Teaching and Learning


Jun

14

2022
man holds his hand near ear and listens carefully alphabet letters flying in isolated on gray wall background

Improving Listening in the Classroom: Teachers

I have been reading the terrific ‘You’re Not Listening’ by Kate Murphy. Over the next two weeks, I want to share some of the thinking from it in two blog posts: one on how teachers can develop their own listening, and the second on how we can seek to actively teach listening in the classroom. Murphy believes that listening is a skills and art that...

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May

05

2022
Classroom Communication: Clarity 

Classroom Communication: Clarity 

It was my wee boy’s fourth birthday party last week. The garden was to play host to a ninety-minute extravaganza of exciting activities: with eleven three-and-four year old’s frolicking in the sunshine. Inevitably, five minutes before the little darlings arrived it started to pour with rain. Cue eleven three-and-four year old’s now squeezed into our living room. A desperate consultation between my wife and I...

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Jan

06

2022
Introducing: ‘Is Anyone Listening? A Communication toolbox for teachers’

Introducing: ‘Is Anyone Listening? A Communication toolbox for teachers’

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”  George Bernard Shaw  Teaching is communication. How we speak, how we act, how we express ourselves in the classroom is absolutely vital. It can be the difference between building positive relationships and inspiring a deep love of learning, to a complete breakdown in how our classrooms and learning function. What we...

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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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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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Mar

27

2020
The Essential Guide to Lockdown Teacher Improvement with Tom Sherrington

The Essential Guide to Lockdown Teacher Improvement with Tom Sherrington

  LISTEN ON APPLE PODCASTS | LISTEN ON SPOTIFY | LISTEN ON GOOGLE PODCAST It has definitely been a very strange week. My wife is working at home, so like many people out there I’m sure, I have my two year old boy full time, alongside trying to wrestle with our new online teaching world. As joyful as it is getting to spend some time with...

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Mar

23

2020

The Tes English Teacher Podcast Collection

I am now flying podcast solo, and have set up ‘The Well Teacher podcast.’ The latest episode with Adrian Bethune on how to keep calm, positive and motivated through everything that is going on is available here. I thought that with our new sequestered existences, doing a collection with all the episodes that I did for Tes might be helpful. I was lucky to speak to...

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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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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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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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