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whatareyoureadingfor

Blogging book obsessive. Teacher of English, just starting my NQT year. Father of 2. Ex-local government drone. North of 40
whatareyoureadingfor has written 141 posts for What are you reading for…?

What I Taught Today: ‘Exposure’ by Wilfred Owen

This lesson was to introduce my low ability Year 10 set to Wilfred Owen’s poem ‘Exposure’. It’s the second poem from the ‘Power and Conflict’ cluster which we have studied – we started last week with ‘Bayonet Charge’, so this time I thought I’d stick with World War One. To warm the class up I … Continue reading

Ian McGuire, ‘The North Water’ (2016)

‘The air is filled with the foetid air of butchery and excrement. Drax feels pleasure at this work, arousal, a craftsman’s sense of pride. Death, he believes, is a kind of making, a kind of building up. What was one thing, he thinks, is become something else.’ Ian McGuire’s second novel The North Water is centred on … Continue reading

The Tortoise and the Hare

During a six week summer holiday that everyone I’ve spoken to (whether teacher, parent, friend or family member) agrees has gone ludicrously quickly, we acquired a tortoise. Rocket (yes, really – he can properly shift it when he’s of a mind to) came into our lives and generated great excitement that was not just confined … Continue reading

Omar Akbar, ‘The (Un)Official Teacher’s Manual’ (2017)

Last week of the Summer holidays. Time to start thinking about going back to school, and getting ready for the inexorable onslaught of lessons, marking and meetings. It’s easy to say at this distance, but I feel more confident stepping into the classroom – more so, given a terrific GCSE performance by my Year 11s … Continue reading

Iain Banks, ‘The Wasp Factory’ (1984)

I first read The Wasp Factory when I was 18. I’d never heard of Banks; but in 1992 he visited a local bookshop to promote his novel The Crow Road. The write-up in the local paper included something about Banks’ popularity with students, which pricked my curiosity. After a year out, I was moving to Liverpool to start … Continue reading

My Idea of Fun

The last week of term looms. The six week Summer holiday is so close you can almost touch it, its welcome warmth the sun suddenly breaking through clouds. The only thing standing between you and that gentle embrace is five days of lessons. 20-odd hours of teaching. What could be simpler? The temptation of course … Continue reading

Marking Time

Blimey. Only five weeks since I went back to school after the Easter break, but it feels like a lifetime ago. This last half-term has been, without a sliver of a whisker of a shadow of a doubt, my hardest since I started teaching just over 18 months ago. That was partly due to getting … Continue reading

Death by Powerpoint

Friday was tough. Three reasons: Standard end of the week fatigue Massive and ongoing behavioural problems with a difficult Year 8 class Decidedly mixed feedback from the previous day’s observation Number 3 was the hardest to take because (as is so often the case) it was fair and accurate and well-meant. A key issue was … Continue reading

Kathy Reichs, ‘The Bone Collection’ (2016)

My own interest in forensics goes back to Monday nights 30 years ago, watching Jack Klugman in Quincy M.E. growl his way through another moider. So it’s surprising that I haven’t read any of Kathy Reichs’ work until now, but she’s certainly an author I’ll be coming back to. Since 1997 Reichs has written 18 novels featuring … Continue reading

Summer Reading 2016

The six week school holiday is coming to an end, and on Thursday I go back to work. Although, that’s not strictly true; I’ve been getting ready for the new term for the last fortnight – lesson plans and seating layouts and all the rest of it. But I’ve still had a clear three weeks … Continue reading