All Teachers Are Equal, but Some Teachers Are More Equal Than Others

At the risk of being lynched by colleagues, I’m going to suggest that my own subject – English – is more ‘rigorous’ than other subjects. By which I mean it’s far more planning and assessment heavy. Yes, I’m looking at you, PE and IT… please don’t pound on me PE teachers, I never did like contact sports! Beyond explores teacher equality in the classroom… Continue reading All Teachers Are Equal, but Some Teachers Are More Equal Than Others

4 April Fools’ Day Pranks Teachers Can Play

April Fools’ Day is a day of wariness on all fronts. You can’t believe anything you read, hear or see and those excuses your students offer for no homework or being late are dealt with even greater scrutiny. That being … Continue reading 4 April Fools’ Day Pranks Teachers Can Play

Teaching Holiday Half-Truths

No matter what school you teach at, what year groups you have, what subject you teach, there are some things that are true for every teacher in the holidays. How many of these half-truths have you told yourself? The Half –Truth: This is the holiday that you will avoid being poorly in the first few days. You know it happens every time: the bell rings to signal the holidays and suddenly the cold/sickness bug/exhaustion you’ve been avoiding these last couple of weeks hits you with vengeance. This time, you are going to take cold relief tablets in pre-emptive strike, sterilise … Continue reading Teaching Holiday Half-Truths

Whole-School Literacy: A-B-C, Easy as 1-2-3!

“I can already speak English; why do I need to carry on learning it?” It’s the battle-cry of pupils still confused by commas and semi-colons and fearful that our demanding exam system might label them failures in their native language. Little do they realise, this sentiment is probably not far removed from the apprehension with which many of their teachers approached the QTS skills tests. A quick glance at most Twitter feeds is enough to prove that you don’t need to be a stickler for SPaG to become successful or influential, yet at the same time making such an error … Continue reading Whole-School Literacy: A-B-C, Easy as 1-2-3!

The Element of Surprise

In this evening’s blog, Penny S-K talks us through a recurring nightmare and teaching in the face of a lack of planning. Do you ever have that dream where you’re about to go on stage, and you discover that you can’t remember any of your lines? And sometimes, for added colour, you’ve also forgotten to put on any clothes? It’s a recurring nightmare for me – probably down to my slightly theatrical background and general nervousness about life. But it’s a dream that’s never been more prominent than when I was a teacher. The fear of walking into any situation … Continue reading The Element of Surprise

How Do You Deal with Lesson Observation Feedback?

If you’ve happened to read my blog post titled ‘Seven Top Tips for NQTs’ you’ll have no doubt read point five which was summarised as ‘Sometimes, Feedback Isn’t Pleasant’. No one enjoys criticism and even if the observer is as nice as pie, sometimes you can come away feeling defeated and demoralised. This got me thinking. How can you handle lesson observation feedback in a positive and constructive way? Organise a Time and Place If given the option, avoid immediate feedback but organise a meeting immediately.  This is for two reasons. First of all, you’re likely to want some time … Continue reading How Do You Deal with Lesson Observation Feedback?

#SpeedPD: How to Survive Parents’ Evening

After a long day of teaching, parents’ evening can feel like the last thing you need. But speaking to parents can be a really useful experience, especially if you are prepared. Read our hints and tips in this blog post. Continue reading #SpeedPD: How to Survive Parents’ Evening