Do we live “in a man’s world?”

A fellow teacher and friend stormed into the English workroom yesterday, fuming. Her arms flailing and her eyes darting from side to side, she exploded with frustration over the state of the world. Sometimes it was just too much, she said. Of course, this happens to her relatively often. She cares a lot for her … Continue reading Do we live “in a man’s world?”

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Cuts to Education Funding: does it really spell doom? A response to TES

I just finished reading TES' recent article "Think budgets are tight now?" which articulates that the UK is spending millions more on its pensioners than its children. The article correlates a lack of future funding to a struggle in the education sector: how will we educate our youth appropriately when we are only spending 3.8% … Continue reading Cuts to Education Funding: does it really spell doom? A response to TES

Knowledge, Antiknowledge and Knowing (myself as a teacher)

"Know your learners" is a catch phrase that's consumed my school this year. We must make a dedicated effort to probe into every aspect of a student's learning and life that will help us understand why they aren't meeting their targets. Interesting that the word "know" is there, when much of the reason the student … Continue reading Knowledge, Antiknowledge and Knowing (myself as a teacher)

Romeo and Juliet: What do I want the kids to KNOW?

The "knowledge-thirsty youngsters" need to get "solid knowledge in a coherent way" says ED Hirsh The Schools We Need (13). This month's TES published Jon Brunskill and Mark Enser's article on Knowledge Organisers in the classroom. Instead of considering skills first, what should they know, he asked. Good plan. So instead of starting with learning … Continue reading Romeo and Juliet: What do I want the kids to KNOW?

Why Don’t Students Like English?

  My year 11s are feeling the pressure. Seven hours of English exams. Four different exams. Extract questions, whole text questions, context, comparisons, evaluations, poetry, memorisation, the Russian Revolution, and their eyes start wandering about like my sanity at this point: it's manic, exhausting and it makes me wonder why I do it to myself. … Continue reading Why Don’t Students Like English?

Teaching Transactional Writing: Taking Chances in the Classroom?

How does one teach transactional writing effectively? Teach the knowledge. Check. Teach the techniques. Check. Teach them again. Formatively assess constantly. Ensure students have at least a shallow knowledge of how to create effective pieces of writing, depending on purpose, audience and format. But then what? How does one get students to effectively put everything … Continue reading Teaching Transactional Writing: Taking Chances in the Classroom?