My First Lesson: A Detailed, Step-by-Step Overview of My First Lesson with New Classes [Updated for 2021]

Anticipating and micro-scripting expected classroom interactions can be a really powerful strategy, helping to ensure a consistent and finely-tuned message. Whilst I wouldn't do this for most lessons, enjoying instead free flowing and responsive dialogue, I do think this can be especially effective for the first lesson of a new academic year. This post outlines,... Continue Reading →

Strategies for Teaching English: A Video Presentation

Ahead of the new academic year I was going to write a blog about some ideas/strategies/approaches that I think work well (at least for me) in teaching English. But, instead I thought I’d do this as a video presentation. And so linked below you’ll find a 40 minute presentation talking about some of the things... Continue Reading →

How I Teach…Embedding Quotations

This is the first in what I hope will become a series of blogs offering a step by step guide for how I teach certain key aspects of English. It's by no means intended to be definitive or 'the' way to teach whatever it might be, but will hopefully offer a couple of useful strategies.... Continue Reading →

Brief Notes on the Concept of Solastalgia

Earlier today I was reading, or rather listening, to Rob MacFarlane’s excellent book Underland when I came across a fasctaining concept that I wanted to share, and that I think will have a lot of mileage with various GCSE and A Level texts.  The concept is that of ‘solastalgia’, which, as MacFarlane outlines, comes from... Continue Reading →

Resonant Reading: A Poetry Reading Strategy

Before outlining this strategy to help students to encounter and explore a poem, first a question: when teaching poetry, what is the appropriate weight to give to our own interpretation of the poem? I think this is a really interesting question. Presumably, before we teach a poem we read and think about it first, perhaps... Continue Reading →

Defining Excellence: How I Use Whole Class Feedback

I first encountered whole class feedback several years ago and was instantly captivated. And what's not to love? It promises a significant reduction in workload, no longer spending countless hours huddled over a slow burning lamp with pen in hand (forgive the Dickensian rhetorical flourish) whilst simultaneously, even miraculously, improving student outcome. I remember the... Continue Reading →

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