A teacher for 19 years, ‘cazzypot’ has taught in key stages 2-4 in mainstream schools, special schools and, more recently, in the role of Subject Leader for English in a Pupil Referral Unit. She also worked for some time in an LEA funded advisory capacity, providing strategies for dealing with pupil behaviour issues. She’s also offered teachers advice, resources and guidance on the National Literacy Strategy.
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
As a very young child, like so many others, my school reading consisted of Janet and John-style reading scheme books. Whilst these undoubtedly helped me develop my reading skills, the plots were a bit dry, and not particularly inspiring. I was fortunate, though, as my parents and grandparents bought me books, and we paid regular visits to our local library. I particularly enjoyed Paddington Bear and The Mr Men Series, and as an older child, I discovered Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, and other authors whose writing still endures today.
Much has been made of how powerful blogging can be in education, by experts such as David Mitchell. But how can online writing platforms benefit teachers? English and SEN educator ‘Cazzypot’ discusses how blogging has helped her over the last couple of years.
Late in 2012, I decided I'd start writing a local history blog. Although, having been an English teacher for the last 19 years, this possibly wasn't the most logical choice. I did write one history post, but it wasn't long before I realised that I had far more to say about issues that were happening In the world of education.
For the last fourteen years I have taught English to secondary-aged pupils at a Pupil Referral Unit in the Midlands. Many of these students are vulnerable and complex, some are in care, and a large number have severe behavioural difficulties. All of this means that we must be especially cautious when choosing a location for school trip. Notwithstanding the risks, last summer I made the decision to take a KS3 group to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, in Stratford-upon-Avon.