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Tes 18 June 2021

Tes is dedicated to supporting the world’s teachers. Our mission is to enable great teaching by helping educators find the tools and technology they need to excel, supporting them throughout their career and professional development.

United Kingdom
Tes Global Ltd
51 Issues

in this issue

3 min

I always thought that I was too sensible for fads. Then I realised that purposefully avoiding anything fad-like was itself becoming a fad: I was just another teen becoming a devotee of the fad of fad resistance. The realisation sent me into a spiral of existentialist angst, which itself was becoming a bit of a fad when I was in my late teens – we were the emo kids, after all. So it’s no wonder that I have always had sympathy for Carol Dweck, the Harvard professor behind growth mindset theory. Like me, she has seemingly failed to escape fad status no matter how hard she has tried – and she has tried, repeatedly. I have interviewed her many times over my nine years at Tes; every time, she has attempted…

3 min
in schools, we all need to mind our language

The evolution of language can bring about much embarrassment for an image-conscious teacher if a shift in terminology has passed them by unnoticed. Words once considered “cool” can mutate to being “sick” and onwards without warning, resulting in 30 rolling pairs of eyes and a very red-faced teacher. Of course, there is an argument that teachers should not be trying to mimic the teenage lexicon in the first place. And there is also an argument that their own, professional language could do with a little evolution of its own. We are much more aware of our word choices than we have ever been. We weigh them for historical context, interrogate them for connotations. There is greater acknowledgement that names could, in fact, hurt you as much as sticks and stones. This has led…

2 min
you’ve been everyone else’s shoulder to cry on, but who’s looking after you?

Having empathy is a fundamental part of being a teacher: without it, doing the job well would simply not be possible, as success depends on good relationships with pupils. However, empathy can lead to you helping pupils at the expense of your own health – and that can lead to something called compassion fatigue. “This is a process that can feel similar to burnout but comes from the impact of helping others – often through stress or trauma,” explains Melissa Hall, an English curriculum leader and specialist leader in education. “This can take a heavy toll, both physically and psychologically.” Hall believes more teachers will be experiencing compassion fatigue because of the impact the pandemic has had on education. “Teachers have worked tirelessly to keep their students (and themselves) educated, safe and in…

3 min
a reliance on rubrics could turn your pupils into ‘robots’

Picture this: 30 students are busily working away, producing exactly what they are told to. There is no risk, there is no exploration, there is no experimentation: 30 students, acting like photocopiers. The work gets handed in, a drone of a teacher looks at each identical piece of work: A, A, A, A. The process of marking the work is as soul-sapping as the process that went into producing it. The teacher diminishes into a passionless, rubric-obsessed marking drone, while the students have done as they are told with zero degrees of freedom. Parents are overjoyed at the A grades, little realising their children are slowly being reconstructed into robots. I exaggerate slightly but you get the point – rubrics can, if we’re not careful, move from being a useful guide for a…

4 min
busted: the myths about maternity pay and parental leave for teachers

The government guidance around maternity leave, shared parental leave, adoption leave and paternity pay is hard to decipher at the best of times. Throw school holidays at the start or end of maternity leave into the mix and it gets even more confusing. So Kinza Louise Barrett, director of maths at Holmleigh Park High School, in Gloucester, has agreed to clear things up for school leaders and those seeking maternity leave by busting some common myths. Myth 1: You cannot return to work at the beginning of a school holiday There is genuine confusion among teachers and employers about this. A recent poll I undertook on Twitter showed that dozens of teachers had been told by their employers that they had to return to work a day, or even sometimes a few weeks,…

7 min
10 questions with… tim bowen

Tim Bowen was made president of the NAHT school leaders’ union in April. Prior to this, he spent two decades as head of Maple Primary School in St Albans. Faced with Tes’ 10 questions, he reflected on the moment he swapped a corporate job selling women’s shoes for a new path in primary education, spoke enthusiastically about the value of extracurricular activities and called for an end to a high-stakes accountability system that has “ruined careers”. 1. Who was your most memorable teacher and why? It was a chap called John Kitchingman, and he was the head of music at Verulam School [in St Albans] – my secondary school. He was passionate about his subject and I was fairly musical. He saw the potential and the talent in me, and he encouraged…