Sue Cowley is a teacher, author, presenter, traveller, presenter and chair of a preschool committee, which she has helped to run for eight years. Given that Sue has enjoyed a wealth of international experiences across her career so far, we sat down to discuss behaviour, travel, being an author and more.
Hot on the heels of this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week (13th- 19th November), alcohol education charity Drinkaware is highlighting the benefits of alcohol education in schools. Research from the charity’s Drinkaware Monitor 2016, in conjunction with Ipsos Mori, found that only one in four young people have received helpful information about alcohol from teachers, and 56% of young people who were drinking said that they drank alcohol to fit in.
I am Marcus Shepherd, a 28-year-old BME headteacher at Merrill Academy. Prior to September 2016 behaviour was extremely poor, with several students displaying extremely poor attitudes towards learning and behaviour which could not be managed effectively. A number of students would display extreme behaviour, and this would result in several incidents and issues occurring throughout the day. Students would regularly be out of lessons and running around corridors, causing disruption to lessons. In lessons and around the academy, students displayed constant defiance and extremely poor engagement in their learning.
Class Charts, the UK’s leading seating plan and behaviour management software solution, is helping teachers to quickly create data-rich seating plans that are Ofsted-ready. Schools can spend a great deal of time creating their class seating plans, but creators Edukey believe that this need not be the time consuming chore it once was. Class Charts is proven software that links seamlessly with SIMS, creating instant seating plans for each class.
“Something wicked this way comes” is a phrase that every teacher I know can relate to. You don’t have to be a fan of The Bard’s wonderfully evocative imagery to know that within every classroom there exists, just beneath the surface, a complex interplay of social and emotional dynamics that if expressed can make teaching almost impossible - unless one is mindful of the emergent possibilities and exquisitely judicious when dealing with the consequences, should they be necessary.
“School is a scary place when you hate yourself. I spend each day so fearful and anxious that there isn’t the faintest possibility of me concentrating in class…. so I do worse… which makes me hate myself more and fear my lessons more.” Naomi, 13
“I stopped going to swimming club because I hate how everyone looks at my fat arms and short legs. I would always feel sick before club, so now I don’t go.” Sean, 10
Many years ago a headteacher, of long standing, said to me that ‘children do not suffer from depression’. This of course is not true, and was a rather naïve statement to make. Although to be fair, mental health conditions weren’t as widely recognised then as they are now. It is now accepted that children and young people can suffer from all manner of stress, depression, loss and anxiety disorders which may affect how they cope on a day-to-day basis, and can result in negative behaviour and thoughts which in turn can impact on their ability to learn and relationships with their peers.
How should perfectionism be viewed, and is it a healthy virtue for the classroom? SEN teacher and mental health professional Julia Sharman puts forth her argument.
Nearly everything about the modern world is about striving for excellence, and for some it is about striving for perfection. Is there such a thing as perfect? All around them, students are being lead to believe that anything less than perfect is unacceptable; body image, educational or sporting achievements, what they possess, relationships. The media has played a huge part in steering these concepts, and also some parents, but what of the education world? Pressure for schools to be excellent, teaching to be excellent and pupils’ achievements to be excellent has increased ten-fold. There are of course excellent schools, teachers and pupil achievements, all of which are highly commendable, but where does the next ‘push’ push them towards? Is it realistic to expect perfection, and what is the impact of perfectionism on individuals?