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Dear students, thank you for being so wonderful that I forget about the stress and enjoy my career

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Dear students, Thank you. You may not know it, but you're fantastic. As the teacher, it is my job to create an environment that's as conducive to learning as possible. This may include considering seating arrangements, presentation of material, my attitude in class, how I handle discipline etc and, as much as I consider all of these aspects of the ...
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I nearly left teaching after the first term – 30 years on, here’s my advice for those considering quitting

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Growing up, the only thing I ever wanted to do was to be a teacher. I loved my subject, English, and wanted a career that let me continue to read and discuss, think and learn, and convey my enthusiasm for my subject to others. As a child I played "school" with my dolls and my friends and always took the teacher role. I completed a PGCE after m...
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If teachers could learn from each other more, maybe teaching could be a lifelong profession – not a four-year sacrifice

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When I started in teaching, I wanted to copy everything I loved about the teachers who had made a difference to me. By the time I started in the classroom I was very much in favour of being tough on kids and demanding superb output from them. I was anti-liberal and, looking back, too much so. Teaching English was a huge amount of fun, but in my ear...
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Get it right, and teaching is life-transforming and exciting. Get it wrong, and stress takes over

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  Teaching is a highly nuanced, complex art, where the most effective teachers build up a range of strategies over years and years of practice. I opted out of the classroom too early to do that, and moved into what in many ways is a less complex, but equally demanding, role of senior administrator, or leader, in schools. I taught for about 15 ...
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11 life lessons for students

Fountain pen on paper
I wrote the following letter to one of my classes a few years ago. I've removed a few specific comments – feel free to share this with anyone you see fit. Hey guys/gals, You are awesome and I want you to know that. You are a special group and I want to leave you with a few pointers/ideas/life lessons. This is a general list – don't take any of it t...
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