#SpeedPD: Teaching a Tricky Text

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

Behaviour Management: It’s like herding cats!

Behaviour and effective behaviour management can often leave you at your wits’ end; pencils are whizzing past your ears, someone’s standing on the table and you could swear that the portal to the Underworld has opened in your classroom. Don’t shout – Shouting or raising your voice generally encourages students to do the same and is a sign you’ve lost control. Maintain eye contact – The student will more readily realise you’re speaking directly to them if you do,  and will be more likely to respond to your request. Don’t make it personal – Don’t give into your base instincts … Continue reading Behaviour Management: It’s like herding cats!

Positive Phone Calls Home

Last week, Debi Cullen, former Pastoral Manager, Head of House and Head of Year, posted a blog about the power of phone calls home in building positive relationships with parents and ironing out behaviour issues. But how can we use phone calls in an encouraging way too? Amanda Varley delves into this. Imagine: You’ve had a tough day, students have been kicking off in class, and you have a list of parents to phone before you have even started to think about marking or going home. After a challenging day, it ends it on a real downer. But here’s some … Continue reading Positive Phone Calls Home

The Best Things about Being a Teacher

It’s no secret that teaching is hard work and, at times, stressful. When the stress gets the better of us, it’s easy to forget that at its core, teaching is one of the best jobs out there. If you’re having a particularly tough day, here are five of the best things about being a teacher. No One Day Is Ever the Same Sure, your timetable won’t be changing and the bells go off at the same time every day but the fact that you have the opportunity to try new ideas, teach new content and chat to your students about … Continue reading The Best Things about Being a Teacher

Top Tips to Tackle the Marking Workload for Teachers

Marking often feels like a never-ending task – what can you do to get on top of that marking again? We have some ideas below! Self-Marking Having students mark their own work is a stroke of pure genius. Providing students with the answers to a series of questions/tasks means they’ll easily be able to identify fixes, improvements and mistakes in their own work. Immediate reflection like this also means misconceptions can be caught early instead of waiting for you to find the errors later. Avoid Triple Impact Marking Hopefully you work in a school that has a sensible, well-informed marking … Continue reading Top Tips to Tackle the Marking Workload for Teachers

Who is your Starfish?

In her account below, Amanda Varley an English content writer, shares some inspirational words for teachers to hold in mind in challenging situations. A Challenging Environment When I first started teaching, I worked in a school that was widely recognised as serving the most deprived area in the region. For the majority, unemployment was widespread, teenage pregnancy was high and income was low so many of the students that came through our school gates were vulnerable, often we had limited parental support and students simply being in school was something to be appreciated, let alone them having their own pen … Continue reading Who is your Starfish?

#SpeedPD: Plan Your Weekend!

“I should be doing that marking…” – This dog, probably. What are you up to? We believe that the weekend is time to unwind and relax… and no one wants to feel like they’ve wasted their two days of grace each week. Here are some handy tips to make the most of your weekend that you can read in less than a minute! Have something to look forward to! Binge some TV, go on a hike, make dinner reservations… Have a plan! Ditch your work emails. Don’t open them, don’t reply and if you must have email apps installed on your … Continue reading #SpeedPD: Plan Your Weekend!

Impostor Syndrome: Why Do Teachers Second-Guess Themselves?

I remember my first ‘outstanding’ observation – An English Language A-Level lesson with a class of eleven students. I recall the self-doubt and the onset of impostor syndrome that told me my lesson was poorly planned and headed for a … Continue reading Impostor Syndrome: Why Do Teachers Second-Guess Themselves?