For some reason, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar can still reduce teachers to jelly – even English teachers. But why? Why is something so simple, the cause of so much stress? Continue reading Teaching SPaG: Every Teacher’s Nightmare?
It’s been easy to feel snowed under this term with teaching combined with masks, bubbles, open windows, social distancing, litres and litres of alcohol gel (if only it was drinkable…) and pupils randomly in and out of school. But at … Continue reading Staggered? Don’t Be.
A recent report claims that there’s a “disconnect between career aspirations and reality,” which results in many feeling “destined for disappointment.” When that’s the case, why are we promoting exam excellence in the first place? Paul Brand investigates… Continue reading Career Aspirations: Are GCSEs Important?
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
We’ve written before about impostor syndrome, that nagging sense that the certificates you hold and the years of experience under your belt still don’t qualify you to do your job. Well, we’re going to take that one step further now … Continue reading Do Your Students Make You Feel Second-Rate?
Reading students’ work and finding errors can take you to the edge of sanity. Here’s eight infuriatingly funny grammar mistakes. Continue reading Eight Infuriating and Funny Grammar Mistakes
Teaching Standard 3 includes the following: ‘Demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of Standard English, whatever their specialist subject.’ Is this really fair? With everything else you have to include in your own subject lessons, how can you be expected to include literacy standards and a focus on Standard English too? Surely that’s the job of the English department? Actually, this standard is really important. You need to be able to demonstrate your own understanding and accurate use of Standard English in a range of different ways: report … Continue reading Sneak Some Literacy Into Your Lessons
“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!
Twinkl content writer, qualified English teacher and sometimes cover supervisor Paul Brand shares his blueprints for surviving cover lessons. The hazy, indeterminate nature of cover lessons makes them a battleground from which nobody emerges with much credit, and I speak as someone who’s fought on all sides. Is there any solution to the age-old conflict that arises whenever the regular class teacher has to temporarily vacate their position of authority? Petty Officers Let’s start with the kids. The eyes of even the brightest and best light up at the sight of a cover teacher trooping through the gates. Looking on … Continue reading Take Cover! How To Survive Cover Lessons
It’s the thing we all dread as English teachers: doing that difficult poem or play or novel with a class. The one we don’t like, but have to teach anyway because it’s on the GCSE English Literature syllabus. So, what can we do to make it more bearable for ourselves? Try these top five tips: Make a list of five good things about the text. They might not be groundbreaking – it could even be ‘it’s short’! But force yourself to focus on the positives. Use someone else’s resources. Ask a colleague, or get onto the Twinkl site to see … Continue reading #SpeedPD: Teaching a Tricky Text