Nov

12

2021
Learning from mistakes

Learning from mistakes

‘Teacher Resilience: Managing stress and anxiety to thrive in the classroom’ came out a year ago today. This is a chapter for anyone who, like me, feels they have already made a hundred mistakes since this academic year started! Anxious anecdote As the class rampaged out of the door, a huge sigh of relief escaped from Darrol. To say the lesson had been a disaster...

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Oct

30

2021
“Yes we can”: the language of optimism in the classroom.

“Yes we can”: the language of optimism in the classroom.

My six-month year-old has decided his day should begin at an even more unsociably early hour over the past few weeks. In the spirit of optimism, there are some perks: we have managed to sit through three-two hour documentaries on Barack Obama’s rise to the American presidency over the past month. Early morning bonding indeed. I have been writing about applying minimalism principles to the...

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Sep

04

2021
The Minimalistic Teacher

The Minimalistic Teacher

I have been writing and thinking about minimalism in teaching for four years, as this piece in The Guardian from 2017 explores. Minimalism argues for a decluttering of our lives to facilitate a calmer, more organised way of living and working. The principles are based on ruthless prioritisation and the frequent clearing out of all that is unnecessary. Its supporters argue that it provides a calmer,...

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Jan

28

2021
Teaching Creative Writing on Teams

Teaching Creative Writing on Teams

  I am a strong believer in the benefits of writing in supporting mental health and wellbeing. I know how much it has helped me, particularly over the last five years. Oliver Sacks captures the immersive power of it poignantly in the final paragraph of his autobiography ‘On The Move’: “The act of writing, when it goes well, gives me a pleasure, a joy, unlike...

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Jan

20

2021
Slow Teaching: Efficient Teacher Talk

Slow Teaching: Efficient Teacher Talk

If you are anything like me, you have been asked to repeat yourself about a thousand times in this new online teaching world, and you are talking more than ever before. I am hoping sharing this chapter from my first book ‘Slow Teaching: Finding calm, clarity and impact in the classroom,’ (which somehow came out almost three years ago) might help make this exhausting process...

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Jan

13

2021
Online English Teaching: Tone in non-fiction texts

Online English Teaching: Tone in non-fiction texts

The motivation for resurrecting this weekly blog this year is very simple: to reflect carefully on how to be a better English teacher. Is that a possible aim in our new online teaching world? Last week, as I sat with a computer wrestling with Teams and becoming more and more enraged, I would have offered a resounding no. Some teachers chuckle and modestly claim to...

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Jan

07

2021
On Teaching Reading.

On Teaching Reading.

  “There will always be another book to read, or guiltily to reread. And that is a joy for all of us.” Stig Abell ‘Things I learned on the 6.28.’ One book. That, dear reader, was the sum total of my Christmas gift stash. One book. My status as a mid-thirties male, however, was firmly entrenched: legions of socks; more ties than I could possibly...

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Nov

20

2020
On Toxic Schools

On Toxic Schools

This is a sample chapter from my new book ‘Teacher Resilience: Managing stress and anxiety to thrive in the profession’.  Anxious anecdote 8.15am. Zane’s door opened without warning. Thomas, the school’s deputy headteacher (a man who had been teaching for a grand total of five years), stood with a clipboard and one of the colour-coded spreadsheets that seemed to be an extension of his extremely...

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Nov

13

2020
Teacher Resilience

Teacher Resilience

I’m delighted that today is the publication of my third book ‘Teacher Resilience: Managing Stress and Anxiety to Thrive in the Classroom’. As much as a I love the process of writing, I didn’t expect to publish another book this year. To be fair: I didn’t expect much of how this year has turned out! In an attempt to maintain some sanity in between wrestling...

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Oct

19

2020
Mary Myatt interview: Fewer things, greater depth.

Mary Myatt interview: Fewer things, greater depth.

LISTEN ON APPLE PODCASTS | LISTEN ON SPOTIFY | LISTEN ON GOOGLE PODCAST If you are anything like me, I’m sure you would agree that the past half term has been a challenging one. As wonderful as it is being back doing our core purpose in classrooms with young people, we are stretched both emotionally and in the extensive new demands on our time. It...

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