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THE JOY OF SCHOOL – #LOVEWHEREYOUTEACH

When you’ve been teaching for over 25 years, it’s very easy to lose your mojo when it comes to school life. I think it can happen anytime in your career but I was definitely struggling just before Covid struck and since then, there hasn’t been any sort of rebound. It’s never about the classroom though. …

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HOW TO GET ‘INTEREST’ IN YOUR SUBJECT TO BOOST LEARNING

In Michael Lewis’ latest book ‘The Premonition: A Pandemic Story’, one of the chief protagonists, Carter Mecher, points out that people don’t learn what is imposed upon them but rather what they freely seek, out of desire or need. For people to learn, they need to want to learn. He uses a really interesting example …

WANT TO KNOW THE SECRET OF NATURAL TALENT? SHHHH…MUM’S THE WORD!

I’ve recently been reading Edith Kuiper’s book called ‘A Herstory of Economics’ and it has got me thinking…a lot. In particular I’ve been thinking about talent and where it comes from. Most of the time, when we think about talent, we describe it as being something quite natural. They are a natural at Economics or …

IN DEFENCE OF EDUMYTHS

Over the past decade or so, we have seen a number of takedowns of particular ‘edumyths’ thanks to a rise in awareness of the evidence in education and how learning happens. As teachers, we can all reel off our favourite ‘edumyths’ – VAK and learning styles, ‘brain gym’, the learning pyramid, the right and left …

Human Development Index for Pupils – Reach for the STARS!

There is a continual discussion in education about the purpose of exams and how it will often under-value or over-value students in terms of their value to the world. For example, we probably know many students who are very good at passing exams but are incredibly rude and have very little empathy. On the other …

HOW SUBTRACTING CAN ADD TO YOUR SCHOOL PERFORMANCE.

In a recent book called ‘Subtract – The Untapped Science of Less’, Leidy Klotz, a professor at the University of Virginia has looked at the ways that we often neglect thinking about subtracting as a way of solving problems. Normally when an issue arises, we often feel the need to add something, so in the …

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BASS.

Over the past year, I have found great solace in trying to improve my bass playing, mainly as a distraction from the stresses of education and as a way of stabilising my mental health. As the worst member of the greatest (cough) staff band around – The Lines – I have always tried to bring …

BEWARE THE ZOMBIE TEACHER!

After the financial crisis of 2008, a phenomenon emerged in the business world that has continued to this day – the ‘zombie’ business. This is a business that staggers along, earning enough money to cover its debt but not enough to pay it off. It covers daily expenses but doesn’t make enough to invest in …

REBEL IDEAS IN EDUCATION

Recently I have been reading Matthew Syed’s ‘Rebel Ideas’ and his books are always rather thought provoking from an educational perspective. Previously he has written ‘Bounce’ that looked at Carol Dweck’s ‘growth mindset’ theory and ‘Black Box Thinking’ that leaned very hard on ‘The Checklist Manifesto’ by Atul Gawande, which inspired the book for schools …