Online Video Updates…

So we are back teaching online again!

This time around I am doing a mixture of pre-recorded videos, padlet discussion and research boards ( see Evolution of Padlet) and live streaming.

Here are the lessons I have recorded so far:

First Year Philosophy:

Second Year Philosophy:

First Year Criminology:

Keep an eye on YouTube: I Think Therefore I Teach – YouTube for all the latest lessons 🙂

Evolution of Padlet

When I first started using Padlet as a social distancing strategy in the classroom, I posted about the benefits of using it for group work (see Social Distance Group Work: Padlet). Since then it has transformed my online remote teaching and enhanced my students learning.

I thought I would do a quick recording on how to use padlet and the different facilities it offers.

I use Padlet for:

Discussion Questions:

Sharing lines of argument:

Image board to comment on:

Sharing revision posters:

Research activities:

What I would like to try:

1. Assessment: students post introductions for feedback, post part of an essay for students to comment on (peer assessment). ​

2. Homework task i.e. watch this video add your thoughts​

3. Try the different boards available (only tried Wall so far).

If you have used Padlet in any other ways please comment and share.

Colour Coordination: Highlighting those Skills

BossI am obsessed with highlighters! I never use to be, I could teach a whole lesson without the words ‘grab a highlighter’ but now this is not the case. Why? Because they are the best thing to help students focus on the task at hand. Now as many of you know I am a huge Inner Drive and Bradley Busch fan and find their research into metacognition extremely interesting OIP (1)(see The Science of Learning if you would like to know more).  However they do not advocate the use of highlighting as part of effective learning. I wish to disagree. Here are some ways that using highlighters can be very effective for learning:

Assessment strategy:


  • Students highlight the key words from the question in their answer. This will guarantee they have focused specifically on the words in the question and have adapted their essay answer to what the examiners have asked. An excellent or top mark essay will use the words in the question throughout an answer. Note: whilst students might think they have answered the question, only by highlighting the key words will they know for sure.
  • Give an essay and remove the question. Can students work out the question by highlighting the key words that are used throughout?
  • Highlight A01 and A02 in different colours.
  • Students use the examiner’s mark scheme to self assess their own essays by highlighting the relevant criteria that applies to their work.(See Improve Your Essays Using Mark Schemes for further help).78637489_2556535761294327_7496363354965934080_o


  • Using  general or whole class feedback given by the teacher, highlight your essay/ work where the comments apply to your answer. Then make the relevant changes.
  • Rather than writing the same thing throughout when marking a piece of work/ essay use highlights to draw attention to different things e.g. spelling in one colour, misunderstandings in another.


Continue reading “Colour Coordination: Highlighting those Skills”

Teacher Toolkit: Thinking of Becoming a Teacher?

I was always going to be a teacher. It isn’t one of those situations where I say ‘for as long as I can remember I wanted to be a teacher’. No, in fact I wanted to be a Blue Peter presenter when I was younger (who didn’t want to be able to make the Thunderbird Island and go on all those adventures?!). But teaching seemed to find me. For many years I thought I would be a Primary School teacher but after about 4 years of voluntary work during my college and early degree years, I realised it wasn’t quite the right fit for me.

So I started to look into different options for teaching older students. There was no question in my mind that I wanted to teach Philosophy and Ethics in the hopes of re-creating the intellectually stimulating environment that I was so fortunate to experience myself at college (mainly due to my wonderful teacher who I am now very fortunate to teach alongside). However the thought of having to do my teacher training in Secondary RE, in order to teach A Level, frightened me to the core (those stories will definitely be kept for a future blog!)

Still I persevered and when the time arrived I applied for the one year Secondary Religious Studies PGCE at Durham University. My interview consisted of a written activity, group activity and then panel interview. Now I was as prepared as I could be, don’t forget this was prior to Google been the fountain of all knowledge but one question in particular threw me through a loop!

“You have ten minutes to design a scheme of work on any topic of your choice to teach to a year 8 class last lesson on a Friday.” My first thought…you want me to design a what?

So with this in mind, last year I piloted an Enrichment course with any students considering teaching. This course was meant to run for the whole year but due to lockdown was of course cut short. I am once again running the course with a new cohort of students for one hour a week. I designed the course to explore many different areas of teaching including: looking for the right route into teaching, preparing for an interview and the pedagogical practice behind teaching. All the things I was naively unaware of.

I wanted to share the Toolkit Pack I have designed to help, guide and encourage any other students exploring the possibility of teaching. It comprises of a multitude of questions, with some reading, to help focus students on important aspects of teaching. It is catered for Primary teaching through to Post 16.

The Teacher Toolkit Pack contains (download here):

  1. What makes a ‘good’ teacher?
  2. Teaching Acronyms: what do they mean?
  3. Myths about Teaching
  4. Avenues into Teaching
  5. Writing a UCAS Personal Statement (This also might help: How to write a UCAS Personal Statement)
  6. Interview Preparation for Teacher Training/ Degree
  7. Lesson Planning
  8. Teaching, Learning and Assessment
  9. Special Educational Needs (More on Autism can be found here: Autism Awareness: How aware are you?)
  10. Ensuring Questioning Impacts Students’ Learning (Check this out for more: Ensuring Questioning Impacts Students’ Learning)
  11. Dealing with Behaviour Issues in the Classroom
  12. Differentiation
  13. What is Happening in the World of Teaching Today? (This is a great website to help with this: ResearchED: Keeping a finger on the pedagogy pulse.)
  14. Lesson Observations
  15. Preparing for Work Experience
  16. Reflections of Work Experience

I hope you find it useful when preparing for a future in teaching.