Things You Should Never Say to a Teacher

Understanding teaching is nigh-on impossible until you do it for yourself. Even the spouses/partners of teachers don’t fully understand its intricacies – but passing comment is easy, but here are a few things you should really, really avoid saying to a teacher. ‘All those holidays must be nice!’ Holidays are amazing. Being able to take a holiday when you want it is just that bit more amazing. Here’s why. Imagine lazing on a beautiful, tropical beach in your swimming shorts/bikini and suddenly hearing a familiar “Hello Sir/Miss! What are you doing here?” as if the child is surprised you’ve been let … Continue reading Things You Should Never Say to a Teacher

A Successful Day at School

Here’s a handy checklist to ensure you have a successful day at school. Confiscate 3 phones, lend a tie that never returns and tell everyone to tuck their shirts in a few times before the end of form time. Remind your eager year 7s in period 1 that lining up to show you their first sentence isn’t necessary. You’ll mark it later. Explain that body spray is not a substitute for taking a shower to those year 9 boys during period 2. Spend your 15 minutes of break trying, and failing, to do some printing. Either because the queue is … Continue reading A Successful Day at School

The Value of ‘Said’

In learning, certain things have value don’t they? Maths is full of them. 3.14 for example – That’s the value of pi. I know that one. But when we look at English, how do we value words? Are there some words and phrases that are intrinsically more useful than others? What for example is the value of the word ‘said’ in writing? If my son’s primary school teachers are to be believed there isn’t any. It may be one of the top 100 words used in the English language but its value in writing is negated greatly when it comes … Continue reading The Value of ‘Said’

In Defence of the Controversial Opinion

I was recently browsing through Twitter and a particular thread caught my eye. It was a post asking readers to give their most unpopular, even sacrilegious, literary opinion. In the comments below was a cacophony of spicy takes: fan fiction and Young Adult literature are as important as classic novels! Ebooks are better than paper! Dog-earing pages is fine! Some films are better than the book! As I scanned through, I found myself nodding in agreement with some, while others made the colour rise in my cheeks as I struggled to contain the urge to reply with a tirade about … Continue reading In Defence of the Controversial Opinion