They are their own species and they have their own language. If you are not a part of the teacher race, it can be increasingly difficult to understand the jargon that is used on a regular basis. However, in this interconnected web of supporting the student’s education, it is beneficial for all to be clued up – from the parent to the tutor – we’re in this together, so let’s understand each other. The Get My Grades team have put together some commonly used teacher lingo and what it means.

Teacher Lingo


The student assesses their own work. This does not always have to mean they are giving themselves a grade, it can be more of a reflective task where pupils consider what they have done well and what could be improved.


A student’s work is assessed by another peer. This is a mutually beneficial system as both students are being exposed to someone else’s work which will inevitably make them reflect on their work and what they have done well or what could be improved. Additionally, if a student is using a mark scheme or a success criteria to mark another student’s work, they are enhancing their understanding of what makes a good response.

Formative assessment:

These can be interval class tests or quizzes that allows the teacher to monitor student learning. Teachers also use this to inform their teaching as the strengths and weaknesses of the students become clear. Another phrase for this is Assessment for Learning (AFL).

Summative assessment:

These can be end of year exams or a final project, for example, to evaluate student learning. These assessments are usually done at the end of a unit, module or year and the results are compared against a benchmark or standard so student progress can be determined.


This is where differences in learning styles are accommodated for so that all learners have a chance of understanding and success in the lesson. An example of how a teacher could differentiate is by using images alongside text to enhance understanding.


This refers to the way the lesson is broken down and built up to move students to a stronger understanding and independence in their learning. Many follow the ‘I do, we do, you do’ framework to scaffold lessons appropriately.

Think pair share:

This is a collaborative learning strategy often used in lessons. The teacher will encourage each student to think independently, then talk with the person next to them and finally share it with the class


This deals with the theory and practice of teaching, studying the theoretical information surrounding the art of teaching.

Learning Objective:

A statement that summarises the aim of the lesson. Linked to this is the acronym WALT – What are we learning today?

Learning Outcome:

Statement that summarises the intended output of the lesson, what the students will have produced physically by the end of the lesson.

Success Criteria:

In a lesson, this can act as almost a checklist of what a successful answer/response would include. It breaks down what the students have to do or know to be successful on the topic. Linked to this are the acronyms: WILF – What am I looking for? WWW: What went well and EBI: Even better if.

Bloom’s taxonomy:

A classification system used to define and distinguish different levels of human cognition in thinking, learning, and understanding. It is usually presented as a pyramid with knowledge at the bottom and evaluation or create at the top.


Educational technology, often referred to as EdTech is essentially where the worlds of education and technology combine.

Acronym buster


Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, appears often in teacher marking and mark schemes.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths:

Referred to as the STEM subjects.


Planning, Preparation and Assessment Time for teachers set aside for them in the teaching day.


English as an Additional Language. Term to describe anyone who does not have English as their first language or if students are exposed to another language at home.


Special Education Needs, EHCP: Education, Health and Care Plan.


Initial Teacher Training.


Postgraduate Certificate in Education.


Qualified Teacher Status.


Newly Qualified Teacher.

So, hopefully, this will help sort some mysteries over teacher lingo! Use Get My Grades to improve your grades for all those end of year exams!

A Get My Grades account gives your child access to:
  • A huge range of resources and online textbook content, arranged into units, topics and subtopics.
  • Over 75,000 practice questions of varying types, like those on exams - not just multiple choice - written by experienced teachers.
  • Instant feedback after each question, with student-friendly mark schemes and explanations.
  • Automated tracking, so that you can see where they are doing well and where they are struggling - which you just can't get from a traditional textbook or revision guide!

Get My Grades subscriptions cost just £9 per student per month, or £75 per student for access for the year - with all our subjects and qualifications included, including many of the most common GCSE and IGCSE courses.

Sign up now to explore the platform - and, to give you a chance to start making the most of Get My Grades, use discount code MONTH1 to get your first month for just £1!

Sign Up and Start a Free 7-Day Trial Now

Discover more from Get My Grades

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading