Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Can you teach an 'old dog new tricks'?

Well can you? I think so…I started teaching in 1982 (no do not try and work out how old I am!) Armed with a theology degree I began my teaching career teaching RE at Banbury school in Oxfordshire. The job I am doing no bears absolutely no resemblance to my job then. Do I use my New Testament Greek when teaching Cultural Studies & ICT in Barnsley – I have to say ‘not very often’. BUT do I use the desire to learn to find out new things and actually keep learning..then yes I do everyday.
In my first classroom I had a blackboard, no computer, no IW, nothing not even access to a photocopier – we only had one (and it was a school of 2,300 pupils) so you had to book everything through reprographics. We used banda machines – remember them? (obviously you too are old!) and eventually after five or so years the dept was given an OHP!!!
Last weekend my iphone beeped whilst shopping to tell me I had an email informing me one of my yr 7 pupils had written on the blog for their homework. My step daughter is picking mangos in Australia and communicates via facebook and skype. I have my own photography website (shameless plug This morning our yr 7 blog had a comment from Mr Webb in New Zealand about our snow day – amazing learning opportunity and exciting.
The moral? If we expect our pupils to learners then we need to do the same. They have no fear and will get stuck in. I gave two year 7 pupils and Ipad and asked for ‘something’ on the topic they were doing. The first question was ‘How do you switch it on’….30 minutes later an all singing all dancing presentation on Keynote.
Keep learning!


  1. Brilliant! In my experience the teachers that fair best are those who consider themselves to be a work in progress rather than the finished article and who are no afraid to try new things and make the odd mistake.

    PS I just about remember banda machines...most vivid memory is the smell of the solution that you had to fill them with...nmmmmmm!

  2. Hi Jane. What a refreshingly positive attitude. I do get so fed up when I hear people blame their age for their lack of technology use. Like you, I've been around a little while but just love finding new ways to do things with my students. So glad I found your blog and your wonderful storybirds via @medwards :-)


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