Compliance or Learning?

There is a lot of discussion which takes place around student behaviour at the moment. Debates around whether students should have phones, how we can alert them to the end of break times and whether they should sit up and smile in lessons are without a doubt hot topics which divide many on social media.…

Pushing for Purpose

When I was first teaching, I know that a lot of what I was doing was simply emulating others. I had spent two years prior to training to teach as a Learning Support Assistant and that, along with the lessons I had experienced as a student myself, was most of the basis of what I…

The Kids Have Been Fantastic

I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else Winston Churchill (possibly) Both me and my wife are very lucky that we get to spend a lot of time talking to a lot of teachers. She is a local authority advisor working across schools in Kent and I, in between…

Teacher Explanation: A Dungeon Master’s Guide

One of the few good things to have come out of a year of lockdowns for me personally has been becoming reacquainted with a favorite game from my teenage years, Dungeons and Dragons. Playing this game whilst teaching, and whilst reading and writing about teaching, has led to me seeing the classroom in a new…

What do we value?

Why we should think about our focus in the absence of exams Recent events have turned education upside for many. Suddenly, those clear end points and structure to work towards have been stripped away with the removal of exams this year, and understandably, many feel all at sea without a life buoy. The students and…

The Art of Distraction

Half my life I have been distracted. Homework was done with the TV in the background. My degree completed with a 3-year-old playing under my watchful gaze. My lesson planning or marking often juggled around pick up, dinner prep and the general hubbub of life. Even now I have the option to work quietly I…

Row Rows

When I inherited my very first classroom as an NQT, back in ’04, the desks were arranged in groups. This wasn’t really surprising. Both of the schools I had trained in had grouped desks across the school, any other school I had been into had desks in groups and across the school I was now…

A Remote Chance of Learning

Over the last couple of days Lord Andrew Adonis, Labour peer in the House of Lords and former Schools Minister under Tony Blair, has been raising eyebrows with a series of tweets on how he believes schools should be setting work during the lockdown. Yesterday he announced he was talking to former head of Ofsted,…