Dwelling on the Positive

One thing I hadn’t anticipated when I trained as a teacher was quite how much of a battering my social life would take. Having spent the best part of two years working not very hard in a not very glamorous office job, I became very accustomed to leaving work behind at 4pm, and spending my evenings…

One Year On – Why I Still Blog.

One year ago today I published my first post. I remember it quite distinctively. Hours and hours sat slaving away in front of the laptop. I must have read that post , half a dozen times before finally taking the plunge and pressing the intimidating ‘publish’ button. A year later, I feel like I’ve nearly found my…

Is education in England too easy?

The title for this blog comes from a discussion I had with two girls (twins) who I teach in year 11. Despite being on track to achieve brilliantly in their English GCSEs, they don’t consider themselves to be fluent speakers of English. They are, however, fluent speakers of Italian and Portuguese. They joined the school about midway through…

Baruch Spinoza and Defining our Principles

Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) was a rationalist philosopher, whose work Ethics, Demonstrated in Geometrical order was published posthumously in 1677. I first came across The Ethics at University, having decided to take the Spinoza module because of the cult status of the maverick Professor teaching the course. Throughout the module, what struck me as remarkable about the core text was its…

John the Reader

Like many other English teachers, I spend a lot of time thinking about what texts I should study with my classes. All English teachers, I believe, care deeply about their students’ reading, and are keen to develop a love of reading, so that students will read for pleasure throughout their school careers and beyond. So…

What’s done, what’s next.

I love a to-do list. Almost every day (sometimes twice a day) I earnestly write myself a list of jobs and tasks to complete, which almost never gets completed. My desk is littered with multicoloured post-it notes, each with hastily scribbled reminders and calls to action. Even simple things like calling a parent or replying to an email…

Influence: A pledge

The caption accompanying this image has become an important part of my school’s ethos over the past two years. It appears in assemblies, on the website, and is a consistent message given to students. What I like most about the message is that it forces students to think about their autonomy – that they are…