When you least expect it, children will dazzle you

It's the end of term. Tempers are fraying. I'm spending a lot of time reinforcing norms and sorting out squabbles. It tiring. I'm tired. But then, out of nowhere the kids will dazzle you. Upon learning that it was the hard-working classroom assistant's birthday a group of my boys got together and organised a card, chocolates... Continue Reading →

The secret lives of learners

"My gift is kind of embarrassing can I share with you?" The children are reflecting on how unexpected  events they've had in their lives turned out to be gifts. They've been encouraged to share with their learning buddy. This child lets me know his secret gift. Every so often we get that window into a... Continue Reading →

The Magic of Sharing practice

What comes after the provocation? Connecting with experts! In this case my Year 4s were connecting with, Grade 5s at the International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC). This connection was such rich learning both for myself and the children in my class. Genuine Role Models  - How often in schools do we bring in adults... Continue Reading →

The kids are ok – AKA lighten up

One of the challenges of teaching is that progress isn't always easy to point to when you are in the thick of lessons, meetings, extra curricula demands, writing reports. Over the last few weeks, I've been a bit down. Despite my best efforts, I didn't feel like the learning in class was particularly innovative or even... Continue Reading →

A new build…

If you really want to see a bunch of elementary kids go crazy, show them a video of their future school.


School council is another institution that needs a re-think in school. Traditionally after elections, the representatives ask their classes for ideas. The silence is followed by a rapid-fire flow of ideas, some good but often not thought-through. Rather than follow the usual procedure, the representatives took time to work with small groups using a few... Continue Reading →

#Iameleven – a lesson in New Media

Films often have a bad reputation in education, particularly at primary school. They are often seen as an end of term treat, something to do on a rainy lunchtime  or at worst, a time filler to pass the day. Most Language Arts curricula have viewing and presenting strands alongside the reading and writing, yet the latter... Continue Reading →

A new challenge for the year…

This year I decided to add a little bit to my workload by taking on school council. I've previously been involved with running council back in  New Zealand and look forward to the challenge again this year.  

On being part of the furniture…

When you someone who teaches overseas it can easy to develop a 'grass is always greener' mentality.  There's always another country and there's always another school just over the horizon. Those who tend to be wanderers often have no fixed schedule, or timeline for how long is too long to stay in place. It's a gut reaction. It's hearing... Continue Reading →

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