Why Mental Health issues are on the rise and what schools can do about it – PP154

Pivotal’s own Mike Armiger discusses the state of Mental Health in our children and young people. He suggests a range of ways in which schools can cope with the situation and best support those young people who are struggling with their own mental health.

Mike Armiger
Mike Armiger

Why are Mental Health issues on the rise in schools and other educational settings?

Mike feels it’s important to separate mental health from mental illnesses – they are very different things. Mental health is all about a child’s overall well-being.

Mental health isn’t a constant – it can fluctuate at different times of your life. Children today have such complex lives to navigate that anxiety can affect them, even from sources like political upheaval and the sometimes overwhelming pressures of social media. Often, people talk about resilience as if children can develop this in isolation but that’s not the case – it’s all to do with dependency:

You can only be resilient if you have a safe place and a safe adult to return to.

Other aspects are poverty, abuse and difficult family conditions but Mike also highlights the curriculum as a major cause of problems. He believes we have designed and developed the curriculum to create a massive amount of pressure on children to perform and hit targets. This means that a lot of the more creative subjects where children can find release have been marginalised and pushed out in favour of extra core subject time.

How can educational settings support young people with Mental Health issues?

Schools are being asked to plug a lot of gaps in mental health provision without the resources to do so. This is in the context of cuts in school funding and the first staff cuts are always in pastoral and support staff.

Counselling and talking therapy is extremely beneficial to children and young people with mental health issues – they need to be able to talk it through with an emotionally-able adult but there are also many things we can do to reduce stress levels in our bodies as well.

The main thing we can do is be able to support conversations.

Many schools are adopting very helpful practises to help in this area such as mindfulness. Mike mentions the Headspace app which allows users to take 10 minutes out and sport is also physically beneficial because of the way it affects the brain. The arts are also a great help.

However, Mike wants to stress that putting mental health in the agenda is perhaps even more important than all the above. A lot of schools and other settings are putting time and effort into training staff to recognise mental health issues in children and that’s great but it needs to be in combination with giving adults in schools the skills to have conversations confidently with those children. There is still a huge problem with the stigma attached to mental health so every school needs to make sure that assemblies, the PSHE curriculum and staff training are all really strong and consistent.

Another really important tool for schools is goal setting and Mile tells us about the power of getting young people who are experiencing difficulties themselves involved in supporting mental health programmes to help others in schools.

Most importantly, though, Mike points out that if we are committed to raising the profile of talking about mental health, we must have the systems in place to cope with the inevitable rise in children and young people coming forward for help.

What can teachers do when a child or young person is in crisis?

We need to provide young people who are in crisis with a safe place immediately.

When you are in a state of crisis in terms of your brain and your thoughts, what you really need is certainty.

  • Talk about the things the young person can do
  • Remind them of times in the past when they have been positive or interacted well with peers
  • Talk about the things you can do to reduce the stress
  • Talk and take the focus away fro the anxiety by providing practical tasks
  •  Think about ‘grounding’ – sometimes being physically on the ground will help
  • Model calm breathing with the young person – in through the nose and out through the mouth
  • Communicate the situation to all other members of staff who will come into contact with the young person
  • Chase up any existing referrals or arrange new referrals
  • Ensure that child is able to go to a safe environment when they leave the school or other setting

Whole class punishment – a student speaks out – PP153

Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne
Paul Dix
Paul Dix

In an unusual but very engaging episode, Paul and his son, Bertie, interview Netta, a year 9 student and her mother, Penny. Netta tells us about her personal experiences of whole class punishment and her feelings about it. We also discuss many other aspects of school behaviour and it was great to get a student and parent’s point of view on this essential subject!

Netta wrote a letter to her school after receiving a number of whole class punishments. She reads it out on the episode. It’s eloquent and presents a balanced view of her attitude towards group punishments where students like her suffer through no fault of their own.

What do the best teachers do to manage behaviour?

Netta says that the best teachers make sure the students are motivated by and interested in the lesson. Also, they make sure the more able students are suitably challenged so they don’t get bored. Those teachers also have creative ways of dealing with disruptive students like her MFL teacher who has given a boy a set of Spanish words which he is allowed to shout out in class!

“I definitely respect teachers who are more creative with their lessons.”

Does punishment in schools work?

Netta believes some of it does but a lot of it needs improvement. Schools need to check their punishments are working not just follow what they have always done. Different punishments work for different people. Netta likes her school’s behaviour points system – she thinks it’s positive that you can get rewarded for good behaviour not just punished for bad behaviour.

She also like the fact that you start with a fresh slate every year. Some people have received over a hundred points in a month. She points out that most students don’t really care about the points.

Is group punishment fair and what does it teach?

Netta is passionate about group punishment not being fair.

It teaches the well-behaved students that there’s no point in being good because they will be punished no matter what they do.

Paul asks if it helps the group to self-regulate and Netta says that there is an element of peer pressure to behave better in her class but it just causes arguments between students and then the whole class gets kept behind for even longer!

Netta’s mum. Penny,  finds group punishments very frustrating. She points out that there is a difference in how well behaved and poorly behaved children are treated – poorly behaved children are lavished with praise when they do something small which is good but those who are well behaved all the time are ignored. However, rather than accepting the situation, Penny is pro-active. She writes when good things happen and so she has developed a relationship with the school which means she can write when she sees things are not going well. She is respectful but assertive in her communications. She offers help from her own teaching experience or points out relevant training.

What can children do to positively influence behaviour practice in schools?

Netta thinks that if students see something which isn’t working they can talk to the school or get their parents to talk to the school – sometimes the school don’t take the students seriously but they will listen to parents.

There is a student council but they don’t usually talk about behaviour and those types of issues.

Do school behaviour practices reflect many parents’ desire for strict and tough discipline?

Netta thinks they do at her school. They can’t get away with much. Penny reflects that she is impressed that her children are so respectful and well behaved, when she considers how she herself was at school! She doesn’t like extreme ‘military’ style behaviour policies and she says that she thinks this kind of approach often comes from schools’ perceptions of the children they are dealing with rather than from parents.

Perfectly Practical Parenting with Sue Atkins – PP152

Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne
Paul Dix
Paul Dix

We welcome Parenting Expert, Sue Atkins, onto the podcast. It’s the first time we have spoken to a parenting specialist and it was a fascinating interview with Sue, who regularly appears on radio and TV – even sharing the sofa with Piers Morgan!

Sue is a Parenting Expert, Writer, Speaker, Broadcaster, Parenting Coach and Mum as well as the author of the Amazon best selling books “Parenting Made Easy – How to Raise Happy Children” & ‘Raising Happy Children for Dummies’ one in the famous black and yellow series as well as the author of the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy MP3s and CDs and Workbooks and The Secrets To Well Behaved Kids App. She  regularly appears on the flagship award winning “This Morning” Show on ITV, BBC Breakfast television, SKY TV, BBC local and national radio.

Sue Atkins
Sue Atkins

Is there a right way to parent or is it enough to be the best we can be?

Sue believes we can only be the best we can be with the resources we have at the time and a lot of parents feel guilty about not knowing something but all we have as a reference, usually, is how our parents did it. You can choose to do the same or choose to avoid doing the same as they did.

“The best thing to do is to do your best, relax but be positive…Parenting isn’t a competitive sport.”

Sue points out that not many parents are self-aware – they act in the moment rather than taking time to ponder what the best actions are. Parents need to work and talk together to develop a plan of how they are going to bring up their children – and be consistent.

Does smacking have any place in parenting?

Sue believes strongly that smacking should not have any place in parenting. Some people say that ‘it didn’t do them any harm’ but if adults hit adults, it’s called assault. Why is it seen as OK to hit children?

Sue also talks about being mindful of our triggers – and those of our children – are we tired? Is our behaviour affected? Do we lack restraint because of how we feel? Sue advocates all parents ensure they create ‘me time’ so that they can relax and come back to parenting with a sense of humour and a sense of balance.

Listen to Sue’s own podcast – The Sue Atkins Parenting Show
Visit Sue’s website – TheSueAtkins.com

(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. – http://www.johnny-pixel.com/ http://www.freesound.org/people/jppi_Stu/)

How to reintegrate radicalised young men with Detective Inspector Thorlief – PP151

Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne
Tara Elie
Tara Elie

Tara Elie shares with us an amazing interview she recorded with the Dutch Detective Inspector Thorlief. It’s an amazing, thought provoking and deeply affecting episode with lots of parallels in every educational setting.

Find out why Thorlief was accused of ‘Rolling out the red carpet for the Jihadis’ and why Tara was immediately by his compassion.

“It was hard to believe he had achieved what he claimed with such simplicity of approach.”

Thorlief has been subjected to mockery but still manages to see the big picture. His intelligence and empathy are striking.

Some of the parallels between his work and ours in school is in his work with mentors on life skills for the radicalised young men. He works hard to create belonging in the men who have no sense of it when they first meet Thorlief.

What is the ‘prevention triangle’ and why is prevention key to success with these men? Thorlief explains what happens when young men are unable to be reached by the community – that’s when he comes in.

“He allows them to be open and candid about their experiences and he talks about ‘raising them again’ as citizens.”

It’s a remarkable and very important episode of the podcast.

(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. – http://www.johnny-pixel.com/ http://www.freesound.org/people/jppi_Stu/)

A Yearning for Outdoor Learning with Juliet Robertson – PP150

Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne
Paul Dix
Paul Dix

We had such a fun time this week talking to Juliet Robertson all about outdoor education. We learned some amazing things about settings which spend 90% of their time out of doors as well as a huge heap of tips and strategies for every classroom!

Juliet is one of Scotland’s leading consultants on outdoor learning and play.

Is outdoor learning only for younger learners?

“Anyone can be outdoors and anyone can learn outdoors.”

Juliet also believes that any outdoor space will do fine for outdoor learning – a concrete playground is fine. She also points out that 90% of people live within a 10 minute walk of green space.

How much planning and form filling needs to be done in order to take children outside?

“Often, fear stops people from realising the freedoms they have.”

Juliet Robertson
Juliet Robertson

Juliet says that the Health and Safety Executive have, over recent years, been making it clear that we shouldn’t confuse health and safety with other matters – we need children to experience risk. We now have risk/benefit assessments – there needs to be a balance. As long as reasonable precautions have been put in place and the benefits outweigh the risks, we should be happy to carry out any reasonable activity.

“Schools, teachers and other people who work with children dynamically risk assess all the time.”

Having risk assessment conversations with the children is also very important.

Is learning more efficient inside or outside?

Juliet believes that this depends on how it is being mediated – she has seen rubbish lessons inside an outside. There is a lot of added value in outside education and children are more active and less stressed:

“Outside, you are constantly problem solving.”

Half to a third of younger children would rather be outside learning and often the gap between the least and most able is often closed because, for example, the need to decode text is removed. Juliet refers to a Scottish study into maths taught outside where dramatic increases we seen.

Are our children getting less likely to be outside in their daily lives?

It’s a complex picture, according to Juliet. There is a growth in parents who believe that their children should not be inside too much and are doing a lot about it.

“The fastest growing sector…is outdoor nurseries…we have 23 in Scotland.”

Juliet shares many practical ideas for outdoor lessons – do listen to the whole episode!

Juliet’s book, Dirty Teaching

Juliet’s website

Juliet on Twitter

Tweet of the Week

Handshake video

(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. – http://www.johnny-pixel.com/ http://www.freesound.org/people/jppi_Stu/)

Fastrack Behaviour and Black School Shoes – 149

Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne
Paul Dix
Paul Dix

In a different kind of episode to normal, Paul and Kevin discuss a voicemail from Hannah who is looking for inspiration on research topics around behaviour and answer a question about how to persuade the last few children in a school to wear black shoes. The Varndean Goats get a mention as well…

Then there is a selection of audio clips from the recent Pivotal Fastrack Training event where a week was spent in a hotel. The variety of experiences and backgrounds of delegates is fascinating and it sounds like it was an amazing event to have been part of.

Fastrack Behaviour and Black School Shoes

Tweet of the Week


(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. – http://www.johnny-pixel.com/ http://www.freesound.org/people/jppi_Stu/)

How to Teach Guerrilla Style with Jonathan Lear – PP148

Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne
Paul Dix
Paul Dix

Jonathan Lear joined us this week to talk about ‘Guerrilla Teaching’.

Jonathan is a practising teacher and deputy head at an inner-city primary school. His Independent Learning bio reads:

‘Jonathan doesn’t so much teach as create an atmosphere in his classroom that is magical, engaging and exciting and that makes the children desperate to get on and learn. And, as you would expect from a ‘guerrilla teacher’ he doesn’t let anything the government might say or do get in his way when it comes to doing the right thing for his young learners.’

“If we’re not taking the opportunity to dress our children as farm animals, then they’re definitely missing out” – Guerrilla Teaching

What three pieces of advice do you find yourself giving regularly?

Jonathan Lear
Jonathan Lear

Teachers starting out:
A history lecturer at Jonathan’s college used to say, “Catch the child good” and he believes this is really important. Whatever issue a child has there will be times when they are doing what you want them to be doing and it’s your job to notice.

More experienced teachers:
Tim Brighouse said, “Creativity without rigour is crap.” Jonathan is not a fan of creativity which involves just ‘dancing around at the front of the class being an idiot’ while learning nothing – it just wastes everyone’s time.

“We’ve got to be clear about the learning and just use our creativity to enhance that…make it stick, make it memorable.”

Leaders:
Just because something works doesn’t make it educationally desirable. Jonathan believes that when we look back at today from 50 years in the future we may wonder why we were doing some of the things we regard as ‘working’ today. He identifies testing as part of this.

Is it the children’s responsibility to listen to the teacher or the teacher’s responsibility to engage the children?

Jonathan started off teaching believing it was his fault if the children were not engaged but he says his perspective has changed now. He sees the climate and culture of the school as a crucial element in engagement of children. It’s a  collective responsibility of every single person in the school, children, teachers, support staff and everyone else. You can’t set the tone yourself as a teacher, you need that whole school ethos to make everything fit together.

Why should I dress a child as a donkey?

Jonathan says that we should only do this if we are prepared to do it ourselves. He is a fan of ‘childishness’ and says that children are growing up too quickly. He thinks there is a danger we treat year 6 children as mini adults and their classrooms sometimes feel like sterile lecture theatres. He found that his year 6 classes would do anything for a sticker or a pair of comedy glasses. It’s all about teachers being willing to laugh at themselves.

How important is planning?

Jonathan thinks planning is essential but he thinks the format is unimportant – it’s the process of planning which makes the difference. A lot of the time we end up writing down meaningless things as part of planning. It’s so much more important, for example, to focus on the specific language we use in any given lesson. Young children can be thrown if we use different language to describe difficult concepts but if we think precisely about what language is the best to use for a particular concept, we won’t end up using vaguely correct language which confuses our classes.

Why bother taking risks if we know what we have always done works?

Jonathan believes this partly has to do with your ideas on what the purpose of education is. If you think it’s all about passing tests and you have found how to do that, you’ll stick with it but if you have an optimistic mindset and you think it’s about creating the environment for children to flourish, we will continue to ask questions and try and improve.

What is Guerrilla Teaching?

Guerrilla teaching is about regaining control. Jonathan has always been a militant and when he thought an imposed change wouldn’t make any difference to the children in his class he just wouldn’t do it. Nothing bad happened. He found this addictive and it became a pattern. Later he spoke to colleagues and found out that they were doing the same. He found he had more power with his own class than he thought he had.

There is a huge amount of additional detail and anecdotes in the episode so do listen right to the end.

Find Jonathan’s book here.

Jonathan on Twitter

(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. – http://www.johnny-pixel.com/ http://www.freesound.org/people/jppi_Stu/)

How to Train, Retain and Research with Dr. Phil Wood – PP147

Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne
Paul Dix
Paul Dix

Dr. Phil Wood is a former geography teacher, subject leader and AST and is now at the School of Education at Leicester University. His research is about changing pedagogy and challenging organisations and teachers to look at their pedagogy. Phil is also an associate trainer with Independent Thinking.

Accountability

Phil is concerned that a lot of schools are now driven by numeric data and senior leadership teams are concentrating on accountability rather than being part of the extended group of teachers. He would prefer to see accountability being more community-led rather than being driven by improvement targets based exclusively on exam data. He thinks this is partly due to the ways in which headteachers are judged at the moment – a bit like football managers – by their most recent set of results. Phil advocates a more nuanced and multi-channel approach which takes account of much more long-term aspects.

What is the ‘what works’ agenda and what’s wrong with it?

Phil explains that the ‘what works’ agenda is based on the flawed premise that there are ‘end of the rainbow’ solutions to all the issues around pedagogy. If only we can find them, they will present us with all the solutions to our problems.

This is shown in the recent fetish for randomised control trials and certain elements of systematic reviews. Once you understand ‘what works’ it can then be applied to all contexts and thus the whole job of pedagogy becomes quite simple.

Phil sees this massive reduction of complexity as impossible. It’s not chaotic – you can see patterns and work out what approaches have the best chance of working well but the place of the teacher is always to mediate this – to work out which of the better-evidenced ideas are going to work in their context.

The way this has been implemented in recent years – to attempt to create speedy change – has meant that nothing has the time it needs to be embedded, monitored and analysed.

How do we give teachers in training access to the thought processes of expert teachers?

Phil has been involved in trying to embed lesson study into teaching practice. Because of time and other pressures, student teachers can be ‘running parallel’ to the department they are in. They tend to be planning alone and maybe getting a little feedback on their plans from their mentor but then they go back into working by themselves. To counter this, Phil had the mentor and student teacher working much more closely together. Lessons were taught in threes – the first by the mentor which the pair would then evaluate and plan an amended version for the student teacher to deliver to a parallel group. Thus, the expert teacher was opening up their own thought processes to give the student involvement in and access to them. The student is part of the discussion and learning a whole raft of different aspects of the lesson planning and delivering process from the expert teacher.

This makes it much easier for the expert teacher to share their experience where they might find it much more difficult to explain in a de-contextualised manner.

Feedback from students teachers has been very positive as they feel involved in the process and are learning a great deal from the expert teachers. The expert teachers are also happy with the process because they can gain new ideas fro the students and also develop their own practice by having the opportunity to analyse it for this purpose.

Are teachers too busy to engage in research beyond their classroom?

Phil points out there are different kinds of engagement in research from reading digests to engaging in practical classroom-based research. There has been a reduction in those who feel able to be involved in research as the pressures of teaching have grown in recent years. However, there are plenty of examples of great practice underway, for example a small study Phil is involved in to do with growth mindset.

This is much likely in a Multi-Academy Trust or Teaching School Alliance or where individuals are keen. Partnerships with universities can be extremely productive but Phil believes it has been counter-productive in recent years that the impression has been given that research is easy and quick – the best research is very a time-consuming and taxing process.

However, Phil does see research as a core activity for a profession that wants to be sustainable and truly professional – tie should be devoted to it and it shouldn’t be seen as something you need to give up your own time to get involved in.

Can you train a teacher in six weeks?

Phil believes this is impossible and in fact there is evidence to suggest that what Phil and his colleagues refer to as ‘pedagogic literacy’ can only be fully developed over a whole career.

There is always more you can do. You never reach the end point.

If pushed, Phil would recommend a two-year course, based in schools but with proper partnership with universities. Then there must be development throughout the career.

Can teacher work be reformed to aid teacher retention?

Phil believes that bringing back trust in teachers but blended with a genuine sense of responsibility leads to getting more out of people. This also means that vast amounts of paperwork can be eliminated which exist in a hyper-accountability system where the majority of it has nothing to do with children’s learning.

Alongside this, you have to accept there will be lots of people who will teach in different ways. As long as it is evidenced, it should be allowed.

Is behaviour training in universities really that bad?

Phil says that it isn’t. The best way of training in behaviour is in the classroom and so schools who have systems in place to support the students while they train are the most effective, with the support of universities. As Paul points out very few trainee teachers sit down with their mentors and plan for behaviour.

Phil on Twitter: @complexsoc1

Email: pbw2@le.ac.uk

Independent Thinking page: http://www.independentthinking.co.uk/people/associates-q-z/dr-phil-wood.aspx

Tweet of the Week


(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. – http://www.johnny-pixel.com/ http://www.freesound.org/people/jppi_Stu/)

Kenny Pieper

How To Get Children Reading For Pleasure With Kenny Pieper – PP146

Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne
Paul Dix
Paul Dix

Our first guest in 2017 was English teacher and author of ‘Reading for Pleasure‘, Kenny Pieper. Here’s how his author biography describes him:

“Kenny Pieper has been teaching English for seventeen years and still loves every minute of it. He stands shakily on the shoulders of giants in the shape of his amazingly inspiring colleagues. Deep down, he still can’t believe his luck that he gets to do this.”

Kenny is also an associate tutor at the University of Strathclyde and a Partick Thistle football fan. Originaly he had no plans to start work as a teacher, initially travelling to Romania and doing admin for a charity. He was ‘tricked’ into entering a classroom with 30 15-year-olds in it who he had been told were university students who wanted to talk to him. In fact, despite the shock, Kenny left the room knowing that teaching was the career for him. He started out teaching for two years on a Greek island before moving back to Glasgow and taking up a job in a large secondary school where he still is today.

Are there still too many children in Scotland who leave school unable to read?

Kenny Pieper
Kenny Pieper

The latest PISA results showed that the situation in Scotland has deteriorated in reading standards. This is in the context of the implementation of the ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ and a ‘broad general education’ in the first years of secondary school. Kenny is keen on the child-centred nature of the changes which he realises is a controversial aspect but he is concerned that people don’t seem to know what to do about the dip in reading standards. Primary schools, he thinks, are doing some amazing things but may have moved away slightly from a former emphasis on literacy skills. Kenny doesn’t see many children coming to secondary school unable to read and write but he does see some weaknesses. First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has introduced a reading programme in lower primary school which Kenny hopes will mean a gradual improvement in literacy.

Can you teach (force) children to enjoy reading?

Kenny is sure that it is not possible to teach or force anyone to enjoy reading.

We need to develop habits…and teach young people strategies so they don’t give in and tell you it’s boring.

As a teacher, Kenny tries to get to know the kids and find out what they are interested in and do everything he can to find a book which will interest them. He is happy that children are reading anything to begin with but then he tries to ‘slide a book across to them’ to help them to develop. A lot of children don’t have what Kenny describes as ‘reading histories’ and we need to take the time to help them build this up. The joy and happiness he sees when children finish a book helps them to move on and finish more and more, with the support of a teacher to maintain and increase the challenge.

Kenny feels we often mythologise about our own reading histories which isn’t helpful – we sometimes don’t acknowledge that we also read ‘nonsense’ when we were younger. However, if we keep the reading habit going and read better books, big things begin to happen.

How important is the child’s background?

Kenny believes that one of the greatest challenges is where children come from homes which don’t have books.

Teachers can be the one significant adult in a child’s life who reads.

He ensures he reads in front of children and talks about books. he makes sure children in his class have the best quality books, even if he has to buy them himself. It’s crucial children from backgrounds without books know what it’s like to be a reader.

Does format matter – are electronic books just as good as paper?

Kenny prefers real books. In his research, he has found that we take in less information from a digital book than a paper book. We focus more on the reading as we turn pages and we see the left hand side of the book getting bigger as the right hand side gets smaller. He thinks real books are ‘a wonderful aesthetic experience’.

How can other teachers help?

Kenny tries to encourage his colleagues to talk to their classes about subject-specialist reading books. The younger children in Kenny’s school created an e-book last year which contained short interviews with 30 adults from all parts of the school and included a photograph of them reading. This helped to get the message across that reading is important to everyone not just the English department. There are many ways to promote reading in a school, with prominently-displayed photos of site managers and admin staff reading, for example. All of Kenny’s classes start with 10 minutes of reading time.

No-one is allowed to speak – everyone learns what a reading atmosphere is and ‘what readers do’.

How can parents help?

Kenny asks parents, “What can you do in 10 minutes?” He means that we should identify where there are 10 minutes – half time at the football, while you wait for your dinner, etc. 10 minutes gives you a start which may well grow. 10 minutes in the classroom and 10 minutes at home at night is 20 minutes a day and that’s a good start to the reading habit which Kenny thinks is crucial. It’s all about encouragement not enforcement.

I say to parents – the first thing you should do is read in front of them.

It might be uncomfortable but reading the same book as your child heelps to support them to build up a ‘reading history’.

Pedagoo – what is it?

Pedagoo began as a way of connecting with others in Scotland who wanted to talk aobut what was happening in education. It was a blog, an online community, a space to talk for Scottish teachers. It grew into events – virtual and real-world – including #PedagooFriday on Twitter and the whole focus is on positivity.

What are the benefits of staying at the same school for a long time like Kenny has?

Kenny believes you build up a reputation and connections with colleagues, with parents and in the community. As he teaches in the community where he grew up, it also gives him the opportunity to help some of the more reluctant kids – those who don’t believe education is for them and don’t believe they can get a good job. He points out to them that he lived in the street next to them and he did it.

Pegagoo: http://pedagoo.org
Use #PedagooFriday on Twitter
Kenny’s blog: http://justtryingtobebetter.wordpress.com
Kenny’s book, ‘Reading for Pleasure’: http://www.crownhouse.co.uk/publications/reading-for-pleasure

Introducing The Pivotals!

(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. – http://www.johnny-pixel.com/ http://www.freesound.org/people/jppi_Stu/)

Fun, motivation and creativity! PP145

Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne

In the first of a couple of shorter episodes over the festive period, we raid the cutting room floor as well as some of the most interesting episodes of 2016 in search of what’s important in education. We find fun, motivation and creativity!

Featuring some additional thoughts from Julia Skinner as well as a whole host of others, we take the opportunity to look back through archives for some of the most inspirational content from the past year.

We hope you enjoy listening in the midst of your Christmas and New Year preparations.

2016

Pivotal Education site