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Hello out there

July 7, 2012 2 comments

So it’s been almost six months since my last post.

I decided against pursuing the wish posts, partly because it was unmanageable and also because it seemed likely that those of you who read The Reall Battle might not be that interested in your feeds being clogged up with them!

So I’ve now spent six months out of the classroom, in a job I absolutely love, working with some fantastic people and on a steeper learning curve than I’ve been climbing for many years. Hasn’t left me much time for blogging and many of the things I used to blog about are no longer priorities for me.

I considered stopping this blog altogether, but have decided I am still in a daily battle against many things, not least of which is the battle between keeping my thoughts and ideas as an inner monologue – often while I’m in the shower! – and sharing my thoughts online via Twitter, Facebook and (although rarely now) Google+

So I’m going to continue this blog, but it will be less specific than before, more a place for random musings that I feel need to be extracted from my head. Learning will still be a major focus as that’s still a pivotal element of my life both in and out of work, but it may not be the only thing I focus on here.

So if you wish to unsubscribe, I quite understand. It seemed only fair to give you a warning. And I’m afraid I’m no more likely to be regularly posting than I ever have been before – my life often doesn’t seem to leave much room for it – sometimes the only time/ space for monologues is in the shower – and I really don’t think any of us want to contemplate joining those!

So we shall see what happens… Thanks for listening.

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Categories: Education

Learning v Compliance

October 15, 2011 Leave a comment

In RE Y5 are focusing on sacred texts. This week we had a discussion about what we would put into a book that we would use to guide us through our lives.

As well as words of wisdom from people that they respected, the children suggested they would includes accounts of important events in their lives or their family histories, things they’d already learned from, quotes from books, films and tv that inspired them.

They also said they’d include sing lyrics. I thought they’d suggest some of the songs we find particularly inspiring at school, such as Lin Marsh’s Believe and Howard Goodall’s Refuge (both from Youth Music’s Singbook and available on the Sing Up site), but their suggestions were much more wide ranging and included Jesse J’s Price Tag and Chemical Brothers’ Welcome to the Black Parade.

I’m not convinced my third year junior class way back in the 80s would have had that depth of thinking. I’d like to think the current emphasis on developing thinking learners rather than compliant pupils is having a positive effect that those responsible for education policy in the government couldn’t begin to comprehend.

Or maybe they do understand it all too well and it is exactly this independence of thought that they are trying to stifle…

Categories: Education, Learning, Music, Thinking Tags: , ,

Can we control the present, let alone the future?

June 12, 2011 3 comments

This started as a personal reflection of the week that was, but appears to have evolved into something rather bigger.  Although it’s now very different from where it started in a short space of time, so was that evolution or not…?

Importance of Control

I’ve really been aware of how important control is in my life.  Lack of control leaves me stressed, struggling to focus and unable to make good use of my time.  Which makes me wonder whether this is the same for everyone, and certainly makes me wonder whether the lack of control that children find in their lives at school is having a similar effect on them.  Although I do try hard to give the children I work with some control on a regular basis, most of the time is about them being controlled.  Clearly a certain amount of control is essential when so many have to occupy such a small space and all would have different agendas.

Could we start again please?

@thought_weavers blog post Being at home at school made me think, yet again, about the fact that if schools hadn’t been invented yet we would not design our education system to be anything like it currently is.  It seems that evolutionary change is the only sensible way to get our schools to a better place for our 21st century learners, but will evolution every happen quick enough?  Is this just the same discussion that all teachers have had for ever?  How can we create the school our learners need when the change to the system, buildings and professionals involved would be so great that the whole thing could come crumbling down in the attempt?

What’s The Point of School

June 6, 2011 2 comments

Following a tweet by @mrwejr, I watched Professor Guy Claxton discussing  What’s the point of school? on the dystalk site.  The opening is below and the complete video can be found on the site.

I have already read, What’s the point of school? and also attended a Building Learning Power training session at a link secondary school in the past.

I find what he has to say compelling, but what amazes me most is the fact that the ideas he promotes are not more widely adopted in schools.  In the same way that AfL strategies are just plain sensible, everything he says makes perfect sense.  I believe in it passionately and yet I’ve only managed to let influence my practice minimally.

Is the problem that rebuilding schools from a pedagogical view is far more difficult than rebuilding them structurally?

Categories: Education

Vocal Warms Ups (Teachmeet Thames Valley)

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Below are ideas I hope to share at Teachmeet Thames Valley tomorrow night…! Read more…

Categories: Education, Music Tags: , ,

Who should we be educating anyway?

September 11, 2010 3 comments

The battle between teaching and leadership

I started this post about two weeks ago, towards the end of the summer holidays.  I started writing because all of the fantastic educational conversations and links to interesting articles had jump started my thinking about moving into headship.  It was originally titled: ‘Do you know where you’re going to?’ and was a much more straightforward discussion about my future. Read more…