The Unicorn Teacher

They’re very rare and special. There won’t be more than one or two in a school. Sometimes there won’t be any at all. They hold distinctive and exceptional qualities that are breathtaking to behold, many want to emulate and few can achieve. They are the unicorn teachers and if you meet one, you should look after them very, very carefully. Unicorn Teachers deliver in many ways like so many teachers: they work hard and go the extra mile for their students, being friendly, positive and genuinely interested. You’ll find them at extra-curricular clubs and meetings, being helpful to new staff … Continue reading The Unicorn Teacher

NQT Advice: Five Things to Tell Your NQT

NQT Advice: Handy to know! Whether you’ve simply got an NQT joining the department or you’re taking on an NQT as a mentor, it’s always handy to have a little NQT advice to hand for when things start getting a … Continue reading NQT Advice: Five Things to Tell Your NQT

Behaviour Management Techniques: Always Take the Weather with You

We’ve all had those classes: like tornados, they descend into the classroom, causing chaos and raising the temperature of even the most glacial teacher. This class can be a forecast of worry, stress and exasperation for you. How can you … Continue reading Behaviour Management Techniques: Always Take the Weather with You

Messy? No, Just Artistically Challenged!

Penny S-K ponders being messy despite trying otherwise in this evening’s blog article. I’m not a neat person. I try my best, I really do. I love stationery: I have files and folders and notepads and all manner of organisational tools at my fingertips. But ultimately, I will never be tidy. It’s something I’ve come to accept after four decades of minor chaos. Sadly, my messiness is not confined to my surroundings: it also affects my appearance. I try to look neat and well-turned out, but somehow my shirt always comes untucked, my shoelaces come undone, my hair decides to … Continue reading Messy? No, Just Artistically Challenged!

Why Departmental Sharing is so Important

I trained at a school where each teacher planned and resourced their own lessons. Every teacher was teaching the same topic, yet each individually planned a scheme of work and delivered a range of lessons. And they were so territorial about their lessons. Worksheets were not shared. Lesson plans were not emailed around with a cheery ‘Hope this helps!’ Every man for themselves. When I was employed at my first school, the department shared everything. Lessons, worksheets, ideas and links were shared by email, in department meetings and over cups of tea in the staff room. It was a breath … Continue reading Why Departmental Sharing is so Important

Passion or Planning: Where Should a Teacher’s Priorities Lie?

Penny S-K explores different approaches to planning, and how to get the best out of your teaching personality. Several years ago, I worked with the most incredible teacher. Let’s call him Bob. Bob was the kind of teacher we all aspire to be: he was liked and respected by students, had excellent subject knowledge, and delivered consistently good Key Stage 3 and GCSE results. He wasn’t a saint though – he could occasionally be snappy with staff and his desk looked like it had been the victim of a highly localised whirlwind. But he was a great teacher. Like all … Continue reading Passion or Planning: Where Should a Teacher’s Priorities Lie?

Mindfulness for Teachers: It’s Okay to Take a Moment…

Teaching is a wonderful, busy, frightening, exhilarating, exhausting and amazing profession. It isn’t just a job; it is a vocation and because of this, it can feel like life is hurtling 100mph down a road that is relentlessly twisting and turning; a constant conveyor belt of marking, meetings and mayhem; a never-ending to-do list that can easily swallow up every spare moment that you have. This kind of workload can be overwhelming and it can be easy to think that you can’t stop, pause for a moment and take a breath, but actually it is important, in fact essential, that … Continue reading Mindfulness for Teachers: It’s Okay to Take a Moment…