Feb

19

2020
‘A Quiet Education’ Overview

‘A Quiet Education’ Overview

I’m both delighted and very nervous that ‘A Quiet Education: Challenging the extrovert ideal in our schools’ is out today and available from both John Catt Education and Amazon. It is a topic that I am hugely passionate about and feel privileged to have had the opportunity to write about and share with others. I will happily confess that writing this book was partly an act of...

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Feb

01

2020
Quiet Leadership

Quiet Leadership

In a gentle way, you can shake the world Mahatma Gandhi Fifty years ago, as he became the first person to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong uttered the words that would go down in history: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Armstrong had a quiet disposition. According to his biographer, James R Hansen, “There was nothing in Neil’s...

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Jan

02

2020
Avoiding Burnout: ‘A Quiet Education’ chapter.

Avoiding Burnout: ‘A Quiet Education’ chapter.

‘Take a rest. A field that is rested gives a beautiful crop’ Ovid A short journey through the etymology of the adjective “quiet” proves interesting in the context of burnout in teaching. It stems from the Latin quietus, meaning to be calm, at rest and free from exertion, and is borrowed from the Anglo-French and Middle French quiete, first appearing in the 14th century. For...

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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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Jun

14

2019
Improving students’ writing about personal experiences

Improving students’ writing about personal experiences

“I don’t know what to write about.” Ah, how familiar we English teachers are with the above adolescent lament. When it comes to writing about personal experiences, all of a sudden they have never left the darkened shelter of their rooms, never interacted with anyone and pursue absolutely no hobbies whatsoever. Their heads shake and they gaze wistfully off into the distance: “I don’t do...

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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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Mar

01

2019

Teaching The Secrets of Effective Revision

Half of my life is an act of revision. John Irving I can’t quite believe that ‘Slow Teaching: Finding calm clarity and impact in the classroom’ came out a year ago this weekend. I have hugely appreciated all the people taking the time to pass on feedback and write reviews. It has been so rewarding to see that it has helped some teachers and had...

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Feb

01

2019
The Introduction to ‘A Quiet Education’

The Introduction to ‘A Quiet Education’

    Schools are anything but quiet. Their walls reverberate with noise, with a hubbub of activity that begins long before the bell loudly dictates the start of the day. The interpersonal demands are huge: talk and communication dominate every space. For those of us who are more inclined to quiet, it can be an exhausting experience. To the untrained eye it may not appear...

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Jan

17

2019
Ten Non-Fiction Books Every Teacher Should Read

Ten Non-Fiction Books Every Teacher Should Read

“The differences between expert performers and normal adults are not immutable, that is, due to genetically prescribed talent. Instead, these differences reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance. K. Anders Ericsson I didn’t write as much as I would have liked in 2018: it was a busy old year with the arrival of a wee chap who doesn’t fully support any writing...

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Nov

16

2018
Teaching Writing Using Comparisons

Teaching Writing Using Comparisons

“Thought the quest for improvement may be informed by lessons and honed by practice, it must first be kindled by delight in the best works of the masters and a desire to approach their excellence”. Steven Pinker ‘The Sense of Style’ Over half-term I had planned to read ‘Learned Optimism’ by Martin Seligman and Steven Pinker’s ‘The Sense of Style: The Thinking person’s guide to writing...

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