Here's a thing that surprises people. When anyone asks if I have a tissue, the answer is always, 'No'. Which may not be surprising in itself. But I am an epistaxis sufferer. Or, to put it more plainly: I get … Read More
When people don't like your opinions on blogs, or twitter, or any other form of social network, the backlash can be furious.
If it ever gets fierce I'm lucky that Dad McInerney puts things in perspective. As a shop steward for … Read More
A week ago I gave my first ever talk at a WomenEd conference. I've written before about not particularly enjoying doing things "as a woman". So the talk was less focused on gender, and more on the unifying fact that we all … Read More
Everyone has done at least one embarrassing thing in the classroom. Most of us have done more than that.
It's September 2007 and my classroom is the departmental showcase for the annual parent's open day. The event is critical - … Read More
Buying a teacher gift can be a nightmare. If you're a parent you want to avoid replicating things. And do they like even like chocolate or wine? If they're your partner/sibling/parent/friend, you don't want to have to deal with them … Read More
On Sunday journalists were spat at outside the Conservative conference in Manchester for doing their job. At the same time, in the same place, I moved around the protest without experiencing any of this. In fact, I'd already written the … Read More
Every month I'm lucky enough to have an education column in the Guardian. The space is less than 700 words long, and it's read by non-educationalists and parents as much as it's ready by policymakers and teachers. Sometimes I manage … Read More
TV appearances are exciting, but they have a major downside: people can see you.
This is good, because it means the brand you are representing (yourself, or an organisation) is getting exposure. But if you're not prepared for the fact that … Read More
Written February 2017, after the terrible year that was 2016
Twenty-one and a half years ago my English teacher, Mr McGee, gave me a gift.
It was autumn 1995 and he made our class write about the summer holidays. But, he said, we … Read More
Amazon ran a competition to re-invent A Christmas Carol as a 1,000-word children's story. For fun, during a tube journey, I decided to write an entry on my phone. What fell out has a difficult message, and made me cry … Read More