Learning from my mistakes: an English teacher’s blog: A line of beauty

Learning from my mistakes: an English teacher’s blog: A line of beauty: To rule or not to rule? That is the question.   In the staffroom, this week I pinned my allegiance to the proud, traditional line of s…

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Tom Bennett’s School Report: False profits, and why representation matters at r…

Tom Bennett’s School Report: False profits, and why representation matters at r…: I think it’s important, once in a while, to write about what researchED stands for.  It’s important to continually define ourselves, in…

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Metacognition and eduspeak – a distraction


The following post by the Quirky Teacher got me thinking.


It seems to me that there are ideas in education which are “simply assumed to be effective by circular argument”, to quote Kevin Stannard. Learning styles was one such idea until it was debunked. However, other ideas are still doing the rounds. The belief that it is vital for our pupils to be familiar with terms such as formative assessment, summative assessment, peer assessment, self assessment, growth mindset, Blooms taxonomy etc – all in the name of Assessment for Learning – is leading me to the conclusion that AfL is ripe for the chop.

I have blogged previously here about the supposed sine qua non of sharing success criteria at the beginning of lessons. Dylan Wiliam’s book “Embedded Formative Assessment” is almost taken as gospel on this point. It has even found its way into adult training courses, as I discovered…

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Climbing Mountains in Small Steps


Learning moves faster in small steps.

‘Bottom set.’

Two words that can make the colour drain from our faces, our eyes roll, or provoke a deep sigh.

‘Bottom set.’ The ‘low ability’ group. The ‘difficult’ and the ‘troubled’ students. Yes, they occur in other sets, too, but you know that if you have this class on your timetable, odds are there will be a lot of them – and you are in for a tough year.

It doesn’t have to be like that, of course, but it often is. And I have certainly worked in schools where such groups – and their teachers – were treated with a mixture of pity and disdain. Of course, that may not be true in your school – but, realistically, how many heads of department timetable themselves to teach bottom sets? What does that tell us about the priority that these students are given?…

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Do the children know what we’re going on about?

The Quirky Teacher

This blog post is about edu-lingo and it’s probably the one of the few times I will make a concession to the whole ‘child-centred’ thing. Now is a good time to write because I still feel sort of new to the profession (even though it’s been a few years now) and the initial ‘What is this person going on about?’ thoughts I had right at the start of my training still occasionally concern me, albeit these thoughts have gradually evolved into ‘Do the children even know what we’re going on about?’

Basically, I think we need to be careful when using language like ‘peer assessment’ and ‘reflect on growth’ because they might be a bit too, erm, businesslike? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for new and rich vocabulary that is subject specific: awesome words like ‘trebuchet’ and ‘electromagnetism’ cannot be substituted and why would you want to anyway (knowledge…

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Teacher workload… we have a problem here

Very early on in my teaching career, in fact, right at the start when I was trying to arrange some voluntary work experience, I was told that teaching is a great profession but you have to be prepared to put in the hours. ‘If you want to make a go of it, expect to work from 7am to 7pm’, they said. Rather more recently, I heard a similar, if more daunting, message. Teaching is not a career where you can clock in and clock out. If you think that you can follow a set time then maybe this is not the career for you. You will often be working from 7am to 11pm, and while that may not be the case every single day, you need to be prepared to devote long hours to the job.

Source: Teacher workload… we have a problem here

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Forging good relationships

No Easy Answers

Students relationship with the school

Tweeted by @sirnewmalot on the 14th July 2017

You cannot make children respect or heed you or view your directions with value. But you can build it over time if you are reliable, resolute, obviously care about them academically and as people, but are stubborn enough to be consistent and retain high expectations wherever happens. Don’t try to curry favour with children. Don’t bribe them; don’t fawn or beg them to behave. Build a culture where they want to behave. Be the teacher.

Getting Behaviour Right from the Start by Tom Bennett

 It seems clear to me: either we expect students to listen to us instantly, to follow our instructions, and we back that expectation up, or we don’t expect it. Either we expect respect for teachers, or we allow students to talk back, challenge, lie to our faces, or follow instructions only after a sullen delay.

Respect by…

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