“JUDGE A MAN BY HIS QUESTIONS RATHER THAN BY HIS ANSWERS”
When is a blog not a blog? Blog: noun (informal) an online journal. Contraction of: weblog. This isn’t really a blog; it’s a repository, an archive of everything I write for various newspapers, magazines, websites, newsletters and books. Occasionally, I’ll feel inspired to write something exclusively for these pages, too. In short, if I’ve written it, it’ll be here somewhere…
PLEASE NOTE: SOME OLDER ARTICLES HAVE BEEN MOVED OR REMOVED AS PART OF AN EFFORT TO SPRING-CLEAN THIS WEBSITE AND KEEP IT LOOKING FRESH SO WE APOLOGISE IF YOU ENCOUNTER ANY BROKEN LINKS OR CAN’T FIND WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY DIFFICULTIES.
There’s a famous and possibly apocryphal story that Alan Bennett was asked to rename the film adaptation of his stage play The Madness of George III to The Madness of King George for fear that American audiences wouldn’t go to see it because they’d assume they’d missed the first two films in the trilogy. Teach 2 is a sequel of sorts but it’s not essential you’ve read the first book. Teach 2 says some of the things I’ve learnt since writing the first book because – and isn’t this just the best thing about life – every day is a school day. And if I ever need proof of that, I watch an episode of University Challenge. Just when I think I know it all, I sit through half an hour of Jeremy Paxman (seemingly speaking a foreign language) and I realise that I’m a complete and utter moron. Whereas Teach was about the science of learning, Teach 2 takes us right back to basics, to the building blocks that make great teachers and great teaching… READ MORE
I had to say some fond farewells this week. After nearly three years, I left Derby College to take up my next challenge. Although I confided this in no one, it was always my intention to commit to three years or stay until such a time as we were inspected and judged to be ‘good’. It now seems fortuitous, therefore, that the two events have almost coincided. This week was therefore my last and, although I can’t say I’ll miss those long daily commutes on the train, I will definitely miss all the staff who work at the end of the line… READ MORE
I bought a Border Collie pup recently and, at eight weeks, have just begun training her. I don’t want to sound disparaging but the experience has reminded me a lot of my teaching days… READ MORE
What happened when an inspector called?
Most people get a phased return to work following illness; I got a week-long Ofsted inspection. I returned home late on Friday night after a week spent living out of a suitcase. My five-year-old daughter insisted on waiting up for me. Apparently, she’d sat by the window for three hours as I crawled up the M1 just so she could wave to me as I pulled onto the drive. One day, I’ll take her in my arms and tell her how every one of the 10,800 seconds she spent staring into the darkness was worth its weight in gold just to see her smile after a sleepless, stressful week… READ MORE
Forget Christmas – in my house, the first week of December was much more festive. My family and I awoke early each morning and crept downstairs – nimble on our feet – to see if our New Vacuum had arrived. And one day, after a knock at the door and a signed chit, there it was, standing proud in the hall: shiny and new and beautifully designed, accompanied by its progeny of nozzles… READ ALL 5 PARTS HERE
There is no silver bullet, no secret formula to teaching great lessons. What works is what’s best and the best thing to do, therefore, is to get to know your students – including by regularly assessing them – and to plan for progress by providing opportunities for all your students to fill gaps in their knowledge and skills. But here is some advice for new teachers on assessment, behaviour and curriculum… READ MORE
Should parents read bedtime stories?
Reading my daughter’s bedtime story is an innocent act that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care, it is my sore labour’s bath, the balm of my hurt mind, and the chief nourisher in my life’s feast. Our bedtime story makes the world seem a better place, it is an oasis of calm and order in an otherwise cold, cruel world… Part One | Part Two | Part Three
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