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Anger Management

“The Secretary of State needs to take seriously the very deep concerns and anger of teachers and school leaders."

I read this quote on Twitter (which as you know I'm a huge advocate of - follow our school @Phoenix_Ashford) in the context of NASUWT and NUT announcing National Strike action in the Autumn Term.

Obviously, there are teachers out there who are very angry about what Chris Keates terms the 'relentless attack on the teaching profession.' After all, 82% of the 40% turnout voted for industrial action (for the non-Maths specialists amongst you, this equates to 32.8% of the NASUWT membership) - not an insignificant minority.

So, having read this quote, I reflected on what it was about my job that made me angry.

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"Do You Tweet?"

Rejoice fellow Tweeters and advocates of social media; this question is now officially grammatically correct. As of June 2013, the verb 'to tweet' now appears in the Oxford English Dictionary.

We decided a few months ago to embrace Twitter as a means of communicating with our parents. We had received some negative comments about the school website and so decided to take it down pending a redesign. As this left us with no effective online presence, we decided to set up a Twitter account.

We've been using Twitter for several months now as part of a project on Parental Engagement. It started off fairly innocuously with the tweeting of examples of children's work and messages to parents (i.e. there's a letter coming home today, check your child's book bag to see if they've hidden/lost/eaten it!). But as these things do, it's grown.

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The Lunch Table

You can learn a lot about people over a dinner table.

The Headteacher and I regularly eat dinner together in our school hall with the children. Not only does it give us the chance to catch up, it allows us to get to know the pupils in a different context.

Mealtimes should be social. Over the May half-term break I was in New York and in a restaurant with my wife I was surprised at how close the tables were to each other. Despite my initial reservations I found it a very enjoyable meal. We shared recommendations on menu choices (in fact we even shared our pudding with the table behind us), discussed our favourite cuts of beef with the table on our right (just for reference a rib-eye beats a filet mignon for me) and to our left, my wife interrupted a date between an American woman from New Jersey and a man from London to tell her that Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels wasn't a 'girly movie.'

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