Blogs I’ve found useful

General Teaching Dos and Don’ts: – Things you might have been told you should do, but you don’t actually need to. – Twenty different, very useful blogs on many different aspects of teaching. – One blog, by the same teacher, on many different aspects of teaching. Equally worth reading. – One blog, by a different teacher, on many different aspects of teaching.  Equally worth reading. – A list of ten things research has found to be good teaching practice. – Things you don’t need to do as a teacher

Books you could read: – Seven books you could read as a new teacher – Loads of books you could read.

 Groupwork – Is groupwork good or bad? Check the bottom for extended discussion. – Five questions to ask yourself when planning group work

Behaviour Management – Five tips on behaviour management – Ten tips on how to manage behaviour – Do detentions work? a persona when teaching.  ‘For me, nowhere is the theme of appearance and reality more evident than in the classroom. Particularly when you are new to the profession and still developing your teaching persona.’ behaviour outside of lessons is important‘the corridor is the face of the school’ – ‘In my experience schools have a split personality where behaviour management is concerned. There are two discipline systems. There is a theoretical one, that appears in the Staff Handbook and anywhere a school governor, a job applicant or an OFSTED inspector might get to read it, and there is the one that actually exists in the day to day running of the school.’‘I am of the opinion that centralised detentions are not just great for workload but actually fundamental to a great behaviour system.’ – A blog that argues good behaviour is not solely so that students can learn; students should behave well because it’s part of having a good character.  ‘It is an eventual inevitability that the decisions a persons makes defines their character’ ‘One of them stepped into my path and said, ‘Are you being rude, mate?’ I swerved around him, but not enough to avoid the roundhouse punch right into my mouth’


Headteachers and leading – What type of Head should you aim to be? – How not to be a Head. – Three things a good Head should do/have. – The mentality of working together – Your first 5mins as a brand new HOD – 10 tips for successfully leading a subject – ‘1.  Get yourself trained’ – The secret to being an excellent middle leader – ‘as time went on, I realised something was missing. I was firefighting but I wasn’t dealing with the cause of the blaze.’ – How to be a head of faculty – ‘It’s your job to act as a shield, deflecting the manure dumped upon English teachers by the government, exam boards or, if you’re unlucky (I haven’t been) SLT’

Feedback and marking – A detailed look at feedback – A pretty detailed explanation of how a maths dept. handles feedback. – ‘So much of this is done for the benefit of the person who appears one day with a book check proforma and picks up 5 random books to check my marking.’ blog about a school which doesn’t do marking at all. – a teacher at the same school as the one in the above link; further explanation on why they don’t do marking. – a whole school assessment strategy to minimise workload for teachers

Learning Objectives – why you shouldn’t do learning objectives – another objection to LOs.  ‘Pupils don’t need to have the specific objective in their mind for the whole lesson – teachers do.’

Starting Lessons – How you should start your lessons – like the blog above, this one advocates starting lessons with a test, but in a slightly different way.

Powerpoint – you shouldn’t use powerpoint  – rebuttal of arguments against powerpoint

Other 0 – a number of very useful resources if you are an English teacher – five things to do in the classroom to improve literacy – five ways to change your teaching in line with cognitive load theory You should teach students how to use similes and analogies in their essays to make the essays better. – Are we wasting time on lesson plenaries? – ‘I believe that the use of time in lesson should come down to two things: learning new stuff and repeating already learnt stuff to support long term retention’ – ‘within-class differentiation is impractical to plan and inefficient to deliver.’ – a comparison of what a behaviour consultant said about a school, and then what Ofsted said about the same school in an inspection.  Just quite interesting, but very interesting if you’re thinking of hiring a behaviour consultant. way of approaching CPD (it sounds good, and also not like any CPD I have every done).  ‘The purpose of them is simple – for subject teams to work and plan collaboratively to address this simple question – what are we teaching over the next fortnight and how can we do it really well?’ – A whole-school strategy to get students reading for pleasure. – Definitions of Progressive and Traditionalist – ‘For the last 100 years or so, the two main branches of educational thought have been Traditionalism and Progressivism’ – lesson observations – A specific approach that gets students A*s. – Half motivational, half instructional: improve your subject knowledge. – How to think about teaching. That makes it sound vague, but it’s not. Worth reading. – How can you get students to actually remember what you’ve taught them? – More motivational than instructional. This post is about how teachers get better with experience. – What seating plans should I have? A discussion of the various pros and cons of different seating arrangements. – how you should do class discussion. – whole schools strategies for reducing workload. – lots of good and easy to read research on education. – lesson observations.  ‘I regularly have people observing from the back of the room. Rather than feeling a bit unnerved by the presence of an observer, I now feel pretty relaxed, like it’s the norm’. – How to develop a thicker skin – ‘If someone doesn’t like the a-mazing idea you’ve been refining through various stages at increasingly unsociable hours of the day: don’t panic’ – Why target grades miss their mark – ‘if the child wasn’t really low ability to begin with they can soon become so as they internalise the message that they aren’t one of the smart kids’