Taking Away the Water Wings.

There was a time when I enjoyed Easter Study days. Getting down to the business end of the year; kids beginning to really focus; the more relaxed approach; the snacks. I tended to get their full attention when they had … Continue Reading →

Speed – ‘the not-so-hidden curriculum’

So, as usual, I was marking this morning; wading through some S2 classwork, becoming more and more frustrated. I usually set myself a goal of x number of books until I have a break. What always happens is that I … Continue Reading →

Using Homework More Effectively

I’ve been trying to get my head round the concept of homework recently. Is there such a thing as good homework and, if so, how can I use it more constructively than I’ve been doing? If I’m to believe some … Continue Reading →

Falling in Love With Reading – All Over Again.

So I had been reading Richard Flanagan’s Booker winner, ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’, on the train, on the way home from school, in the middle of December, when I rediscovered my love of reading. Opening the book … Continue Reading →

Feedback Gallery – or the Green Room on ‘The One Show’?

I hate to say it but Peer Assessment is, in my experience, hugely ineffective. I know it’s probably the way I was doing it so couldn’t dismiss it out of hand but it never really works for everyone and can … Continue Reading →

Don’t Believe the Hype – why I need to be a better teacher

I’ve always been my greatest and most fierce critic, which, I think, has allowed me the freedom to blog on my everyday practice. That knowledge does, however, make reflection somewhat difficult; New Year’s Resolutions have never been my strong point. … Continue Reading →

We Are All Charlie Chaplin

This is the unedited text of my article in today’s TES Scotland   There’s a famous scene in Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’ where the poor hero is desperately trying to keep up with the conveyor belt of screws to tighten … Continue Reading →

I was wrong about Maffs…

I’ve probably always been uncomfortable with the premise that some subjects are described as knowledge-based and some skills-based. As an English teacher I know I’ve said this at times. ‘English is more skills based therefore we are different to Maths … Continue Reading →

Never Give Up on a Good Thing

Why encouraging reluctant readers Is our responsibility I’ve written about Tom before. He’s that kid in your class who, no matter what, never seems to get reading, never seems to be comfortable with reading a book. There are thousands like … Continue Reading →

The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get

Even after fifteen years in the classroom, the thing that causes me most grief, the thing that results in more sleepless nights than anything else is behaviour management. It’s the thing that new teachers ask most about and struggle with … Continue Reading →

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