Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Posts you may have missed

February 25, 2015 1 comment

My main blogging platform is now at

If you have missed any of my recent posts the links are here.

Using a portfolio effectively on interview
How can a portfolio be used effectively during an interview to help you secure a teaching post?

Primary assessment – questions and numbers but no real answers
Our termly assessment time is here once again and conversation is around what, why and how we assess.

Teacher turnover and high performing school systems
Teacher recruitment and retention is a real problem, not just in the UK but in other countries too. The USA for example reports 14% of teachers leaving after their first year and 46% after their fifth year. In the UK some reports say 50% have left within their first five years. So what can be done to recruit and retain quality teachers to our classrooms?

Shareday Friday – Two great ideas for displaying pupil targets
Shareday Friday – my weekly gift to the online educational community
We’ve been looking at how to make individual pupil targets relevant and purposeful. Individual pupil targets in a primary school are a great way of involving pupils in their learning. If the classroom environment can reflect those targets with a well designed display then pupil motivation is improved.

Combating cyber bullying
Bullying is fast getting over taken by cyber bullying, online bullying with a far greater reach. This is what came from Year 6 (11 year old) pupils this week when I led a session to explore cyber bullying.

In the land of the blind…
In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. Welcome to Spain, a land where a failure to enforce regulation encourages any cowboy to step forward as an expert.

Spanish Sundays – A photo tour of Alzira
Alzira is located around 40km to the South of Valencia and 20km from the coast. Enjoying the coastal climate of the Mediterranean it doesn’t have the high and low temperature fluctuations of central Spain.

Expert in a year
As an educator I’m fascinated by research into learning and one theme that keeps recurring is the notion that talent is not a birthright but something that is earned through hard work.

Should maths be taught from government approved textbooks?
Nick Gibb, Minister of State for Schools, would like to see the introduction of a “quality framework” against which maths textbooks could be assessed. Is this a strong move to improve the national standards in mathematics or government meddling in curriculum being taken one step too far?

Categories: Uncategorized

Why? Why? Why?

February 21, 2015 1 comment


On an education forum I frequent, teachers regularly complain about their school marking policy that demands them to mark student books, say every 2 lessons and how impossible it is to manage the workload.
The remaining thread is people sharing ideas on how to manage the load. There is no discernment as to whether these strategies meet the rationale behind the policy. They are just ways to ‘show’ the policy is being followed.

This worries me.

Are schools focussing too much on the ‘what & how’, instead of on the ‘why’?

Teachers around the country are desperately trying to ‘do’ what they’ve been told that in some cases the desired impact of the actions are lost. The value in that process has gone and they might as well not bother. We need to keep asking ourselves ‘why?’. And if the answer is ‘because I’ve been told to’ or ‘it’s for…

View original post 727 more words

Categories: Uncategorized

Monthly top 5 roundup – January 2015

February 3, 2015 Leave a comment

The 5 most relevant educational articles from January 2015.

Categories: Uncategorized

5 things you need to know about renting in Spain

February 2, 2015 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized

Why Mindset is important for teachers and schools

February 1, 2015 1 comment

My latest article looks at mindset theory and why it is important for teachers and schools.

You can read this article at:

Categories: Uncategorized


January 31, 2015 Leave a comment

After making a fresh commitment to update this blog during 2015 I have made the decision to give it a proper home.

From here on, future posts will be made to the new home of this blog:

The same regular blog updates combining my own opinions with information about living and teaching in Spain will appear.

For a short while I will post redirect posts here but please do bookmark the new site and thank you for following.

Categories: Uncategorized

Spanish Sundays

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Spanish Sundays

Sunday always seems like the embers of the weekend. I think the fact it was a four day weekend due to the All Saints’ Day Holiday only adds to that feeling. How do teachers secure a work life balance? I would suggest that the aspects of both work and life should be condensed into those things that matter most.

Somehow getting that balance seems easier working in an international setting. We took the dog for a trip to the beach this afternoon. He does love the beach and never tires of swimming to retrieve a stick. The dog, Rusty, is a rescue dog with certain abandonment issues. Having been found by the bins near a beach he never strays far from us even when out. Today the Mediterranean Sea looked just too enticing to leave only to Rusty so when his stick ventured too far for his usually brave retrieval instincts I waded in and joined him in the water. The day was hot but the water was cool – maybe 17 degrees. After splashing around for twenty minutes or so and avoiding a jellyfish the size of a basketball I dried off within five minutes of standing on the beach. It was one of those warm pleasant winds from inland and the views back towards the mountains were spectacular.

We were home barely an hour before it was time to take my daughter to her weekly horse riding session. We finally sat down at home at about half past seven this evening. Of course, all of those activities are available in the UK although the idea of swimming in the sea in November may take a little more courage in the UK than it does here in Spain. The difference is that with the bright sunshine here one is actively encouraged to go out for the day. The four day weekend was coupled with all the usual work of a teacher. Writing the Christmas nativity script, editing music for the Christmas production, marking assessments, planning for the week ahead. It is just that I genuinely do feel that in comparison to my UK work commitments as a teacher I do now find more time for family and relaxation and that the work and life are far more evenly balanced than they were when teaching in the UK.

How do you get your work life balance correct and if it is out of balance, how can you put it right?

%d bloggers like this: