Tag Archives: Best Practice

How Innovative is My School? (Updated)


How Innovative is My School?   Update: This questionnaire is now less than 30 actual questions in place of over 70.   This should provoke some interesting debates! Give it a try and let me know what you think. It … Continue reading

Posted in Critical Thinking, EDUCATION, Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Build a Teacher in 10 Steps


Introduction: On Touchstones and Magic Right now there is an aspiring teacher who is working on a 60-page paper based on some age-old education theory developed by some dead education professor wondering to herself what this task that she’s engaging … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Critical Thinking, EDUCATION, Magic, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Rise of the Mollycoddled Teacher


Teaching is no gentle spin around the block. It's a grueling, energy-sapping and often heart-breaking odyssey. No doubt, it would be a whole lot easier if we could just teach instead of having to deal with barking parents, unexpected syllabus … Continue reading

Posted in EdTech, EDUCATION, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hey Teacher: Stop Thinking & Do Some Work


(Your results may vary) I’ve been thinking quite a lot about thinking of late. Specifically, I’ve been researching the power of giving students time to think and to reflect – both about the content and skills we teach, as well … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, EDUCATION, Thinking | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

6 Calming Mantras for Teaching With Tech


These are the mantras I would like every person I help to integrate technology into their teaching to chant quietly to themselves from their sternums when they begin to feel overwhelmed or despondent or negative. Chanting these mantras will realign … Continue reading

Posted in EDUCATION, iPad, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Homework is a Slimy, Smelly, Nasty Troll That Eats the Souls of Children


Homework is evil. Truly, wickedly, horridly evil. Homework is a slimy, smelly, nasty troll which eats the souls of children. And these unfortunate souls are shoveled into homework’s gaping, slobbering maws by its devoted minions.

We call these unthinking, complicit minions ‘teachers’. Continue reading

Posted in EDUCATION, Vitriol | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Debbies, Dillons and DNA


Have you ever noticed how sporty boys are a bit slow in class? Or how all girls named Debbie are always a little shallow? Or how the Dillons you teach are always a bit naughty? Or how Asian kids tend … Continue reading

Posted in EDUCATION, Vitriol | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Why It’s Time for Machines to Take Over Marking High-Stakes Tests


Assessors of these collective, uniform exams have to mark their way through hundreds of submissions. They usually sit in a room with piles of exams around them and mark for days on end until those piles disappear. And often they are under-motivated, under-qualified, over-tired and not in the mood to look for insight, independent thinking and innovative thought. They just want to switch on their autonomic brains and send as many assessments through the marking conveyor belt as they can. Continue reading

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Defending Mediocrity: Examiners and their Apologists in South Africa


Excuse me while I rant a bit… In South Africa, there are two alternative examination authorities: those set under the auspices of the Government (the National Senior Certificate – NSC) and those set by an Independent Examinations Board (the IEB). … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Critical Thinking, EDUCATION, South Africa, Vitriol | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Very Academic Problem


The Teachers vs The Greeks Teachers: Please stop using the word ‘academic’. You don’t know what it means. When you say things like “this is an academic school”, or “we need to lift our academic standards”, or even “I am … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Critical Thinking, Philosophy, Vitriol | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

40 Reasons Why I Will Never Be a Good Teacher


Here’s why, however hard I try, I will never be the great teacher I want to be…

Posted in EDUCATION | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

40 Ideas for ‘Thinking Teaching’ Hour… Add Yours.


Like many schools these days, mine has a Thinking Teaching group. We get together as often as we can to discuss ideas around teaching and best practice. The group is very diverse and very vocal and very stimulating.     … Continue reading

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Reboot Diary: 15 Things I Took Away From #30GoalsEdu 2013


Wednesday 10 July 2013: Jazz and Strange Dinner Guests One of the many strange things about being a teacher is that your job and your life eventually become intertwined. You simply cannot leave work at work because there is always … Continue reading

Posted in Critical Thinking, EDUCATION, Self-edification | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

How Can You Teach If You Don’t Learn? (27 Things Teachers Can Learn About Students by Changing Roles.)


Nothing Like A MOOC. As I write this, I am finishing my first MOOC, titled ‘Think Again: How to Reason and Argue’*. The triumphs and failures I have experienced in this course have taught me a career-refreshing lesson about what … Continue reading

Posted in EDUCATION, Self-edification, Social Media, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

On The Mozart Effect, Learning Styles, Karma and Other Things I Wish Were True


Theories of differing intelligence types and learning styles are still valid, even if we don’t quite know how to leverage them effectively just yet. Every school is different, every teacher is different, every student is different. And all of these factors, plus thousands more combine in different ways for each individual child. We are hardly any closer to cracking the genome of an effective education if we discredit a small part of the sequence. We should not abandon a methodology that ‘has no measurable effect’, we should just think of ways to do it more effectively. Continue reading

Posted in Critical Thinking, EDUCATION | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

20 Reasons Why (Some) Teachers Are What’s Wrong With Education


Some teachers are what is wrong with the system. They blame everyone else for the problems in modern-day schools: students, parents, school leaders and the government – but very seldom do they turn the bright lamp of accusation on themselves. … Continue reading

Posted in EDUCATION | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Prevent the Plague! (Ten Ideas to Eradicate Plagiarism From Schools)


Copyright (c) Photo courtesy of 123RF Stock Photo First a confession: I have only had a personal Internet connection at home for just over a year now. Before that, I used my work connection and hung around in cafés. Now, … Continue reading

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Boys On Their Own, Or Why Schools are Failing Boys


Here’s a statistic that shouldn’t be: teenage boys are three to four times more likely to take their own lives than girls are. Granted, the research is in its infancy, and most of it is coming out of the United … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Brains, EDUCATION, Teaching boys | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments