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How do you get your students to trust you?

The teacher's job is multi-facetted. Every teacher knows this! But what is that core task that many teachers around the world perform every day, inside and outside of school, to ensure that their students learn the content that the education policy makers believe that students must learn? I have addressed the importance of this core task in this book.

In addition, Rob Webster has also highlighted the importance of this task in light of recent evidence. Read his article at the IOE London blog.

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Free University Courses for you

A number of universities have been offering free online courses. Anybody can take advantage of them. Do you want to update your knowledge in your content area? Do you want to learn a new skill? Do you want to acquire new knowledge? Chances are, you will find something for you in the list right here at

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Arming teachers in the US to stop gun violence in schools: Is this the way to go?

"Students across the country have protestedagainst school violence and called for stricter gun regulations in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month. Tens of thousands of people were planning to attend the March For Our Lives event in Washington on Saturday.
President Trump and the National Rifle Organization have instead called for arming teachers to stop school shooters. The Dora district decided to take that step in 2014."


World's best teacher

'Her headteacher, Gerard McKenna, said: "She will go the extra mile outside of school, helping students in the streets, on the way home, with the community – whatever she can do to help."'

Read more at TES.

What does teaching have in common with policing?

Teachers work at least as many hours as police officers, for lower pay, according to a NFER study. Here are five facts revealed by the research:
Read more at TES.
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Should the role of children in society be revisited?

The more things change, the more they remain the same, at least for some societies. Berry Mayall, Professor of Childhood Studies at UCL's Institute of Education, writes:
'Some children saw school as something that took up their days when they could have been working. Others tolerated it, as seemingly unavoidable. Some combined school attendance with working before and after school hours. A few who were clever, saw possibilities for advancement: by going, via an exam, on to secondary school. From there they could hope for a steady job that would bring money to their family.
School days, for most children, were long and tedious; but they were taught the basics: reading and writing and arithmetic; and these were useful in later life. For once they had left school, to work in factories and fields, they could go on learning through libraries (free!) and newspapers; their political education continued. School –leavers joined unions and clubs that offered education and companionship.&…

The Magician, the Cheerleader, the Martyr and 7 others: Which one are you?

‘The man is in the coffin,’ she muttered, staring into space.

‘How do you feel today, Ms. Brown?’ the man asked.

‘The man is in the coffin,’ she replied.

‘What is your name?’ he asked.

‘The man is in the coffin,’ she repeated.

‘Ok. Can you write your name?’ he pressed her.

‘The man is in the coffin,’ she reiterated.

Six words. She was left with only six words: ‘The man is in the coffin.’

When commentators are not satisfied with the quality of the work that teachers do in the classroom and the output of the education system generally, they tend to make the mistake of presenting teachers as a homogeneous mass. 

'Teachers are not doing a good job,' they say. Or, 'teachers need to take the job of teaching more seriously than they do'. Or, 'teachers are the reason why students perform poorly in school'. The list of criticisms thrown at the teacher is long.

What these commentators fail to highlight is the fact that teachers differ in many respects. Some teachers produce either…

Teachers: 3 Powerful Lessons That You Learn From Teaching

Teachers, I know that sometimes people who do not work in the education system make you feel unappreciated after you put so much time and effort into helping your students learn as much as they can from their schooling, while you, in turn, learn much from the experience, developing your skills set. As a teacher with more than 25 years in the classroom, I understand exactly how you feel.
Dr. Paul Semendinger, an educator, understands the need that teachers have to be appreciated and he shares this understanding in an article on Edutopia titled, What makes a teacher special?
Dr. Semendinger in a previous role as principal of a school asked students and other stakeholders of his school to nominate a teacher for the award of teacher of the week, citing a reason for nominating the teacher. The students' responses clearly show the central place that teachers have in their lives.
Here are some of the reasons the students gave for nominating a teacher: the teacher is 'kind and helpf…

Teachers: 4 Tips to Help you Maintain your mental health in your teaching job

The teacher is sometimes maligned, a few times for good reasons, but most of the times the teacher is unjustly targeted because those persons who cast aspersions at the teacher and the job of teaching are not fully aware of the complexities of the job and the challenges that the teacher faces in navigating these complexities.

Having been a teacher for more than twenty five years and having taught in a number of countries, I have garnered some insights into the nature of the teacher and the job of teaching. I have shared these insights in a new book, The Teacher's Gift.

One facet of the teacher that I have explored in a number of chapters in this book is her mental health and how she can maintain her mental health, in spite of all the challenges that she has to navigate on the job. Here is one chapter of this book.

Maintaining her mental health 3 – tempering her expectations of her students
One way that the teacher maintains her mental health is by tempering her expectations of her…