Great Teachers and Great Drivers

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This month’s topic poses the question with an elusive answer: What makes a great teacher? I have to be honest, in the early stages of my teaching career I’m still exploring the possible combinations of this Rubik’s cube and although I don’t believe there is a single or comprehensive answer to the question, this month, I’m going to reflect on my own experiences in light of what I think it takes to get the balance right. Continue reading “Great Teachers and Great Drivers”

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Revision – Different for Everyone

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This month I’m posing the age old question – how do we best revise? There’s a reason that there are so many different ideas and opinions surrounding this debate and, actually, when you stop to think about it, it’s not all that surprising. Revising really is different for everyone. Continue reading “Revision – Different for Everyone”

The Paradox of University

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Sometimes we think we want certain things. We become desperate. We absolutely have to have it or our lives become devoid of all meaning and purpose. Sometimes.

Sometimes we get these things. We get the things that we’ve been holding out for, things that we’ve been obsessing over for countless months. But when we get it, it becomes real. Now that we’ve got it, it’s suddenly not as desirable and, sometimes, we can second guess ourselves. Continue reading “The Paradox of University”

Putting the ‘ability’ to learn in employability

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“Learning is the act of acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing existing, knowledge, behaviours, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals, plants and some machines.” This might sound incredibly dry to read, but it actually shines a pretty bright light on a fairly ambiguous concept that is not just relevant to school and college students, but to adults all over the world. Continue reading “Putting the ‘ability’ to learn in employability”

Flexing Your Intellectual Muscles

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The step up from GCSE to Level 3 qualifications (A-levels, BTECs, etc) is no easy feat. In fact, I regularly have discussions with students, especially in the opening weeks of term, admitting that I found A-levels the hardest step in the educational staircase: The steps are bigger, the hand rail a little further away, and there definitely seems to be more of them. Despite the difficulty, climbing them and reaching the top certainly feels more of a triumph than GCSEs, but flexing your intellectual muscles isn’t the only thing that’s going to make a successful student. This month I’m going to write about, what I feel is, the extricable link between success in the class room and a healthy, active lifestyle outside of it. Continue reading “Flexing Your Intellectual Muscles”

Digital skills in teaching

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I’ve been lucky enough to grow up with the birth of the digital age and have really developed alongside it through my school, college, university and even professional years. For some teachers it feels like the digital world is out of bounds and offers something totally alien to the way they were educated and, to an extent, I can understand this. Saying that, I also believe that the development of digital content is incredibly important in my role and it can have (and has had) a significant impact on the education of my students. Continue reading “Digital skills in teaching”

All Great Beginnings Start in the Dark

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It’s that time of year again: Chaos reigns as a plethora of new faces, fresh enthusiasm and excitable voices fill the corridors of an ever-changing educational environment (perhaps more politically and socially changing, as opposed to aesthetically changing). A new day, a new term, a near year, presents itself to a new cohort, who are all ready to tackle the challenges of A-levels. Continue reading “All Great Beginnings Start in the Dark”