Teaching and Learning


Jun

16

2017
Ten public speaking tips for teachers.

Ten public speaking tips for teachers.

“What you are speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” Ralph Emerson Is there a profession that demands skilled public speaking more than teaching? We are on stage all day, every day, at the whim and fancy of the most capricious (and wonderful!) of audiences: adolescents. How we present ourselves while we are on our classroom platform is vitally important: influencing the dynamic...

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May

31

2017
‘Honest Abe’: Teaching lessons from Lincoln.

‘Honest Abe’: Teaching lessons from Lincoln.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” Abraham Lincoln A horrifying realisation struck me mid frolics in hills of the Yorkshire Dales on Sunday: six months of 2017 has vanished and I have read nothing related to history this year (clearly my fresh air inspired ruminations are always of such a profound and intellectual nature). Not a single jot. Once I had recovered from this startling revelation...

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May

19

2017
The benefits of becoming a minimalist teacher.

The benefits of becoming a minimalist teacher.

Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all. — Nathan W. Morris It is an image familiar in educational environments throughout the land: the red faced, exhausted and agitated teacher, surrounded by streams of student books, paper strewn haphazardly around their desk. The walls are covered in faded, yellowing posters – with the obligatory superfluous rules of the classroom dog-eared and tragically ignored...

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Apr

19

2017
‘Slow Teaching: finding calm, clarity and impact in the classroom’

‘Slow Teaching: finding calm, clarity and impact in the classroom’

Introduction to ‘Slow Teaching,’ which will be published by John Catt Educational on March 2nd 2018. It is available to order from Amazon here. The Slow Teaching Philosophy You have taken the first step: hesitantly opening the pages of this book. There may be elements of doubt in your mind as you recall the repertoire of more fashionable and effective teaching behaviours, a speed-induced cocktail with...

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Feb

23

2017
Blind spots: a manifesto for teaching quiet students

Blind spots: a manifesto for teaching quiet students

“People are so complicated. Every new person is a completely new role of the dice.” ‘The Giveness of Things’ Marilynne Robinson. Please forgive a rather incongruous opening. Last week I took advantage of a room exit from my wife to hastily flick away from Gary Barlow and his chums (take that indeed) to catch an excellent scene from ‘Shaun of the Dead.’ In it our hero...

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Feb

03

2017
Experiments with pace: slow teaching and slow marking.

Experiments with pace: slow teaching and slow marking.

“Society is all but rude, To this delicious solitude.” Andrew Marvell ‘The Garden.’ What makes effective teaching? The ultimate question and “slowness” is certainly not high up on the list of quick fire responses. In fact I think most of us would recoil in disgust if we were dubbed a “slow” teacher. I know I would: energy, drive, enthusiasm, passion are the hall marks for me...

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Jan

20

2017
Tackling Transition: lessons from the research.

Tackling Transition: lessons from the research.

  “I want to emphasise to you, Mr President-elect, that we now are going to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds,” Barack Obama “Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks. Thought it was going to be a smooth transition – NOT!” Donald Trump This has been a week of...

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Dec

09

2016
Stoical serenity: behaviour management from Ancient Rome.

Stoical serenity: behaviour management from Ancient Rome.

  “It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.” Seneca I realise to post about behaviour management at this stage in the year is gloriously lacking in festive cheer. Let me for a brief moment fully embrace, in fact exalt the philosophy of the “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner,” Scrooge. This time of year is rather difficult, inordinately challenging to remain calm...

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Nov

18

2016
Seventastic Speaking: experiments with speech.

Seventastic Speaking: experiments with speech.

One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one’s own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase — some jackboot, Achilles’ heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse — into the dustbin where it belongs… ‘Politics and the English...

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Oct

14

2016
The (tough) Empathy Gap: beyond the data.

The (tough) Empathy Gap: beyond the data.

“I’ve learned that everyone has a rucksack. The world is full of of people carrying around a toxic narrative, pulled down by a sadness or a grief that they don’t know how to share, and all of us are hiding it from each other.” Cathy Rentzenbrink ‘The Last Act of Love’ I set myself a lofty target at the start of the year: to read...

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