Sharing joy and knowledge from an ordinary life



So this is REALLY late but here are my rather sketchy notes from #TMReading. It was one I was presenting at. It had been a while since I’d done this. I was seriously nervous!


@ASTsupportAAli shares some essential messages about being in the classroom with learners.

These all rang a bell with me and the rest of the audience too- judging by the laughter in the room!

He removes must, should and could- wahoo! All of our students achieve everything- some of them just have a longer journey than others…

Low and high attainers achieved a certain level at a certain time- they should not be categorised as low or high ability forever as a result.

He gave advice that we should speak to the the MFL (and ESOL in FE) department about learners with English as a second or additional language- it is our responsibility to ensure that we understand the grammar difficulties learners may face and know strategies to deal with this.

The power of ‘not yet’- what’s wrong with things being too hard?

When we identify our learners’ needs, what are we doing about them?

Keep the learners in the struggle zone- how do we effectively scaffold the learning to ensure they can succeed in the struggle zone?

If you’re marking- who are you doing it for? If it’s not for the benefit of the learners then abandon it!

Getting learners to reflect is vital- on their learning and how they got there.

Teaching is about making choices. Making change is about making choices.

Don’t assume you have a higher workload than anyone else or that you have less time- the first is arrogant and the second is ridiculous- there are 24 hours in every day- for all of us!


@joedale shared some an awesome app, ‘Opinion’, for recording questions and answers so they can check their answers independently or for learners recording answers and then providing feedback.

There were some other stand-out presentations. One from @wu_lao_shi in relation to the importance of getting learners out of the classroom, especially if they’re learning a language. One from the incredible Andy Love where he introduced a ‘which would you rather’ game designed to get learners voting between choices and then contextualised to the subject in order to differentiate- would you rather draw a sketch of a cactus with accompanying description or label a diagram of a cactus? He also used a pair of Y fronts to prioritise the most important things in a topic- the learners write their knowledge onto different parts of the pants. He also used a technique to get our attention back to him after a discussion-

Clap once if you can hear me

Clap twice if you can hear me

Clap three times if you can hear me and so on…

I tuned in to what was going on at 5 and clapped at 6.

This was an absolute takeaway gem!

Finally,  the singing at the end of the evening with @bootleian. This was perhaps one of the most surreal things I’ve ever done and only could that happen at a TeachMeet!

Here’s my presentation:


You can view all of the presentations on Cheng’s blog here.

Writing this up has reminded me how much I love getting together with other teachers to share with each other, learn together and be inspired. This event was an injection of inspiration for me.

What inspiration will these upcoming events spark for you?

Saturday 27th June 2015 #ReadTL15 conference at Reading College.

Tuesday 7th July 2015 Bulmershe School.

My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

4 Responses

    1. I actually cheated and found the image on Google using the advance search tools, selecting ‘usage rights’ and going for ‘labelled for reuse.’ I’d imagine it’s Tagxedo though…

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