Thanks for taking the time to check out the blog.
Amongst many other things I could write here perhaps the most relevant information is that I’m a senior school teacher of (mostly) English currently based in Melbourne, Australia. My wife (and blog editor in chief) ‘J’ and I have three children and no pets. That last bit is subject to change but I’m determined to stubbornly hold on to the petless status for as long as possible.
talkfromchalk is a project I decided to undertake at the end of 2012 as a result of a few factors.
1. I have been teaching for long enough to feel I can authoritatively comment on most educational matters.
2. Most of my circle of friends have an ever increasing interest in Education because they have children and … well they’re caring parents.
3. I’d just completed a Masters degree and missed the writing.
So, at the start of 2013 I rolled up the sleeves and, with all the enthusiasm one usually has for a New Year’s resolution, promised myself I’d write one post a week for a year.
Each week I try to deliver something that has relevance to the broadest audience possible. Fellow teachers and parents obviously but also students, lifelong learners, and anyone really who enjoys what I’ve come to know as the WPlongform genre.
Often a post has its origin in things that I’ve encountered that week. As much as possible though, I try to keep the specifics of where I work out of the material. This is because it shouldn’t matter what school I teach at if the point I’m making is valid. Also, I don’t want anyone to think there’s a subtext to a post. In other words, if I write about the challenging relationships in Education it’s not because I just had an argument at school and need to vent.
I have voodoo dolls in my second drawer for those occasions.
Once again thanks for reading. It’s been wonderfully encouraging to see that people world wide have found my posts worthwhile. I appreciate your interest. Feel free to comment, like, and share anything that’s struck a chord.
Please check out my post on British education. I’d be very interested to read your comments!
I read your post earlier today. I wavered on the ‘like’ button because I don’t quite share your views in some areas.
I’m not certain students in the UK don’t value learning so much as can’t see the point in putting in effort where they see little reward. I’m a long way away form it but it strikes me that they feel trapped and frustrated. I suspect many educators up and down the line of command feel that way too.
Having said that, I think your viewpoint is a perfectly valid one. If anything is going to make a difference, good teachers and teaching practice should.
Thanks for the like. A quick peruse of your work indicates some very similar views on education.
Nice to see that the minds of our futures are in some great guiding hands. Finding ways to make young minds (any minds!) receptive and seekers of their own truths is the biggest battle. Glad I found you on here. There is hope yet for our kids futures! x
Thanks Lainie, thats very kind of you. Much appreciated.
Good words Sterling. I am an early childhood educator in the U.S. but the family of teachers, of all levels, have always been extremely supportive. I’ll keep up with your posts.
I taught for thirty years plus. In the United States, Florida, I did middle school. It was rewarded, tough, and some days frustrating. I see you are an educator also. I know that there are times when the ideas for a class seem disappear. I give you permission to use any of my short pieces in your classes if you wish and they are accepted by your administration and department head. If it helps I would be honored to aid you. My best lesson concerned pit bulls. I divided the class in half and one side defended them and the other side wanted strict regulations on them. I choose one person for each side to maintain Roberts Rules of Orders. It went well. Good luck in teaching and let me know if I can be of help. I am setting up a post card hobby for my granddaughter Ariela. Could you send me a postcard to Barry Wax, 428 Lake Elizabeth Drive, Winter Haven, Florida, 33884. I want her to get into geography. She is eleven. How old is the girl in the picture and what is her name?
I am so impressed that you have the time and energy to write such an informative blog AND you are a teacher. I am a database manager in a UK school and I am horrified at the amount of work teachers are expected to get through, and how much pressure they are put under, and how little they are appreciated by the government.
You’re very kind Denise, thankyou. Actually, I’ve been meaning to write a piece on non teaching school staff as their hard work tends to be over looked a little as well. As for government appreciation … well … the world over they all seem to appreciate stats and votes. There may be a strategy for change in there somewhere.
You Aussies seem to have life a bit more sorted than us Brits, or maybe I am thinking that the grass is greener?
I like being able to help teachers in their jobs, while doing what I am good at.
Have you never come across the grumpy admin though?? Not in my current school but I’ve also met admin staff who forgot that the reason they had jobs was that someone else was in the front line doing the hard work.
Maybe best not to answer that one if you do!
Yep, there’s grumpy admin everywhere, not at my school either I hasten to add. As for life being sorted in greener pastures. Trust me, we are all very much alike. By the way, summer is on the way down here and the only grren grass soon to be seen will be on the MCG during the Ashes … and even then it will be short lived since I expect your team will demolish us in three days.
Thanks for the like on my site, Sterling. (interestingly, Sterling is my brother’s middle name) I too teach ESL here in Italy! Love your writing style.