Keep Calm and Just Teach

As we approach the end of the summer holidays I notice a real surge in posts and tweets from people worried about returning to the classroom. The issues that keep being mentioned are things like a feeling of being overwhelmed, of not knowing where to start, of feeling inadequate and not being able to keep…

How do we assess?

Every year, at about this time, I start dreaming about all the things I’ll get done during Term 6 when my exam classes have gone. With both Year 13 and Year 11 heading off I should actually get a reasonable amount of time to get stuck in to something and this year is a biggie.…

The problems with observations

We can learn a lot by observing others can’t we? At some point over the last couple of weeks I have found myself in a few conversations about lesson observations. As someone who has often benefitted from feedback after being observed, and someone who has often benefitted from watching others teach, I was surprised at…

Workload – Spreading us too thin

I am old, Gandalf. I don’t look it, but I am beginning to feel it in my heart of hearts. Well-preserved indeed! Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right. I need a change, or…

Targeting Teachers 

Twitter is a funny thing. Usually you (or at least, I) send out a thought which sparks a bit of a discussion, gets a few likes, might be retweeted and then it moves. Once in a while though something seems to capture people’s imagination and one has to turn off notifications and have a quiet…

From CleverLands to CleverClassrooms

Like many teachers around the country I have spent the last week devouring CleverLands by Lucy Crehan (Stephen Tierney’s excellent post here is well worth a look on his response). This book is her account of visiting 5 countries that are considered to have highly performing education systems: Finland, Singapore, Japan, China (Shanghai) and Canada.…

9 pillars of an outstanding department

I am currently enjoying the book Self Improving Schools produced by the NET. One chapter in particular is sparking ideas; that by Rachel Macfarlane on Creating Great Schools. In it she discusses the work of the Going for Great project in London and the 9 Pillars of Greatness that this led to. These 9 pillars…