Well, 2015 has been and gone. It’s been a great year for me personally and one in which the blog has continued to make waves. It seems that as more and more ordinary teachers are liberated from the tyranny of some of the daft but pervasive ideas in education, the debate has become increasingly polarised. My writing seems to irritate and encourage in roughly equal measure and I fear I’ve gained many new readers at the expense of alienating some old ones.

For anyone who happens to be interested, here‘s the 2015 annual report on my blog produced by WordPress.

As you can see, the 5 most read posts last year were all written in either 2012 or 2013.

  1. Why do so many teachers leave teaching? 
  2. Slow Writing: how slowing down can improve your writing 
  3. What is good behaviour? 
  4. Work scrutiny – What’s the point of marking books? 
  5. Where lesson observations go wrong 

Apparently that means my writing has ‘staying power’, but it would also seem to suggest that what I’ve written in the last two years has less in the way of popular appeal. So be it.

The 10 most read posts of 2015 are as follows:

  1. Top 20 principles from psychology for teaching & learning
  2. How do you get students to read for pleasure?
  3. Two stars and a bloody wish!
  4. Why do people vote Conservative?
  5. How to get assessment wrong
  6. Why I struggle with learning objectives and success criteria
  7. Is growth mindset pseudoscience?
  8. Michaela School: Route One Schooling
  9. Why the ‘false growth mindset’ explains so much
  10. How do we know if a teacher’s any good?

It’s gratifying to see the Top 20 post at #1 because it was such a labour of love. I analysed the APA’s report, read a lot of the research it cited and gave my own hugely biassed judgements on each of the 20 principles. I learned a huge amount in the two months I spent compiling this and am keen to turn it into something more permanent in the coming year. Watch this space…

It was also good to see the post at #10 on the multifarious problems with judging teacher effectiveness getting a good airing. There’s far too much certainty amongst school leaders that what they happen to like equates with being ‘good’. This needs to be challenged.

The post recounting my visit to Michaela School (#8) proved controversial provoking as much outrage as support. Katherine Birbal-Singh and her colleagues are unlikely to win over their critics no matter how well they do. But, impressive beginnings aside, we’ll have to wait a few years to see just how effective their methods prove to be.

The Conservative post at #4 is a bit of surprise. It was written in response to the hate-filled invective clogging my Twitter timeline in the wake of the General Election. Caricaturing Tory voters as selfish, greedy and ignorant doesn’t seem particularly helpful whatever your political stripe.

No surprise to see posts on marking (#3) and assessment (#5) doing well, but I was interested to see how popular the reading pleasure post (#2) turned out to be. Also fascinating that there appears to be so much interest in growth mindset scepticism (#7 and #9). And it was a bit of shock that the learning objectives post got in at #6 seeing as it was only written on 6th December.

In addition to these popular posts, I’ve also collected together some of my favourite (but less successful) posts of 2015 here.

Finally, although there were over 730,000 page views last year, what was most personally gratifying was to see the little spinning globe in the footer of the home page tip over to record over a million unique visitors.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 01.00.35

Thanks for reading, sharing and commenting. I hope you’ll stick around for more in 2016.