Rank #1: S4. Ep 1 - Where have we been?
With the gaps between seasons becoming longer and slightly more erratic, our return sees a reflection on the past year. We consider the value of educational conferences in the context of Will's growing profile, talk about Ed Tech and blogs vs journals, while Paul gets slightly grumpy about Twitter.
Most importantly - we're back!
Rank #2: S.3 Ep 4 - What doesn't work?
We talk this week about the list put forward by Ben Newmark last term, outlining all of the activities and approaches he felt hadn't worked in the classroom. The list drew upon his extensive experience and was extremely well-received, so we felt it would be a great starting point for discussion and reflection from our own time at the chalkface.
From card-sorts and reading races to role-plays and learning styles we consider what makes something a 'success' in the classroom and how to plan to ensure that all students are served in the best possible way.
Rank #3: S3. Ep 3 - Who Teaches the Teachers?
Given Will's role and the on-going challenges facing PGCE courses across the country, we thought it worth spending a little bit of time unpacking exactly what it is that Will does for a living.
Featuring an insight into teacher training at university, some thoughts around the strengths and drawbacks of the PGCE and its alternatives, as well as a full blown introspective meltdown on Will's part, we hope you enjoy this week's episode on a slightly different area of teaching.
Rank #4: S3. Ep 2 - Extra-Curricular - Extra Effort?
The second episode of this season sees us debating the worth of extra-curricular activities. Often a large part of school life, do they distract too much from the core work of teachers, and is enough done in recognition of the efforts that are put in?
This podcast marks perhaps the first time we disagree on an issue, as well as straying in to other areas of school life, for instance the role of the form tutor and how to best support students outside the classroom. As always, do get in touch if you want to discuss any of the issues that come out of this week's discussion, or if you'd like to appear in a future episode.
Rank #5: S3. Ep 1 - Starting a New Year
As summer winds to a close, alarms get set and pencils are sharpened up and down the country, we want to open Season 3 with a few thoughts on how to get the new school year underway in the best possible way.
From considering the impact and purpose of INSET, to offering thoughts to those starting in new roles or kicking off their careers in teaching, we hope this will be useful in setting the right tone for the coming months!
Rank #6: S2. Ep 6 - Leading a Department with Jess Lund
Heads of Department should be the engine room of any school. Ensuring that this is the case, without becoming overburdened by admin or losing trust in colleagues is the topic we unpick this week.
Guest starring Jess Lund, Head of MFL at Michaela School, and very long-winded questions from Paul, we look at the best parts of being a HoD, the pitfalls to look out for, and general advice to anyone who is looking to make their mark as a middle leader.
Rank #7: S2 Ep. 5 - Questioning with Sarah Donarski
Questioning is one of the core aspects of teaching. Often talked about, much debated and sometimes taken for granted, we take the chance to talk to Sarah Donarski about her recent work around how to best approach questioning in the classroom.
Both Paul and Will do their best to keep up with the intellectual level that Sarah brings to the table, with a combination of practical tips, common pitfalls and philosophical musings all provided.
Rank #8: S2. Ep4 - Why do what we do?
This week sees us talk about what got us into teaching in the first place, as well as offer thoughts on whether it has been all we expected it to be. We also talk about what has inspired us over the course of the past year, as well as the ways in which we have learned from those around us.
How we look to set a tone in the classroom and help our students develop in the best way possible has undoubtedly changed since either of us started teaching, and this episode gives us a chance to talk about what this now looks like.
Rank #9: S2. Ep3 - Managing Workload (Scratching the surface!)
This episode sees us try to tackle workload head on, and inevitably only scratch the surface of what is an enormous issue in teaching. For many teachers, the idea of a work-life balance will seem a laughable pipe dream, which is something that needs to change. Paul and Will reflect on ways in which this might start to happen on an individual-teacher basis, while also offering some thoughts on where the issues stem from.
Whether you are an NQT who is worried about what lies ahead of you, or a member of SLT who wants to think more about how to address workload in the school, we hope this is a useful starting point on an issue we will definitely be coming back to!
Rank #10: S2. Ep 2- Behaviour Management - Tackling the Hydra
This episode sees Paul and Will take on behaviour management (for probably the first of many times!). From looking at what the role of senior leaders should be in shaping policies and supporting staff, through to the advice we would give to teachers who are just setting out, we try to talk through how our own experiences have shaped our current approach.
Trying to do as large a topic as behaviour management justice in 40 minutes is no easy task, and so we hope you enjoy this starting point for the conversation.