A review of 2014

2014-12-31T22:26:35+00:00December 28th, 2014|Featured|

I wrote 125 posts in 2014 bringing the running total to 336 posts. Here are the ten most popular this year: Why do so many teachers leave teaching? (February 2013) The Cult of Outstanding™: the problem with ‘outstanding’ lessons (January 2014) Work scrutiny – What’s the point of marking books? (January 2013) Marking is an act of love (October 2013) Where lesson observations go wrong  (July 2013) What is good behaviour? (January 2012) Slow Writing: how slowing down can improve your writing (May 2012) Why AfL might be wrong, and what to do about it (March 2014) Building challenge: differentiation that’s quick and works (January 2013) What I learned from my visit to [...]

Do I lack the courage of my convictions?

2020-02-26T11:10:39+00:00July 20th, 2014|Featured|

Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies. Friedrich Nietzsche An accusation that has been increasingly levelled at me is that, because I've publicly changed my mind about my views on education, I must be some sort of slippery, trend-chasing wannabe with no moral compass. Or to put it another way, that I lack the courage of my convictions. I've always found it a lot more satisfying to disagree with someone who is prepared to change their mind. I've wondered why it is that when politicians change their mind on an issue the media cries "U-turn!" As if it's a bad [...]

Now we are three

2014-07-04T09:07:19+01:00July 3rd, 2014|Featured|

In a pleasingly synchronous turn of events this post marking the end of the third year of writing The Learning Spy is also the 300th post I've published on the site. That's about a blog every 4 days. I knew I'd written a lot, but this smacks of some sort of worrying compulsion. This last year has been by far the busiest yet with over 600,000 views but I'm sure that has more to do with the explosion of high quality education blogging that's taken place in the past year or so than it has to do with anything special about me. And [...]

A round up of some of my favourite posts so far this year

2014-05-29T15:15:05+01:00May 28th, 2014|Featured|

I was going to that thing where you round-up some of your favourite blog posts in the hope of getting a few more hits, but couldn't muster the enthusiasm. Instead, I thought I'd rip off some of the best posts I've read this year from some of the most interesting education bloggers out there. It's by no means a definitive list; I haven't spent much time honing it - these are just some of the posts I've enjoyed most so far this year. Maybe you'll like them too. They are in no particular order. More WHAT less HOW – or ‘your shepherds [...]

Houston, we have influence: The Top 100 education blogs

2013-02-04T22:22:49+00:00February 4th, 2013|Featured|

I started writing this blog on the 11th July 2011 with the intention of recording all the thoughts I've always had about teaching and learning. In the past I'd amaze myself with how what seemed profound at the beginning of the week would become lost in the hurly burly of planning, marking and teaching. I wanted a place to stop and stare. I wanted a sounding board for all my wild, untamed ideas. And, I confess, I did want a bit of an audience as well. I wrote recently about the transformative effect Twitter has had on my career, and I'm [...]

A year in the life of an English teacher

2014-06-03T18:38:36+01:00July 12th, 2012|reflection|

What a lot can happen in a year. It was only this time last July that I began my experiment with Twitter and blogging. I think it's fair to say that my professional life (and at times my personal life, but that's another story) has been transformed. Even I don't recognise myself. After a couple of knocks in my bid to be promoted, I began the blog back on 11th July 2011 as a way of invigorating my teaching and with the intention of reflecting on my practice. I wanted to use it as an aide memoire for all the interesting stuff [...]

Election Fever

2011-12-06T19:40:04+00:00December 6th, 2011|Featured|

The last time I canvassed for votes was back in my school mock election in 1987. In typically awkward bugger fashion, I ran as a Trotskyite candidate. As I recall I did rather well and came in third which has got to be some kind of record for any kind of communist in a British election. For the last 25 years I've managed to stay out of any kind of election but now I find myself nominated for an Edublog Award in the Best New Blog category. Which is nice. But I'm not entirely sure how to react. Obviously [...]

End of term

2011-10-24T01:01:25+01:00October 24th, 2011|Featured|

Term 1 is always far more exhausting than I expect it to be. Some of the highlights from last term include meeting some cracking education types including Ian Gilbert, Phil Beadle and Jim Roberson; being published by The Guardian; completing day 1 of the Critical Skills Programme; Compering my school's awards evening and attending my first ever TeachMeet. But what's had the most impact on my teaching in recent months? Easy: keeping up the blog. Firstly, it's been a fantastic way to record my own musings and meanderings. In the past I'd teach a great lesson or think something really profound [...]

Back to school

2011-09-09T21:15:16+01:00September 9th, 2011|leadership|

What I really like about going back to school in September is that it's a new year with no mistakes. The students' books are graffiti free and and all the dates and titles have been neatly underlined. There is nothing to mark and my lessons are inspirational and well planned. the annual rot has yet to sink in. I also like deciding on my new school year resolutions. I have to say, I can't be bothered with the proper New Year resolutions and avoid them as the mass market nonsense that they are. School year resolutions are different though. They're normally [...]

Go to Top