Teaching and Learning


Sep

28

2019
On the Value of Quiet in our Schools

On the Value of Quiet in our Schools

In typical introverted fashion, I can only really feel confident delivering presentations at Education events if I write a script in advance. I then spend a fairly ridiculous amount of time trying to learn the material. This was the vision for my talk at ResearchED Scotland; in the wise words of Robbie Burns, however: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft...

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May

24

2019
The first five years of teaching: motivation, CPD and retention.

The first five years of teaching: motivation, CPD and retention.

It has been a very quiet few months on this blog. The TES English teacher podcast has been keeping me very busy (this latest episode with Matt Pinkett and Mark Roberts on helping boys achieve is a cracker) and I have been trying to finish off my Masters in Practitioner Enquiry. This post is a brief summary of some of the key findings of the...

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Jun

23

2018
Teaching and Learning Leeds Conference: ‘Slow Teaching: A recipe for improved teaching, leadership and wellbeing.’

Teaching and Learning Leeds Conference: ‘Slow Teaching: A recipe for improved teaching, leadership and wellbeing.’

I have spent this week obsessing and fretting about delivering this at the wonderful Teaching and Learning Leeds Conference. This was the initial ‘script’, and while I gave learning it a good bash, what I spluttered through in fifty minutes might not have sounded exactly like this! “The best laid schemes” and all that…   I appreciate that this is a slightly terrifying list for...

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Mar

30

2018
Reflect and Refine: Growing Passionate Teachers

Reflect and Refine: Growing Passionate Teachers

“If we create a culture where every teacher believes they need to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because we can be even better, there is no limit to what we can achieve” Dylan William. What keeps us energised, motivated and enthusiastic in our classrooms? When faced with a new academic year, what inspires us to become better versions of ourselves for...

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Mar

02

2018
A Slow Teaching Collection

A Slow Teaching Collection

After reading ‘In Praise of Slow’ by Carl Honore in February of last year I set off on a mission: an examination of applying slowness to the world of education. Over a year later the book is published by John Catt Educational today and and available to buy from Amazon here. It certainly doesn’t advocate a “tortoise teaching” approach, rather it encourages teachers to take more control...

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Feb

22

2018
‘The Tortoise and The Hare’ in the Classroom.

‘The Tortoise and The Hare’ in the Classroom.

In this age, which believes there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest. Henry Miller. Rather terrifyingly, after almost a year of writing, ‘Slow Teaching: on finding calm, clarity and impact in the classroom’ will be published next week by John Catt Educational (Friday 2nd March). The...

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Jan

26

2018
‘Teaching to the Top’: A challenge collection.

‘Teaching to the Top’: A challenge collection.

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” Robert Tew. Outside of the every daily variety of life in the classroom, one of the things I have particularly enjoyed about this academic year is setting up a CPD group called ‘Teacher Advocates’ with Zoe Taylor (who runs this excellent blog for English teachers) in our school. The idea is that...

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Nov

11

2017
Slow Teaching: ‘Serene and Stoical Behaviour Management’

Slow Teaching: ‘Serene and Stoical Behaviour Management’

“We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.” Epictetus A short journey through the remarkable life of the philosopher Epictetus can begin to justify why his words open a chapter on the mystery that is effective behaviour management. Born around 50 A.D he arrived in Rome without family as the property of the rich and powerful Epaphroditus, a man...

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Sep

29

2017
Ten Questioning Strategies

Ten Questioning Strategies

“The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions.” Claude Levi-Strauss Einstein would be rather chuffed: I have spent the last two weeks questioning everything about my approach to questioning in the classroom. Having written about the questioning traps that I kept finding myself stumbling into with new groups, I have made developing questioning in the classroom my pedagogical mission for this year....

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Sep

15

2017
Question mark heap on table concept for confusion, question or solution

Questioning Traps

“A prudent question is one half of wisdom” Frances Bacon. There is always something slightly tentative about the first two weeks of term: students are eying us up carefully, deciding exactly how they are going to respond to our magnificent lessons (rather Machievalian I know!)   I have had an interesting week with a Year 9 group who at the moment are heroically quiet, eerily...

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