Today has been a bit of a strange, disconcerting day. I had my third lesson observation, with the same class whose behaviour has been such a challenge for me lately. It didn’t go too badly, but then again neither did it go as well as I wanted. My head of department, who was observing, noted […]

QTS levels 1 to 4: not the way forward

The education establishment is agog at Justine Greening’s latest announcement regarding an apprenticeship route into teaching for non-graduates. At the same time, we have the Chartered College of Teaching offering a £850 programme of certification for experienced teachers to differentiate themselves from the rest. In effect, this is all likely to lead to a hierarchical, […]

Cognitive psychology and my approach to teaching history this year

I have been mulling for some time all that I have learned so far about cognitive psychology and its application in the classroom, stimulated by my reading of Daniel Willingham’s ‘Why don’t students like school?’, Daisy Christodoulou’s ‘Making good progress?’, the Learning Scientists blog and Clare Sealy’s recent blog about teaching for long term memory. […]

It doesn’t have to be this way

This has been a very long week. Friday evening I arrived home late from my university training, tired and drained, with the knowledge that my week wasn’t over yet; I had to go into school today for a prospective parents open day. Saturday traffic on the South Circular Road was particularly gruelling on my return […]

Schools can feel like prison sometimes

I had my first primary placement day today. My Schools Direct teacher training requires me to spend 5 days in a primary school (not necessarily consecutive days – I shall be doing a day a week all the way until half term) so that I can find out what happens on the other side of […]

Reflections of a reluctant university student

Having started the university part of my Schools Direct teacher training – we had two full university days this week – I have had cause for new reflection. For the first time, it was clear to me just how wide a gulf there is between me and my fellow new teachers in terms of our […]

One and a half weeks in…

Well it’s really one week in, as Monday and Tuesday last week were insets. I’ve taught five lessons so far and had my first lesson observed today. As I tweeted the other day: By any standard, I’ve done well so far. I’ve settled into my new school, got to grips with the computer systems and […]

What I’ve learned so far about teaching

August has raced along, packed with family adventures and relaxed, lazy days at home. In its wake comes September, the most bittersweet month of the year. Already the days are growing shorter and the leaves are falling off the trees. We collected our first lot of (very young) conkers today. Of course, along with a […]

Embracing change

The beauty of having my own blog is that I can write about thoughts and ideas as and when they come to me. Sometimes this means writing blogs on consecutive days, other times a week or two can pass  by without a word written. The impulsive nature of my writing means that there isn’t always […]