Aug

30

2017
Tackling over-reliance on marking

Tackling over-reliance on marking

Over-reliance: Excessive dependence on or trust in someone or something. “They just don’t pay any attention”. “Yet again they haven’t understood.” “Why doesn’t anyone listen to me?” These teacher miseries can be heard in every staffroom across the land: how often do we castigate classes for what appears to be their glaring inability to translate lesson time into a quality final output in their books? How...

Read More


Aug

22

2017
Essential summer reads: ‘Making Every English Lesson Count’

Essential summer reads: ‘Making Every English Lesson Count’

“It’s been a long, long time coming but I know a change is gotta come” Otis Redding ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ This is always an edgy, nerve wracking week in education land. Wednesday night sees the inevitable fraught sleep, haunted by visions of a floating mass of grade ones and floods of adolescent tears drowning us. Just me? Positive or negative, post results days...

Read More


Aug

02

2017
Essential summer reads: ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers’

Essential summer reads: ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers’

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows’ Epictetus Having spent the last sixteen days with a group of seventeen Year 12 students completing a World Challenge project in South India, perspective is a word I have been thinking carefully about. Seeing these young people completely outside of their comfort zone, attempting to not only lead but help rebuild...

Read More


Jul

03

2017
Learning at Leeds Education Festival: ‘Building hope in education’

Learning at Leeds Education Festival: ‘Building hope in education’

“If you want to change the world, start with yourself” Mahatma Ghandi It seems fitting for a final post of this academic year to celebrate the power of learning. Having read and thought about a huge amount of wonderful books and blogs this year and produced my own fair amount of dubious eduwaffle, a first visit to an education conference seems a delightful way to conclude....

Read More


Jun

27

2017
Preparing Year 9 for GCSE: demystifying Dickens

Preparing Year 9 for GCSE: demystifying Dickens

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” Benjamin Franklin There is nothing worse than ending a year feeling like you haven’t managed to “win over” a group. Last year my Year 9 group strolled out of our final lesson and I felt that deflated tug. A troublesome group, they tested me in every single aspect: behaviour management, planning, relationships – the whole cocktail....

Read More


Jun

23

2017
On doubt and Direct Instruction

On doubt and Direct Instruction

“I don’t believe anyone ever suspects how completely unsure I am of my work and myself and what tortures of self-doubting the doubt of others has always given me.” ― Tennessee Williams Reaching the end of my first academic year of blogging and engaging with online dialogue about teaching, there is one frequent aspect that keeps resurfacing. It is an element that appears to be the driving force...

Read More


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...

Read More


Jun

09

2017
Teaching ‘To Autumn’ by John Keats

Teaching ‘To Autumn’ by John Keats

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun” John Keats ‘To Autumn’ Time to be honest: the exam “season” is as far from “mellow fruitfulness” as can be imagined for everyone involved. It certainly isn’t a “close bosom-friend” of anything related to me,  let alone how the poor students feel about it. Yet as Year 11 clutch their sweaty pens for a final time...

Read More


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...

Read More


May

24

2017
Teaching Narrative writing part two: slow and seductive modelling.

Teaching Narrative writing part two: slow and seductive modelling.

“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” — Samuel Johnson A quick confession that would have Mr Johnson spinning in his grave: I left London. Nearly half a decade was enough for me,...

Read More



Page 3 of 712345...Last »