This category contains 9 posts

On teachers who write poetry; and how worse things happen at sea

This post, by the always readable @Kris32 is well worth a look. When writing with my classes, especially high ability sets, I do my best to get them to evaluate their work critically, and see how they can make it more concise. A common fault in writing is not getting to the point; too often, … Continue reading

What I Taught Today: Word Choices in ‘Dracula’

My school had an Ofsted inspection today. I’d been told that I might be observed (recently qualified teachers being one focus of their visit), so I planned today’s lesson with my top set Year 9 until the pips squeaked. Sadly, the inspector visit didn’t materialise (they actually turned up a lesson early – briefly – … Continue reading

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

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

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

On Bowie, Shelley and the telling of stories

The strange grief I felt at David Bowie’s death took me completely by surprise. I would never call myself a huge fan of his work – I own only one CD of his, a singles compilation which I’ve started playing again for the first time in months – so how come I cried three times … Continue reading