Author Archives: Joe Kirby

About Joe Kirby

English teacher, Deputy Headteacher, Education blogger

Disruption of Teaching

“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say you did not know.” William Wilberforce 1791 Reading Tom Bennett’s book about behaviour, based on his many years of writing for the TES about misbehaviour in … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 3 Comments

Detail

  ‘Isn’t is nice when things just… work?’ One of the most memorable advertisements of the last decade was the beautiful arc and elusive sequence of the Honda machine. Somehow, it was deeply satisfying to watch. It captured the elegant … Continue reading

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‘This book should be banned’

A provocation? Incontrovertible? Iconoclastic? A landmark? This November, we are publishing our book, Battle Hymn of The Tiger Teachers. Here is what 20 visitors to the school (and readers of an early draft) say about the book:   “An engrossing … Continue reading

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Bootcamp

  We have a tough intake. There are some very bad habits that many of our pupils have been in, some for seven years or more, some for an entire lifetime. When I ask in one of the first assemblies … Continue reading

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Discipline is life-changing

Discipline is vital in schools. I have seen it change the life chances of children denied it for years before they arrive at our school. Talk to those who joined the army, and they will also tell you that military … Continue reading

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Drill and Thrill

Is drill demotivating and demoralising, killing motivation and pupils’ ability to think for themselves? Far from demotivating, I’ve found carefully designed subejct-specific practice drills to be highly motivating for the pupils in school, as self-reinforcing cycles of drill and success, … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Teaching | 4 Comments

Knowledge improves teaching

Knowledge is powerful: it empowers our pupils to achieve in their academic subjects, to understand the world and to live fulfilling lives. It should be one of our highest priorities in our teaching. There are some who take umbrage with … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Teaching | 4 Comments

Battle Hymn

All teachers want to inspire their pupils. Every teacher I have ever met has come into the profession because they love children and want to improve their lives. In England, however, poorer pupils’ life chances have long been blighted by … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 5 Comments

The red pill of moral psychology

Reading moral psychology, in particular Jonathan Haidt’s works The Righteous Mind, The Happiness Hypothesis and Heterodox Academy, is mind-opening. In The Matrix, Neo has a choice: take a red pill, disconnect from the Matrix and dissolve the illusion, or take … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Psychology | 10 Comments

It’s your time you’re wasting

This book, by Frank Chalk, is about his experiences of teaching in a difficult school in England, and the consequences of low standards for some of our worst-off children in the country. “All these stories are true. Writing them was born … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 6 Comments