How it started

I’ve been blogging on and off for years on well-being and family life in our Wiltshire cottage but my professional life as a teacher has remained firmly in the classroom – and the kitchen where I do much of my marking, planning and preparation. In the year 2000 I was a ambitious senior teacher in charge of the sixth form at a comprehensive school in Bath. I was also heavily pregnant.

Unlike my own mother I was able to choose between work and motherhood rather than have to juggle both. Many teachers seem to do both very successfully but that wasn’t me. Three small children took up most of my energy and they were blessed years I wouldn’t have wanted to give less than 100% of my energy. But I found time to write educational materials for a number of agencies, to run workshops and training sessions and to write a couple of stage adaptations of classic novels.

In 2016 I felt the pull back to the classroom and then to contribute more widely to the direction of the school. It’s a profession I love, the best job in the world.

Much has changed in the last twenty years in education especially in the way teachers share resources, ideas and best practice. I started a senior leadership qualification (NPQSL) at the start of this school year and to take an active interest in evidence- informed classroom practice, in particular on how teenagers learn. Now I am leading a school initiative on growing effective independent learners. It seems like a good time to start sharing my classroom experiences.

Cally Smart

8 – Live today, plan for tomorrow

In the interests of balance and practising what I preach to my students I’ve taken a few days off over Easter. Since the lockdown started in the UK, I have worked every day to get on top of new ways of teaching, complete marking and give feedback quickly to my students and consider processes for… Continue Reading →

7 – Challenges

Dear Quaran-teens, You know my expectations are always high but a modern day King Lear might be a step too far. If you were due to sit GCSE or A Level exams in a few weeks, you may be feeling a bit lost. I get that. Even last week your teachers may have been setting… Continue Reading →

6 – Not going out

Dear Quaran – teens Wouldn’t we all love to pop up a mountain like Julie Andrews on a day like this? There has been a lot of talk in the press and on social media about people breaking the lockdown and the social distance rules, getting out an about in the glorious weather this weekend…. Continue Reading →

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