Teaching and the dangerous “culture of doing”.

The invisible nature of teaching well Many of the elements of great teaching are invisible to the naked eye. It comprises of the tiny adjustments we make in the classroom, there and then, in response to events as they unfold. These decisions are based on a combination of professional knowledge and experience. As our experience…

What makes the difference?

A few days ago, after getting our GCSE results, I wrote a quick post about some of the things we had done as a department that I felt had made a difference and helped us go from getting “quite good results” to “really quite excellent results”. Since then people have asked lots of further questions…

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…

Testing Times

I wonder how much of what I have taught over the years has been almost immediately forgotten? When I think back to my own schooling all those years ago, and what I can remember from it, I’d have to assume the majority has been lost. I spent 5 years learning German and at one point…

Tapping the Well

There has been much discussion on EduTwitter and on teaching blogs about the need for a knowledge based curriculum. A lot of this seems to be coming from either those with an English teaching background or from Primary education where there seems to have been a focus on skills in the past. For those of…

Are you happy?

There is a wonderful episode of Frasier right at the very end of Season One, a bottle episode, in which Niles asks his brother “Are you happy?” whilst they are out for coffee (My Coffee With Niles – Season One Episode 24). This idea of happiness and contentment is one to which the show returns…

Gently down the stream

Someone said something lovely to me at the end of the week. I was talking to our trainee teacher about how he felt his placement with us was going and one thing he said was how nice it was that which ever teacher he was with we all seemed to be pulling in the same…