Thursday, August 17, 2006

Zen and the Art of Playground Duty

The next book after How Not To Teach - any publishers out there?

Based on the reaction to How Not To Teach, in particular letters from teachers.

Holiday in USA
Last year we went to San Francisco, travelled in an RV for a week and spent 3 days in Las Vegas (hated that bit) – it was our 25th wedding anniversary – some humorous incidents along the way.


Welcome back - the council inform us we’re facing closure.

Literacy Training
How the training is organised by ‘consultants’, we’re marked down as an “intensive support” school. I feel like walking out.

School visitors
Some of the strange visitors we get - Mr Crabtree with his wildlife slides, Mr Cuddles who barely got out alive.

Ruth Kelly
Is she the worst Education Secretary ever? I might not have read the Da Vinci Code but something isn’t right. Why does she talk so slowly? Who is pulling the strings?

Teacher Training
Why do student teachers carry round such large files, what the hell are we trying to produce robots or teachers?

Visit to Germany
Two weeks on a British council visit to a primary school. How they organise their system. Germany efficiency? The windows get a good clean. Gifted and talented night at the secondary school I really put my foot in it – ‘beam me up Scotty’.

Closure meetings
We get the parents involved and give some of the council officials a hard time at a public meeting.

Parents’ Evening
Why every parent should turn up and teachers should try to chill out more.

Why is our country so crap at languages? Should we teach it in primary schools?

Dave and Me
Dave joins the enemy and gets a headship in another part of the country no more drinks after school.

Christmas Play
Where would primary schools be without them, the highlight of the year and what can go wrong?


I’m a celebrity
Some of the teachers who could appear.

General Teaching Council
What a waste of money! The organisation that is there to register and discipline teachers. It only makes headlines when teachers are sacked – cue tabloid headlines ‘Teacher Found Drunk in Charge’.

How observations of lessons are killing teaching – micro targets for each lesson. How peer review could work.

Writing with Stephen King
A good lesson using Stephen King’s book ‘How To Write’ the detective stories we produce.

SEN Panel
They refuse a statement for one of our children, how the system is failing SEN children.

Tesco vouchers
… and other vouchers, why I hate collecting them, cutting them out and all the free publicity.

Closure councillors
I nearly get thrown out of a meeting when I can’t use the overhead to show school numbers.

Dear Dairy
I organise a lesson about Anne Frank based on my visit to Amsterdam. All the children get a well-designed booklet to write in…Dear Dairy. Taxi!

Play ground duty
The job that most teachers can begin to hate, yes it’s Saving Private Ryan again as chaos reigns.

PE training day
An Ofsted inspector takes the training day with her silent friend.

Hightown Park
Our local secondary school in special measures for 4 years, as part of my MA I interview the teachers.

Larry Cuban
Why ICT is not an each way bet, the book that all ICT teachers should read.

School motto
Different mottoes that schools could use or not use


Staff meetings
The grind of ploughing through exam scripts, targets, assessments and government targets.

Victorians Film
We get £25,000 to make a film about Victorian times in our locality.

Faith Schools
Why should the Church of England that will close in 2050 (based on falling attendance figures) get millions of pounds for faith schools?

Closure averted
The council cave-in and we get a grudging reprieve.

How we could educate children.

Warrington Peace Centre
We host a visit for our Irish school and visit the Beatles Museum, the Mersey Ferry and Anfield.

The trials and tribulations of organising swimming and some of the children who just can’t swim.

Links with secondaries
How not to do it. Why is it that there is so little contact? My scheme to involve them comes to a grinding halt. I teach a lesson and the teacher doesn’t turn up.

Due another visit soon – the ‘light touch’?

How the LEAs have been reduced in effectiveness.

Comic Relief
Why I hate Comic Relief, being sworn at by mega-rich pop stars.

Blackpool Trip
We visit the Tower and the brilliant circus; shame the town doesn’t match up.


Trust teachers
The solution is to trust and invest in teachers.


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