I have now written more than 50 articles for TES online (and two in the magazine) since December 2015. I've learnt so much along the way, not least that to be a successful writer, you have to be able to take the praise as well as the punches! I've always aimed to not hold anything back in my writing, in the words of music critic Lester Bangs in one of my favourite movies "Almost Famous", to be "honest and unmerciful".
I have to say a word of thanks for the fantastic TES team (Ed, Jon, Adi, Chloe, Ann, Magda and others) for giving me the opportunity to write for such an amazing publication.
Here are the 5 most popular articles I have ever published (click on the images for links to the articles):
1. Parenting not schools has the biggest impact on student outcomes, so why are teachers blamed for results?
<15th January 2016>
The central theme of this article is one i've returned to a number of times in my article; the idea that there are too many schools in the UK and beyond where the teachers work harder than the students. In this article, I explored the why's and how's and the fact that student results are still used as a stick to beat teachers with, despite there being little to no evidence suggesting a link between results of whole cohorts and the work of educators in the classroom. This article achieved more than 500,000 views on the web and has been referenced in several PHD thesis in the US.
2. When it all goes wrong: 6 tell-tale signs you have lost control in the classroom
<13th May 2016>
I started writing this as a "tongue in cheek ode" to what happens when things go badly wrong in the classroom. I drew on my own experiences through teacher training and beyond. It seemed to strike a chord, remaining in the TES top three most read for several weeks.
3. Why I turned against my discovery training
<10th June 2016>
This is one of two articles that have appeared in the magazine version of the TES. Its a personal insight into my journey from teacher training to present day and how my pedagogy has developed along the way. Of course, it focuses on how one way can't be the best way when it comes to teaching, a philosophy I still adhere to today.
4. 'Ofsted’s approach, in which “outcomes” trump everything, has driven a disastrous dive in teacher wellbeing'
<11th November 2016>
This blog proved popular and influential across social media. It contains the idea that OFSTED should include "teacher wellbeing" within their inspection standards and things like staff retention should be considered when looking at how effective schools are. It was shared by Ross Mgill via teacher toolkit. It also received high profile critics including Michael Tidd who was firm in his belief that teacher wellbeing should have no place in the inspection framework.
5. 'Lesson observation grades don’t mean much' – and nine other things I wish I’d known as an NQT
<18th February 2017>
This blog chimed with a lot of teachers and is probably the only article i've written that received universal agreement! I'm really proud of it as I feel it perfectly captures many of the mistakes I made as a younger teacher and aims to support those starting out on that journey.