Performing the good girl

Reading Time: 6 minutes Chris Curtis’s latest blogpost – https://learningfrommymistakesenglish.blogspot.com/ – chimes with some things I’ve been writing / thinking about for a while now, about the ways that girls adopt different personas depending, in large part, on the expectations they experience in different places. I’ve had conversations at parents’ evenings that reveal the dilemma he describes, that “The home persona will say something and challenge things when the school persona will not, because they are worried they’ll get told off. Life for them is the battle between these two versions of themselves.” Working at a girls’ school for a decade, I’ve had lots of …

Unpicking language in literature: why the blue curtains do matter

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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: …

Writing interesting essay titles from dramatic headlines

Reading Time: 2 minutes I love this idea of turning dramatic headlines into an essay title or argument. I think it could work so well for A-Level and high-target GCSE students to make their writing really interesting and unusual.

Reasons why teaching is awesome

Reading Time: 2 minutes 1. You get to spend LITERALLY all day talking about books and stories which is basically what makes us human , creates relationships, consciousness, and empathy. It’s the thing that makes us amazing 2. You get to make young people confident. In a way that you weren’t at their age and still aren’t, really, and maybe they’re faking it too but goddamn they can argue their point well 3. You spend your day with intelligent thoughtful people who always challenge you. Staff and students. Who ask ‘whys Macbeth worried about legacy? Or ‘do you know whether that’s from the Latin …

How to manage time well – use the Eisenhower box

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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 …