How to Reduce Your Marking Time

Apologies I have not posted many blogs in 2016 so far! I have been busy working on numerous books, and… y’know… teaching and all that. Continue reading


Three Games You Can Play At Parent’s Evening

I don’t mind parent’s evening, it’s just… it’s all about them, isn’t it? No one ever asks about me.

It’s all “my child this, my child that.”

Does anyone ever ask how I’m doing at parent’s evening?


So, seeing as people care so little about your progress, here are three games I can suggest you play to keep yourself amused.

(Note to any parents: we are totally not playing these games, do not worry.)

(Note to teachers: wink wink nudge nudge) Continue reading

My Christmas Message

A short blog post this Monday, as it will be my last of 2016!

Thank you so much for your support this year, your views and your messages telling me how much you can relate to my blogs.

I hope that my blog has made you chuckle and, if you are too a teacher, made you feel better about whatever stress you have faced.

And to end my last blog post of 2016, here is my new year message, with an image of myself.

I will return on Monday 2nd January with my first satirical blog of 2017 – and weekly every Monday there on!

I hope you have a happy Christmas and a peaceful new year.


10 Ways to Make Teaching Festive

It’s hard, isn’t it?

One more week to go, and you want to be in the Christmas spirit, but when you spend your time between marking, detentions and meetings, it’s difficult not to say “bah, humbug.”

So here, just for my festive followers, is a guide of ten things you can do to make normal teaching activities more festive.

1/ When you send a kid to timeout, send him there with tinsel around their neck and a bit of holly in their hair.

2/ When differentiating between great, okay and awful work, refer to them as relative Christmas movies:

Great – Home Alone

Okay – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Awful – Christmas with the Kranks

3/ When giving a student bad results on a test, write them on a Christmas card.

4/ When you can’t be bothered to teach but get excited about cleaning up, have a lesson where the students make Christmas decorations.

5/ When logging a student having a fight on the computer, instead of writing “he punched him,” write “he decked his halls.”

6/ When you’re marking a really bad book and have to write a negative comment, start it with “ho ho holy crap this is bad.”

7/ When a student tells you they have a good excuse that they haven’t done their homework, look out the window and announce you just “saw three shits go sailing by.”

8/ When a student says the weather is bad, reply “yes, I believe it’s going to reindeer.” Then enjoy the ensuing awkward silence.

9/ Rename detention as ‘Santa’s Grotto’ and dress all the kids up as elves.

10/ Instead of movies in the final lesson, make a kid tell everyone in the class a story & keep shouting out during it. When they finish, look at them and say “hashtag revenge!”

May your Christmas be happy & your holiday be void of marking. Have a good one!

Why It’s Easier to be a Sick Teacher IN School

I have been sick for the last few days, and I do not mean ‘sick’ in the way students would interpret it.

My illness is mainly due to fatigue, which I think we all get. We refuse to go home or take a day off, as we know that will ultimately be even more work for us – but we need to learn to! Don’t we?

Especially as winter comes around and the flu gets passed around like a worn out football.

Yes, I am talking to you. You’re not feeling well. Go home. This job is too tough to do when you’re at your weakest.

But, you would be right in saying it is far easier to be ill in work than be ill at home. Here are the numerous reasons why. Continue reading

The Four Things Students Think Are Originally Hilarious But Aren’t

There are many annoying things students can do.

What makes these things more annoying is when different students do the same thing thinking it’s hilarious again. And again. And again. And again.

And again.

These are the four most common things students do, that they think are originally hilarious – that, in fact, are not. Continue reading

Five Things I Remember About School Pre-Internet

I never thought I’d get old.

It sounds bizarre, but I’ve spent so long telling my Dad that he’s outdated and needs to stop talking about what it was like when he was a kid, that I didn’t realise my students are now telling me that I’m outdated and need to stop talking about what it was like when I was a kid.

Now things are never good – they are ‘sick.’ Things are never bad, they are ‘peak.’ You no longer have no money, you have ‘bare pees.’

But I remember what education was like pre-internet. I remember going to school before it existed in everyone’s homes. I remember even when I was 14-15 and we did get the internet – the displeasure of being able to log onto the one static computer in my house with a dialup connection you couldn’t use if someone was on the phone.

These are the five things that stand out most from what was a simpler time.

90s-computer Continue reading

The Ofsted Criteria for Outstanding Lesson is Oustandingly Ridiculous

I came across the Ofsted criteria for what makes an oustanding lesson recently. And, by george, it is ridiculous.

It makes you wonder if they have ever actually set foot in a school? Like, not a private school, or a hugely successful middle class school – an actual school. With actual problems.

Just for you, I have picked out my favourite parts of the criteria. Continue reading

Does This Phrase Make Sense to You?

As a teacher, we are responsible for encouraging the literacy ability of our students, whatever the subject. It is our job to be a teacher of words.

As a writer, it is my job to be a sorcerer of language, a ‘puppet master of English,’ if you will.

Yet, as a user of the English language…

(as I’m sure you are too, as otherwise how would you be reading this? Honestly, if you don’t understand English, but you can understand this, what the hell is going on?)

… we say a lot of things that doesn’t make sense. So here, I have explored some phrases, cliches and idioms we often use that actually, when you think about it, are complete nonsense – explaining why I think they are nonsense, and doing a bit of research as to where they actually came from. Continue reading

If We Made Song Lyrics Beneficial to Students

It’s legimately considered ‘square’ to disapprove of song lyrics, citing them as a poor influence over our students – with some lyrics, particularly from gangsta rap, inciting use of guns, violence and chauvenism.

Whilst it’s farfetched to claim that gun crime and sexist behaviour is solely caused by violent songs, there surely must be some influence on your sub-conscious.

So, in order to help, I have rewritten many lyrics in a way that would help our students to become better people! Enjoy… Continue reading