things I notice in schools

16 Feb 2016

On Gratitude

‘At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.’ Albert Schweitzer

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15 Feb 2016

Humans first, professionals second

Humans first, professionals second

‘When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That's when you can get more creative in solving problems.’ Stephen Covey

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24 Jan 2016

Paying and taking a compliment

An interesting thing about some leaders is that while they are very keen on giving compliments they are less comfortable with receiving them. They understand the power and the generosity of giving an honest compliment and they are well rehearsed in the difference between honest and trite compliments.

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08 Jan 2016

High challenge, low threat

We are a challenge seeking species. We all know someone, and it might even be us who spends some of their downtime working on a crossword, doing a sudoku, a puzzle or a word search. Why are we spending money and time on things which are essentially 'testing' ourselves? Companies make a small fortune out of the fact that we like 'testing' ourselves. What is that about? Is it because we enjoy the deep satisfaction of struggling with something, thinking hard about it, getting it wrong, going back and correcting it, realising our mistake and then getting it right?

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31 Dec 2015

Radical candour

When the work of any setting is underpinned by the principle of ‘humans first, professionals second’, something interesting happens: people are happy to be held to account. This is because they want to do their best work and because they know that any aspect of their practice can be critiqued because it is not an attack on them as a human being.

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16 Oct 2015

Should I be marking every piece of work?

The mammoth mountains of marking are still piling up. Why on earth is this the case? I first wrote about this two years ago. There is one rule for marking and feedback: if it's not making a difference to learning, don't do it.

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