English and Literacy teacher.
Volunteer LGBT Youth Worker.
Previously taught in Indonesia.
Currently working in the North West of England.
Interested in: YA fiction, EAL/ESL, raising literacy levels, promoting reading for pleasure, celebrating diversity, inspiring creativity and cups of tea.
Numerous studies have shown that, above all other factors, it’s the teacher in the classroom who inspires, cultivates and enthuses learning. How can you do that when you’re surviving on four hours of sleep a night and on the verge of despair? You matter. A great deal.
Research by David Dinges at the University of Pennsylvania has found that adults need eight hours of sleep a night – we do not adapt. We just perform at a far lower level than if fully rested. And his research shows that if you have six hours of sleep a night for just two weeks in a row, you become the equivalent of being cognitively drunk. Do you think it’s a good idea going to school drunk?!
Teaching is therefore not the profession for a perfectionist. There is always something more you can do. Don’t get me wrong – I am not undermining thorough, dedicated, inventive and innovative planning. I’m not in favour of teachers who cut corners. But I also hate seeing people who come into the profession and start destroying their health and their personal life. It’s all about balance.
New rules to prevent schools from “gaming” the exam system to improve their league table ranking will force secondaries across England to quickly redraw plans for their pupils’ GCSE entries, according to headteachers.
Citing concern at the rising number of pupils taking the same exam papers a year or more earlier than normal – which Michael Gove branded as cheating by schools – the Department for Education has announced that pupils resitting the same GCSE paper will only have the grade of their first attempt counted in calculating school league tables.
But Gove’s attempt to snuff out the rise in repeated and early GCSE exam entries was branded an “omnishambles” by head teachers. They point to a loophole in the policy and the fact it was announced in the middle of the school year as a source of headaches for school leaders.
At the heart of the most significant package of reforms since GCSEs replaced O-levels 30 years ago is the end of marking by assessment to cure what Gove called the “structural problem” in the exam normally taken by 16-year-olds.
In its place comes a return to final examinations as the sole measure of a pupil’s success at the end of a two-year GCSE course – with the exception of science, which retains a small assessed practical element.
I’m looking for help with finding resources to teach my freshmen about fair trade (and the surrounding issues.) I was thinking specifically about the issues around chocolate and coffee since those are goods the most of them consume already. I found some great things on blood diamonds, but less for that age group on chocolate/coffee. Does anyone know of any good lesson plans for freshmen on this? Or can anyone point me in a good direction?
They also have a yearly poetry writing competition for UK schools. The theme this year was ‘Chocolate is Something to Cherish. The final submission date was the end of April, but look out for next year. I entered a few years ago. The kids liked the idea of entering with chance to win chocolate!
Even if you are not in the UK and can’t enter the competition, I still recommend having a look at the resource. They also accept submissions in Welsh.