Bastow Middle Leaders in Schools Conference: My Reflections

I’ve written this post more as a reflection for myself rather than piece for anyone else, but if something resonates with you, I’d love to chat about it. I’ve got lots to untangle after this. I recently attended the inaugural Bastow Middle Leaders in Schools conference. The conference was, as always with Bastow, high quality … Continue reading Bastow Middle Leaders in Schools Conference: My Reflections

Emily and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Professional Development Session

Illustration by the very talented Ashlin Day The presenter started five minutes late and said “Can you see my screen?” and we all said “No”. I could tell this was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad professional development session. The presenter spent 10 minutes giving us an overview of what they … Continue reading Emily and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Professional Development Session

6+1 Traits of Writing Mentor Texts: Organisation

This post is part of a series of posts on mentor texts I recommend for showing students how authors use the 6+1 Traits of Writing. What is the Organisation trait? The writing trait of organisation involves “the internal structure of the piece, the thread of meaning, the logical pattern of ideas“. Ruth Culham (6+1 Traits … Continue reading 6+1 Traits of Writing Mentor Texts: Organisation

Getting Started with Writer’s Notebook

What is a Writer’s Notebook? Sometimes called the ‘messy attic of the mind’, the writer’s notebook is a magical place. It’s a place writers can collect, store, grow and nurture their ideas for writing. It is often filled with a collection of seeds (artefacts that provoke writing) like photos, sketches, holiday mementos, lists, news clippings, … Continue reading Getting Started with Writer’s Notebook

The New Normal: Teaching Amidst Coronavirus

Written for the DLTV Journal in April 2020 as a follow up to my first blog post responding to teaching amidst Coronavirus. This reflection outlines my school’s approach to Remote Learning 1.0. It is a difficult time for teachers. There is so much scrutiny and attention on what schools are doing right now. It feels … Continue reading The New Normal: Teaching Amidst Coronavirus

Mulling Time

The topic of what good professional learning looks like is always contentious. Some of us love to sit and listen and soak up some new knowledge from a great speaker. Others argue that the best professional learning happens in schools with colleagues through inquiry, observation and dialogue. I think that there is a place for … Continue reading Mulling Time

Show a Pro

Do you get annoyed when your students come to you for every little thing? Or conversely, maybe you sometimes feel yourself getting frustrated when one of your students speaks up about something they know lots about, rudely interrupting you when you are trying to teach that very same thing to the class. Schools and teachers … Continue reading Show a Pro

The One Best Pedagogy

Teaching is like walking through a maze… you are often sure that the turn you took was the right decision, but you’ll never be able to be absolutely sure that the turn you ignored wouldn’t also have been a good one. A thought that has been weighing on my brain is something I heard Mike Mattos say at a PD … Continue reading The One Best Pedagogy

How to Let Your Students Set Up Their Own Classroom

You know that feeling you get? That one where you finally have had enough of your summer break, take yourself into school, and look at the blank walls of your new year’s classroom, just itching to fill it with colour and decorations and a reading corner and intriguing objects and all sorts of learning? Isn’t there … Continue reading How to Let Your Students Set Up Their Own Classroom

Why I Hate Classroom Themes

At the beginning of each school year, my Pinterest feed fills up with tons of pictures that fall under the heading of “Classroom Inspiration”. Teacher friends will send pictures of their freshly decorated rooms to each other with questions about where to put the book corner. Ikea experiences a massive spike in sales of those giant canopy leaves … Continue reading Why I Hate Classroom Themes

Hexagonal Thinking

Hexagonal Thinking is a visual tool to help people make connections and organise ideas on a topic. I first learned about hexagonal thinking through the  No Tosh Lab who encourage the use of it for going from the messy idea stage of the designing thinking process to the stage where ideas are organised and ordered to work … Continue reading Hexagonal Thinking


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