When school returns do we keep doing what we always have done?Teachers in the individual spaces.Learners even further apart.A danger of physical distancing measures put in place is that it can also support a return to traditional desks and worksheets. When schools moved off campus, we forced to reimagine how learning might happen when we are... Continue Reading →
Breaking the homeroom mould
When we moved into our new campus, our team seized on the opportunity to re-think how our year group uses space. Inspired by the masterclass that Rosan Bosch held at WAB’s Future of Education Now!, we thought differently about how we might set up different spaces for our learners. Instead of allocating each class a... Continue Reading →
Makerspace or Making Space for Learning?
As computers have become more ubiquitous, old-style computer labs have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Children don't go to a separate room to learn programmes just in case they might need to use them as adults. They are using programmes as part of their learning now, with a strong likelihood that the device and... Continue Reading →
Saying no to Classroom Eye Candy – Planning for Agency from Day One
No matter how many years I've spent in education, I never sleep well the night before the first day with a new class. I fret about mispronouncing names, how amazing other teacher's learning spaces look in comparison to my own and wonder if I have enough activities planned to keep the kids 'occupied' until the... Continue Reading →
Decluttering pedagogy – creating space to spark curiosity
I'm about three years late reading Marie Kondo's Joy of Tidying Up. The thesis of the book is that if an item doesn't spark joy, then dispose of it. To an international school teacher, living light is a necessity. Sentimentality goes in the bin along with your unwanted possessions when you are under a strict... Continue Reading →
Ending my love affair with the laminator
Primary teachers have a love affair with laminating machines. Wall displays, name cards, cards. No job is too small for the laminators. It makes things bright and shiny. Primary teachers love bright and shiny. I often used to joke that the only real question they need to ask would-be primary teachers at Teachers College is 'do... Continue Reading →
Binary question – a thinking enviroment
A few months ago on Instagram, I came across the concept of a binary question by @braddodaddo. He puts together a question with two possible answers for students to answer using counters. I love the idea of starting of the week with something to get children thinking. The idea of two choices so simple, yet... Continue Reading →
What do the walls of your classroom really say about learning?
In between the consumption of vast quantities of delicious food, I've been spending a lot of time meandering around art galleries in Europe. I've seen the grand masters - Picasso, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Dali, Cézanne, Renoir, Degas. Too many - I was sensory overload. A lot of the works of art have just blended in to... Continue Reading →
Is it time to get rid of the teacher’s desk?
A few years ago I wrote about getting rid of half of the desks in my classroom. The result of the experience was a more agile learning space that constantly evolved to meet the needs of the learners. I forgot to write about the most important classroom desk I got rid of in the process,... Continue Reading →
10 tips for First Year Teachers
1. Don't talk over the kids If there is one piece of advice I could give you, it is this. Never talk over the kids. You might have to wait a long time for their attention and on occasion you might have to stop and wait. Be patient. Allowing the kids to talk over you... Continue Reading →