I didn’t see that coming – how critical friends can help us improve | Phil Stock

I didn’t see that coming – how critical friends can help us improve | Phil Stock

The critical friend is a recognised feature of school improvement. Someone knowledgeable who is not blinded by institutional bias can point out weaknesses in plans and identify ingredients likely to increase chances of success. The same rationale applies to individuals too – teachers can improve by asking each other challenging questions and by challenging each other’s questionable assumptions.

In Thinking with Bets Annie Duke calls the process of holding ourselves accountable to other people in an effort to improve our practice as ‘truth-seeking’. In a previous life Duke was a highly…

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I didn’t see that coming – how critical friends can help us improve | Phil Stock

I didn’t see that coming – how critical friends can help us improve | Phil Stock

The critical friend is a recognised feature of school improvement. Someone knowledgeable who is not blinded by institutional bias can point out weaknesses in plans and identify ingredients likely to increase chances of success. The same rationale applies to individuals too – teachers can improve by asking each other challenging questions and by challenging each other’s questionable assumptions.

In Thinking with Bets Annie Duke calls the process of holding ourselves accountable to other people in an effort to improve our practice as ‘truth-seeking’. In a previous life Duke was a highly…

Continue reading at:
https://ift.tt/2GNLkC7

Developing Great Writing Part III – Contrasting Characters | Phil Stock

Developing Great Writing Part III – Contrasting Characters | Phil Stock

This is the third in a series of blogs on using sentences to develop great writing. My previous two posts looked at sentences that contrast ideas and sentences that link details in a text to relevant contextual information outside of it. This post returns to sentences that contrast, but the focus shifts from contrasting ideas to contrasting characters.

Before half term I spent a bit of time looking at how complex sentences provide a useful structure for comparing and contrasting. Complex sentences make it possible to have the two aspects of a comparison held together within a single…

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https://ift.tt/2zxuDFK

Developing Great Writing Part III – Contrasting Characters | Phil Stock

Developing Great Writing Part III – Contrasting Characters | Phil Stock

This is the third in a series of blogs on using sentences to develop great writing. My previous two posts looked at sentences that contrast ideas and sentences that link details in a text to relevant contextual information outside of it. This post returns to sentences that contrast, but the focus shifts from contrasting ideas to contrasting characters.

Before half term I spent a bit of time looking at how complex sentences provide a useful structure for comparing and contrasting. Complex sentences make it possible to have the two aspects of a comparison held together within a single…

Continue reading at:
https://ift.tt/2zxuDFK

Developing Great Writing Part II – from Text to Context | Phil Stock

Developing Great Writing Part II – from Text to Context | Phil Stock

This is the second in a series of blogs on developing great writing. It is intended to chart my ongoing attempts to improve the analytical writing of my A Level students as part of my professional learning, and to share any ideas and strategies I am using with others, for better or for worse. The focus of my approach is the sentence, the building block of great extended writing.

Since my last post, I’ve decided to give a little bit more structure to my plans – to make what I am doing a bit more intentional and systematic. I have identified all the sentences types I want to use with my…

Continue reading at:
https://ift.tt/2QP3DIt

Developing Great Writing Part II – from Text to Context | Phil Stock

Developing Great Writing Part II – from Text to Context | Phil Stock

This is the second in a series of blogs on developing great writing. It is intended to chart my ongoing attempts to improve the analytical writing of my A Level students as part of my professional learning, and to share any ideas and strategies I am using with others, for better or for worse. The focus of my approach is the sentence, the building block of great extended writing.

Since my last post, I’ve decided to give a little bit more structure to my plans – to make what I am doing a bit more intentional and systematic. I have identified all the sentences types I want to use with my…

Continue reading at:
https://ift.tt/2QP3DIt

Developing Great Writing Pt.1 – Contrasting Ideas | Phil Stock

Developing Great Writing Pt.1 – Contrasting Ideas | Phil Stock

Over the past few years I’ve developed a number of academic sentence structures to use with my students in an effort to improve their writing. I started with generic structures – I had supporting whole school writing in mind – but more recently I’ve developed more subject-specific sentences.

The main focus of my work on improving writing has been A Level, and the fact that I have taught the same syllabus for a number of years now has given me the opportunity to refine and review each year. Whilst I’ve had good feedback from students and teachers who use the sentences, I’m not convinced I’ve…

Continue reading at:
https://ift.tt/2CuQLCN

Developing Great Writing Pt.1 – Contrasting Ideas | Phil Stock

Developing Great Writing Pt.1 – Contrasting Ideas | Phil Stock

Over the past few years I’ve developed a number of academic sentence structures to use with my students in an effort to improve their writing. I started with generic structures – I had supporting whole school writing in mind – but more recently I’ve developed more subject-specific sentences.

The main focus of my work on improving writing has been A Level, and the fact that I have taught the same syllabus for a number of years now has given me the opportunity to refine and review each year. Whilst I’ve had good feedback from students and teachers who use the sentences, I’m not convinced I’ve…

Continue reading at:
https://ift.tt/2CuQLCN

Room for improvement, or what I’m working on this year | Phil Stock

Room for improvement, or what I’m working on this year | Phil Stock

I’d like to think I am a better teacher than I was say 10 or even 5 years ago. I’d like to think that every year I continue to improve. I’m sure that’s not always the case, and that some years I stagnate. I’m ok with that if my overall trajectory is up, which I think (and hope) it is. As I came to realise some years ago, after a certain point it takes a lot of time and conscious effort to make significant improvements to your practice. It’s bit by bit rather than wholesale.

Having a lighter timetable than some probably helps my development in the classroom. Not because I have an abundance…

Continue reading at:
https://ift.tt/2OBCfAA

Room for improvement, or what I’m working on this year | Phil Stock

Room for improvement, or what I’m working on this year | Phil Stock

I’d like to think I am a better teacher than I was say 10 or even 5 years ago. I’d like to think that every year I continue to improve. I’m sure that’s not always the case, and that some years I stagnate. I’m ok with that if my overall trajectory is up, which I think (and hope) it is. As I came to realise some years ago, after a certain point it takes a lot of time and conscious effort to make significant improvements to your practice. It’s bit by bit rather than wholesale.

Having a lighter timetable than some probably helps my development in the classroom. Not because I have an abundance…

Continue reading at:
https://ift.tt/2OBCfAA