Category Archives: Teaching

How is this so difficult…

So earlier today, I had a free period. Time for a bit of marking, report writing, planning. And coffee. 

Always coffee. 

I had to bring together three things in one place: hot water, coffee and a mug. Not that tricky. To make life easier still, the hot water urn is static. Attempt one: I had coffee and hot water but had forgotten my mug; attempt two, I brought the coffee down to my mug but had no hot water urn; attempt three, I brought cup to urn but forgot the coffee. 

How? How has this been so very difficult? 

I finally managed to fill the mug with water and milk and bright that to the coffee. And promptly left it in my office. 

Never has the logo on the front of this mug been more apt. 

I’ve worked for this one!


Language and Grammar Jokes

My favourite language joke of all time goes as follows:

Three intransitive verbs walked into a bar. They sat. They drank. They left.


If you ever want a tumbleweed moment, deliver that to a classroom of teenagers!

However, here are a few more, shamelessly stolen from around the interweb… Thank you Grammarly, in particular.















Have a wonderful 2015!



School’s Out…



It’s been such a long time coming this year…!

So, my plans for the summer?

Possibly flying in the face of the anarchy of Alice Cooper, I fully intend to spend this holiday ensconced in the fold of my family. There have been days in the last year when I left before my daughter woke and returned after she went to bed. Six weeks of daddy-daughter time sounds blissful.

As does six weeks of Mr P and Mrs P time. We’ve found a couple of days which we can have together and it’s been blissful so far. Mooching around. No schedules. No timetable. No teenager. Never has doing nothing been so pleasant!

And there are a few books left to read on my TBR list. See my post here to comment. Of course I had to go into work yesterday. Of all the things I might have left behind… my ereader. Really? Probably the only thing I’d have made the effort to go back in and collect in the first day of the holidays!

Travels with Ruth

Oh dear!

Look what happens in my school if you accidentally leave a book unattended for a couple of minutes!





Along with the following quotation

Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white. – Mark Jenkins

So, after many days away I have returned, this time to be loved, cherished and above all not forgotten.

I also want to say that if you ever change your mind and decide you would like to be lost, I’ll be waiting You’re my kind of time being, too.

Too Embarrassed To Read?


The BBC ran this story on 4th October: reading is on the decrease, despite the lauded rise of the e-book; and one in five of our children would be embarrassed to be caught with a book. “Caught with”? You are caught with cigarettes by your parents; caught with stolen goods by the police; caught with drugs by customs.

You are not caught with books. They should be a staple part of everyone’s equipment along with their house keys, mobile and a pen. And I’m not just talking about school children.


Apparently, according to the article, since 2005, the percentage of children reading outside school fell from 33% to 25% in 2013; and, even more worryingly,

“About the same number said they did not think their parents cared if they read.”

So what can be done?

The National Literacy Trust is seeking literacy heroes to champion a love of reading and books.

Literacy heroes?

Who would be your literacy hero? Who turned you on to reading? For me, perhaps, my mum who was always reading (although, looking back, with very different set of books); maybe a succession of English teachers, especially Mr Moore – Hubert Moore – of Cranbrook School who allowed me to do my A-level English Literature on T. S. Eliot when the rest of the class wanted to do Sylvia Plath!

Turn to your own children, parents of Britain! Be your child’s own literacy and reading hero! Take them, hand in hand, along the lines and lanes, words and woods you loved at their age! Read in front of them. Read to them. Read with them. Listen to them read! Whether they are pre-readers, novice readers or recalcitrant teenagers show them that there are things to broaden their minds and world view beyond the television screen.

#fridayreads on twitter and pages like Coffee And A Good Book on Facebook do help promote reading – as, in some small way, might my own Book Readers’ Sanctuary blog; teachers who model and are seen reading will help – especially male teachers – but it’s often too late by then!

Parents have to inculcate the habit and give time for reading at home and take kids to the library