Step into their skin…

One of the (many) reasons I love teaching English – in particular, literature – is because it’s all about (to use the vernacular) ‘the feels’. To me, literature IS humanity; it’s sex and drugs and rock and roll – well, at A level it is. Seriously, engaging with literature requires oodles of empathy. To paraphrase…

Simply Teaching

On a blustery autumnal morning, I reached my desk in my classroom, switched on my computer, opened my first PowerPoint presentation for the first lesson of the day and pressed the ‘on’ button on my projector. Nothing happened. That trusty piece of equipment that on a daily (hourly!) basis projected my entire lesson for students,…

Memorable Learning

Learning involves a change in long term memory. If pupils haven’t remembered something there may have been limited benefit in doing it in the first place. Over the years I have seen a lot of lessons that have been “memorable” where the pupils have remembered the task but not the learning. They remembered making volcanoes out of Plasticine but not how an eruption occurs, they remember the primary school project on the River Nile but not where rivers start and how they flow.

Lets not plan memorable lessons but memorable learning instead. 

Misuse of Numbers

Statistics are criminally misused for personal gain. They are a powerful tool for strengthening one’s opinion or argument because they are often misunderstood by the audience. A statistic can be a headline or the central feature of a piece of prose designed to convey a message, and often provide the oomph required to influence a…

Working Smarter

In a previous school (and a previous life) I can fully admit I ‘worked too hard’. I lived to work rather than worked to live … but was I happy? Not really. I have always loved my job, and for some reason that annoys some people, but I don’t really care. I feel lucky to…