Saturday, November 29, 2014

Flat today, so I will have to write more reports.


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Friday, November 28, 2014

In honour and memory #putyourbatsout #philhughes


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T'is the season to be reporting, so I found these tips on reporting to parents...

Report frequently

Unless your school has a policy of not communicating with parents, there is no reason that you should wait until the formal school reporting times to inform parents how their children are doing. As you will already have recorded the relevant data on each student about their attainment on different tasks, assignments or projects, it shouldn't be too much effort to do a mail-merged letter or report at the end of each block of work, or once every half-term, say.

Make work available

If that suggestion sounds like too much work, then another thing you can do (and ought to do anyway, in my opinion), is give parents a log-in so they can see, and comment upon, their child's work, and read your comments too. Obviously, you'll need to get the go-ahead to do this, and then possibly enlist the assistance of the technical support person or team to implement it, but it can be done.

Explain the context

There's no point sending out a report that states that Jimmy did fairly well at a computer programming task. You're bound to get a parent who phones up to say "Fairly well??!!!". He single-handedly set up our home network, reconfigured the TV remote, and set up home security webcams all over the house." You need to include a paragraph that states something like, "The students were asked to work out how the timetable for parents' evening could be automated, and then devise a program to do it."
Context is all in this sort of thing.

Avoid giving grades if you can

As soon as you give a grade, a mark or a Level, people stop reading once they've seen it. It's much better to give a description of what they can do and can't do, and how they can improve.

Be quick to praise but...

You're not doing anyone any favours if all you do is offer praise, especially if you are struggling to find something worth praising. If the work isn't good enough, for whatever reason, I think you have a moral duty to say that, and to then say what might be done about it.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

It must almost be Christmas as I am deep into report writing season and this is all I see in my dreams.


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Sunday, November 23, 2014

View from my window as I write end of term reports. I probably need to focus on the reports rather than this view.


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Friday, November 21, 2014

Lazy Friday afternoon.


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Sunday, November 09, 2014

So true


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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Effective teaching: 10 tips on what works and what doesn’t

A very interesting article written in The Guardian at the end of last month. I feel that I do use some of these, but have fallen into other traps. Have a look at the full article [click here]

The main points are listed here:
1. Know your subject
2. Praise can do more harm than good
3. Instruction matters
4. Teacher beliefs count
5. Think about teacher-student relationships
6. Manage behaviour
7. There’s no evidence that setting works
8. Don’t worry about learning styles
9. Learning should be hard at first
10. Build relationships with colleagues and parents

About me

I am an African living in Scotland. A son, a father, an ex-husband, a boyfriend, a teacher and friend trying to piece together the stories that my God, my parents, my ex-wife, my girlfriend, my pupils and my friends are telling me, so that I can tell my own story. Thanks to all for your support and advice. I still love good coffee and popcorn.



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