Category Archives: leadership

Why ‘triple marking’ is wrong (and not my fault)

You can’t blame celebrity edubloggers for teachers’ unreasonable workloads – Albert Einstein In his indefatigable efforts to get schools and teachers to recognise that much of what is done in the name of

What I’ve learned about trust from arguing about driving

Those who trust us educate us. – George Eliot Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a

What if we started trusting teachers?

Who would not rather trust and be deceived? – Eliza Cook The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him. – Henry Lewis Stimson I’ve been out of the classroom for

Teacher appraisal and the fundamental attribution error

As favour and riches forsake a man, we discover in him the foolishness they concealed, and which no one perceived before. Jean de La Bruyère You know that lad in Year 9

The surplus model of school improvement

As teachers we are sometimes guilty of assuming that all would be well if only children behaved better and worked harder. This is basically sound; everything would be better is kids did what

Back to school Part 1: Routines

This series of #backtoschool blogs summarises much of my thinking as it’s developed over the past few years and is aimed at new or recently qualified teachers. Each area has been distilled to 5 ‘top

Perverse incentives and how to counter them

Call it what you will, incentives are what get people to work harder. Nikita Khrushchev Back in the good old days when the great unwashed could simply be shipped off to the colonies

This is what I think

I love a good aphorism, and I also like lists. I keep being asked what I think about stuff so, in the spirit of clarity, here’s a list of some of the things

On behaviour

Most of what makes classrooms work lies beneath the surface. The here and now of lessons and classrooms is dependent on the routines and relationships teachers have forged over time. If you’re

What if there was no outstanding?

The cynics are right nine times out of ten. H.L. Mencken Does the outstanding grade retard innovation or drive us towards excellence? This is just a flight of fancy; a thought experiment.

An inconvenient truth? The surplus model of school improvement

Schools often seem to be run on a ‘deficit model‘: “this attributes scepticism or hostility to a lack of understanding, resulting from a lack of information. It is associated with a division between

Making data meaningful: Pen Portraits

Most of what makes classrooms work is invisible. The activities that teachers and students enact are, by and large, irrelevant. I’m aware that this runs the risk of sounding like preposterous nonsense,

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