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Showing posts from January, 2020

Reasons why Fran steers clear of psychologists

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You know how, in the middle of doing something else, you suddenly remember what you dreamed last night and it gives you a little shock?

I was considering, just now, how to start this blog post and my hand was hovering over the keyboard to write the first sentence. Then an image from last night's dreams tripped across my mind. My stomach clenched in panic because, for a nano-second, I thought that perhaps it hadn't been a dream, but a real happening.

Thank goodness. It wasn't.

In the dream, I was at an event - a concert or a film, I think - with my good friend and fellow-writer, Deborah Jenkins. (Hi, Deborah!) We had found seats. But things were going wrong. For a start, two really handsome men sat in front of us. Deborah and I nudged each other and then one of the men turned round and said to Deborah, 'What a beautiful woman you are' or some such compliment.

The same man then said to Deborah, while nodding in my direction, 'I see you've brought along your …

Reasons to check everyone in the classroom has a pen

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Happy New Year to you all! Yes, I know it's the 8th already, but saying Happy New Year only at New Year is so Last Year. 

I thought I'd kick off 2020's blog posts with a story from the classroom about two boys called Scott and Randall. It's fictional but not fictional .... there are Scotts and Randalls in every school and I've taught many of them. People like Scott and Randall are what make teaching both extraordinarily joyful and extraordinarily maddening.   

Imagine yourself in a secondary school classroom on a rainy Thursday. 

The pupils are hard at work delighted when there's an 'incident'. 






Scott and Randall provide a welcome 'incident'

Within two minutes of entering the classroom, Scott had to be ejected.

'What d'you do that for?' Randall had swung round, clasping his shoulder, to face Scott.

I'd managed three words of my introduction to the lesson's activities. ('First, I'd like -) 

'Do what?' I asked Randall. …