never forget the time I took part in a role play exercise as part of a job interview. It involved speaking to a ​parent’ who took a pretend phone call during the conversation. There was gesticulation and heated words. Not by me, I might add. I genuinely wanted the earth to swallow me up.

Role play – for some reason – has always felt slightly uncomfortable and awkward.

Fast forward a few years and I have a better understanding of what role play is and isn’t, and how it can be used purposefully. It’s an opportunity to rehearse, practise, and perfect a technique. I’m using it more and more in the professional development I plan and deliver.

In my experience, role play isn’t as widely used in education as other professions. For example, in the NHS, police, and corporate jobs, it’s used as part of recruitment, training, and continuous professional development.

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