What are the most popular blogs you have been reading over the past year?
What are the most popular reads on Teacher Toolkit over the past 12 months? Below you can find out what blogs our readers have found most interesting – each month, with at least 10,000 reads or more – and offered to you in chronological order from January through to December 2017 …
In January 2017, our readers loved 10 Teaching Ideas to Trash in 2017 – the second in the series. Keep an eye out for our third edition published soon. What teaching ideas would you like to say goodbye to in 2017?
February saw a practice commonly subscribed to by teachers; to ‘publish’ learning objectives (LOs) at the start of a lesson and collectively share them so that everyone knows what the purpose of the lesson is. Pupils then routinely copy them out into their books and there’s your evidence! Objectives covered. Should we share learning objectives with pupils? Read, Invisible Sun.
In March, I reminded readers that ‘teacher should not be expected to differentiate for every child in every lesson’. Let me write that again for you. You should not be expected to differentiate for every child in every lesson. So why do some schools still expect their teachers to do this for performance observations? Read Top 10 Differentiation Strategies (to embed over time).
April found that workload to be high on the agenda. With over 30,000 reads, the following tips are practical, simple pieces of advice to help you do an audit of your workload management practice. Designed to get you managing your to do list, your paperwork and tweak your marking and assessment more effectively. Read 26 Tips to Make Teacher Workload Manageable.
Despite the summer looming, May found one of the most popular blogs of 2017 was a depressing read, writing about the impact on teacher morale after a damaging OfSTED inspection. It will come as no surprise what a ‘special measures’ outcome can do to the hard work, morale and commitment from a group of 200 educators. Read, 10 Ways to Demotivate Teachers.
If your senior management team are clueless, helpless and spineless, then this impacts massively on the well-being of the staff… and the whole school. The 7 Deadly Leadership Sins which explains that even if you have a decent set of colleagues who you get on well with, if one or more of your senior leaders is weak then cracks appear everywhere.
The enemy of good is perfection and that’s why chasing ‘outstanding’ is just plain folly. Good is better than outstanding. Forget Outstanding asks the reader if they genuinely want the ‘Outstanding’ badge of honour.
In a hurried and impersonal data-driven world it is easy to lose sight of what really matters. Teaching isn’t about getting pupils over the finishing line and obsessing over numbers. There isn’t a teacher on the planet that who would miss spreadsheets if they were to suddenly disappear overnight. Children have a skewed sense of reality if all we focus on are test scores. Despite the summer holidays, our readers were desperate to read the 6 Habits of Talented Teachers.
In September, we published an anonymous account from a deputy headteacher who left the U.K. to go and work overseas – the result of a damaging and highly contentious school inspection. Read the full story, OfSTED Made Me Leave The Country.
How can teachers talk more openly about their mental health? With the rise of social media and a desire for the perfect photo, story and/or experience, there is an increasing perception that ‘everyone seems to be having a better time than ourselves’. The wise amongst us will know this is unfounded and we will know many students (and some of our friends) who succumb to the social media allure – a life of perfection. This may also be true for teachers using social media.
In The Social Media Illusion, I choose to share an image of my health two weeks after an OfSTED inspection to showcase what an impact the stress of external visitors can have on a teacher’s mental health. Sharing this photo marks one of the most proudest things I’ve done on social media.
Imagine this. You’re just sitting down to read a chapter with a group of children who have very little interest in it. Each page is read out painstakingly slowly, whilst the rest of your class disperse into chaos on the all important ‘Reading Carousel’. What a way to start each and every day! Teachers have forever tried to reinvent Guided Reading (GR) and ultimately always come back to, ‘Oh, I know! Why don’t I read with a group and the rest of my class can work on a variety of tasks around the classroom.’ How To Revolutionise Guided Reading offers some alternatives.
With half the month still to go, the blog that is clearly ahead of the rest, which is a research-informed read on teachers meeting the needs of all students. In We Need To Pop The Differentiation Bubble, I challenge the profession – or at least schools who still insist – that teachers cannot meet the needs of all their students in a single lesson, despite our desires or best intentions.
We now have over 40 teachers writing inside Teacher Toolkit, why don’t you join us for 2018? Get in touch.