Unpicking language in literature: why the blue curtains do matter

As a teacher, the thing I find myself saying over and over again to students is, “develop your language analysis”. Every year, every student, almost every piece. It’s not that they’re bad at it – far from it, mostly! But it’s always the thing that makes their explanations more precise and, in the exams they do, will get them better marks. The thing is, we’re trying to make the implicit become explicit. The feeling that you get when you read gets unpicked, understood, and stitched back together again. I usually get shown this meme at some point in the year too: …

How to manage time well – use the Eisenhower box

A few quick posts coming up in the next few days about how to manage time and Get Stuff Done. The end of the summer term is always differently busy and at the moment I’m juggling being out on training days, having trainees come in for interviews, all the mocks for those not in years 11 and 13, plus a whole host of activities across the school. Oh, and most of my normal teaching timetable and trying to do some department planning for September. Time’s always pressured, as students or teachers. There’s planning, essays, marking, writing, reading, and everything else …

Poetry Friday: Frost at Midnight (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

Poetry Friday: where I share my long-time or momentary poems, once a week. Check out the rest here Frost at Midnight The Frost performs its secret ministry, Unhelped by any wind. The owlet’s cry Came loud—and hark, again! loud as before. The inmates of my cottage, all at rest, Have left me to that solitude, which suits Abstruser musings: save that at my side My cradled infant slumbers peacefully. ‘Tis calm indeed! so calm, that it disturbs And vexes meditation with its strange And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood, This populous village! Sea, and hill, and wood, With all …