Wellbeing


Apr

21

2017
‘One Day Like This’: On ensuring a confident and calm term.

‘One Day Like This’: On ensuring a confident and calm term.

“Throw those curtains wide! One day like this a year would see me right.” Elbow: ‘One Day Like This’ Elbow’s ‘One Day Like This’ ends with a gloriously optimistic two and a half minutes, with Guy Garvey’s impassioned repetition of the above refrain building to a crescendo. Never has a song so wonderfully and obviously juxtaposed the act of waking up at the start of a new term....

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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

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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Dec

14

2016
Learning curves: a diary entry every day in 2016

Learning curves: a diary entry every day in 2016

“I think a lot, but I don’t say much.” Anne Frank I am now a man who writes a diary. An admission I never thought I would make. I am a chap who keeps it religiously, every single day, without fail. I have written an entry every day for 2016. Yes, as you edge slowly and fearfully towards the cross at the top of the page, I...

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Dec

14

2016
Learning curves: reading 52 books in 2016

Learning curves: reading 52 books in 2016

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” Maya Angelou Remember that voracious obsession that dominated every hour as a child? Remember that innocent abandon in which you devoured books before the adolescent years descended like a black cloud? Remember the sonorous call of George and the bunch as...

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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

05

2016
The organised teacher: solving the teacher retention “crisis”

The organised teacher: solving the teacher retention “crisis”

“For every minute spent in organising, an hour is earned”  Benjamin Franklin Bursting with youthful enthusiasm I entered our delightful and demanding profession in 2010. I joined the 24,100 other fledging teachers at the heart of this BBC story that has been making such an impact over the past two weeks. Thirty percent of my fellow teacher graduate caterpillars, hoping to blossom into inspiring butterflies of learning, have now...

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Oct

21

2016
The teacher ‘power pose’: posture in the classroom.

The teacher ‘power pose’: posture in the classroom.

  “I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way.” – Frank Sinatra I realise I am being a little harsh to our new Prime Minister with this rather unflattering image.  Her fervent promotion of the grammar school agenda, however, results in a pretty swift loss of sympathy! Close inspection of the image reveals one striking feature of Mrs May: her posture is pretty poor,...

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Oct

07

2016
The curse of PowerPoint: time to teach naked.

The curse of PowerPoint: time to teach naked.

  “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting results.” Albert Einstein. A confession: PowerPoint has become the clothing of my teaching. It is there, draped over every lesson, always present. It exists in different manifestations: sometimes it is an ostentatious outfit, a three piece suit if you will. Sometimes it is a little more skimpy – the shorts and t-shirt variation....

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Oct

02

2016
Residential reflections: escaping the classroom

Residential reflections: escaping the classroom

Summer is fading: The leaves fall in ones and twos From trees bordering The new recreation ground. In the hollows of afternoons Young mothers assemble At swing and sandpit Setting free their children. Philip Larkin’s ‘Afternoons’ seems particularly relevant as September draws to a close.  In all honesty this week has felt a bit more like a challenge: tiredness and irritability have set in, half term is still too far away and...

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