Category Archives: My English classroom

Remembering C. A. (‘Dinger’) Bell

My English teacher in 1965, C.A. (‘Dinger’) Bell, was a man of few words, and I remember only four of them being addressed to me. “Not without merit, Shann,” he said one day as he handed back a piece of … Continue reading

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Some thoughts on the fly

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. A lot has happened, is happening, and I keep trying to find time to write about it. There’s no substantial time right now, with journals to read, schools to visit and lessons to … Continue reading

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Discussing classic texts with Year 11 students

My year 11 Extension class is doing a course called ‘Text-Value-Culture’, and last term we read ‘The Odyssey’ and talked about the way this story has been appropriated by different writers for different purposes. This term each of the students … Continue reading

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Walking through the barrier: Josh Part 3

Preface In a month I’ll be teaching a postgraduate education unit called ‘Literacy across the curriculum’, and I’ll be asking each of the 90 students to report on a high school student’s reading. The project is described in more detail … Continue reading

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Doubts and loves: Josh Part 2

The Place Where We Are Right by Yehuda Amichai From the place where we are right Flowers will never grow In the spring. The place where we are right Is hard and trampled Like a yard. But doubts and loves … Continue reading

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The walled city: Josh Part 1

I want to start this post with Josh. Josh is the boy who has agreed to be a part of a small research project I’ve decided to do. The idea is to trial a task I’m going to be setting … Continue reading

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Alex the parrot, Elizabeth Bennet and the soul’s code

As I read Maja Wilson’s Rethinking Rubrics and followed the discussion about this book on the English Companion Ning, I kept thinking about a growing divide amongst teachers around the question of what we’re meant to be doing in the … Continue reading

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Why am I passionate about the English discipline?

A colleague on staff has just written to us, partly as follows: As you may or may not be aware, our Year Ten RaVE syllabus includes a fairly extended unit on Theory of Knowledge (Epistemology). All of us deal, in … Continue reading

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Play the game!

Last Tuesday I walked into my Year 11 class in a rage. I was full of what my father once called ‘Steve’s white hot indignation’. I’d just read a number of comments on our class Ning that indicated that some … Continue reading

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Some responses to the last post

I copied my last post ‘Expectations, optimism and student performance’ over at the English Companion Ning, and an interesting discussion has followed over there, led by Michael Umphrey, J.D. Wilson Jnr and Clix. If you haven’t seen it already, you … Continue reading

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