A Confession, an Apology and Bright Shiny Objects

Teaching focus

Bright Shiny Objects (BSO):  Any new, interesting, intriguing, colourful idea, strategy or possibility. Designed to excite, stimulate, side-track, deviate and beguile. Guaranteed to deflect focus. Long before it was diagnosed many of my students labelled me ADHD. I would argue that I was just passionate. As it turns out I am both and I have fallen into the trap of BSOs with this blog. Time to get back on track. … Read More

Why Do Passionate People Teach?

Passionate English teachers

There are a stack of different reasons why people go into teaching, especially teaching English. Between 1950 and 1978 in Australia, Secondary Teaching was one of the few things you could get government funding for to go to University. It was competitive. You sat for the studentship exam and if you scored well enough the government paid for your studies. In exchange you agreed to teach for three years  in government … Read More

Why Teach English?

Teaching Literature

The second greatest surprise of my life came when I realised that I loved teaching teenagers. Seriously, I was 35 years old and had spent the previous 20 years actively avoiding it. Where I grew up teaching and nursing were the only two options for clever, nice girls and I was determined not to be one of them. I didn’t have any clear idea of what I wanted to do … Read More

4 Essential Activities for an English Teacher.

Things English teachers must do.

No matter how much information we have sometimes it is hard to get into a good writing routine. So this week I am taking the plunge and have signed up for a 7 day blogging challenge. Darren Rouse over at ProBlogger is running this. I like Darren, he is an Aussie guy who lives in Melbourne like me. Darren was one of the early embracers of the online world and … Read More

Please – No More Chapter Questions!

Keep English interesting.

Nothing is more surely designed to drown any flickering student interest in a book than chapter questions. Honestly, if there is a good reason why we still do this it is beyond my comprehension. And this is the point isn’t it?  Comprehension. I have always loved to read, and it is no secret that English was my favourite subject at school.  Not much has changed really. I still love to … Read More

The Reasons I hate Book-Hire Schemes for English

No more Book Hire Please.

When it comes to text books for many subjects, hire-book schemes can be really helpful. Many of these books are expensive to buy and as they are used year after year it makes sense to ensure that all students have access. However I think they are deadly for English classes. Here are some of the reasons. Good English teachers do not teach from ‘text-books’ as such. They teach from texts. … Read More