Controlling the Controllables

This last year in particular has highlighted many of the things which are fundamentally wrong in our society. From requiring a well-known and passionate footballer to get those in power to sit up and take notice that children were going hungry, to needing to provide meals for children in them in the first place, the stark realities of the inequalities in the society in which we live are staring us in the face. Many people too seem have done well from the horrors of the pandemic and many others continue to sit comfortably on their privilege, safe in the knowledge that little will topple them from their thrones.

Does this make me angry? Hell, yes! Do I look to do what I can to change this? Without a doubt. Have I managed to kick those in power up the backside so they realise what matters? Sadly, not as yet, however much I jump around on my tiny platform.

What’s in a name?

spend a lot of time thinking and writing about what effective professional development is. You might even say it has become something of an obsession after many frustrating years of struggling to make sense of the opportunities presented to me in INSET and Twilight sessions.

In Safe Hands

I can recall my early days of teaching vividly. Much as I loved my mentors, they were very much of the view I would either cut it or not as a teacher, and whilst I could go to them with specifics, there was little guidance in terms of the way I should do things. There…

The Illusion of Communication

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw Schools are places that depend on communication. We are constantly communicating complex information to the young people. Not only are we transmitting, but we are continually seeing what they are communicating back to us, to assess what they…

A Peep Behind the Curtain

One of the things I love the most about my current role, and indeed the role I had previously where I led on CPD and Teaching and Learning, was the opportunity it gave me to see behind the curtain and catch a glimpse of what is happening every day in classrooms. As Professor Becky Allen…

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.…

Remote Learning: Impossible Desires

In Teach Like Nobody’s Watching I argued that the process of teaching something, when you strip it back, is remarkably simple. If you watch anyone from children to experienced professionals teach you see the same things: recap of what you think they already know, give them some new information or instruction, get them to try…

Geography: It’s a piece of cake

Last night brought the first episode of a new season of The Great British Bake Off and with it much excitement. I love the show. I like the safeness, the comfort, the niceness. It is completely unchallenging. I also like the online reaction to it. The choosing of heroes and villains, the memes, snarky comments…

Teaching: It doesn’t have to be complicated

My new book, Teach Like Nobody’s Watching, is due to be sent off to the printers any day now and should soon be winging its way out to teachers around the country. Sometimes people ask why some of us bother to write books about education; you make very little money from it and there isn’t…

The Dangers of Rosenshine

In her latest post, Zoe Enser (@GreeboRunner) considers the dangers of turning educational research into a tick-sheet of non-negotiables. I am a bit fan of Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction. His work, especially the 2012 pdf which is flying around everywhere, provides a clear and precise toolkit for effective teaching. It also provides a shared language,…