Salutations! My name is Michael Smyth (@tlamjs) and this is my blog. To paraphrase my profile I am a Biology teacher who is lucky enough to be an Assistant Head involved in teaching and learning and a former Head of Department. Blog topics range from education to sport to lolcats to all things in between. The Twitter handle and subsequent blog name TLAMJS is an acronym of Teaching, Learning and Assessment followed by my initials. This is in homage to the Berkhamsted Teaching, Learning and Assessment conference that I have attended since its inception in 2013 and inspired me to become more actively involved in this area of education. All my best ideas come from elsewhere or at the very least in close collaboration with other brilliant minds. And let us not forget Charles Darwin’s words “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
I have tried to group these but please bear in mind that this is a loose classification (there is always a monotreme to proof the rule).
Teaching and Learning
Forum on Education
- The St Albans School Forum on Education a link to the official website for SASFE16.
- What will SASFE be like? outlining the vision behind Forum on Education.
- Save the date for SASFE details of the inaugural St Albans School Forum on Education.
- The Spark more on the event.
- The Conversation – SASFE16 a brief write up of the day itself.
- TLAB16 a short write up of TLAB16.
- The TLABoratory about the Berkhamsted Teaching, Learning and Assessment (TLAB) conferences and preview of TLAB15.
- The Twenty Five Four Percents – TLAB15 writing up my workshop delivered at TLAB15.
- An OESIS in the desert thoughts from the London Online Education Symposium for Independent Schools conference held at Eton College.
- Know Thy Impact a write up of the OSIRIS Impact Conference 2015 featuring Professor John Hattie and Professor Rob Coe.
- My thoughts on…PedagooLondon15 musings from the PedagooLondon.
- Writing Less, Better. TMLondon my presentation from Teach Meet London on Wednesday 23rd March.
- EdFest Part I Thursday 23rd June at the Festival of Education at Wellington College.
- EdFest Part II Friday 24th June at the Festival of Education at Wellington College.
- Success, Failure and Multiplication ideas on the importance of learning from mistakes and introducing the Multiplier Effect.
- Jaffa Cakes and Writing Less, Better looking at the ways we can help students distil their thoughts and transfer them into writing.
- The One Hundred One Percents based on Sir Clive Woodward’s idea that “winning the Rugby World Cup was not about doing one thing 100% better, but about doing one hundred things 1% better”. This post looks at how this philosophy might be applied to teaching and learning and is the basis of my popular conference workshop.
- Tickety-boo detailing why examining is something every teacher should have a go at and describing some common errors with quick fixes.
- (Relatively) radical thoughts examining two unorthodox approaches to timetable allocation and picking teachers.
- Teaching and Learning Observations exploring ways to make a lesson observation more teacher-centred and less about box ticking.
- Tomatoes and Pens: Revision Ideas details the Pomodoro technique and an idea for completing past papers.
- Sweet Success or why I don’t think we should be using sugar as a reward.
- (Tab)let them eat cake a summary of a session I chaired with staff in September 2014 to discuss how tablets might be used in our School.
- (Tab)let them eat cake II the first follow up to the initial post and looks at the formation of a Working Party to explore this area.
- (Tab)let them eat cake III a further exploration of EdTech including trialling tablets and setting homework on a VLE.
- Assessment Working Party Findings detailing a proposal borne from the collective minds of staff.
- Why I don’t worry about blogging (anymore) some thoughts on why I blog (very meta) and the importance of referencing media.
- A quote that inspires me from day 20 of “21 Days of July” #teacher5aday.
- Tyrannosaurus test a write up on the Intelligence Squared Education Test “Let’s end the tyranny of the test.”
- The Dunning-Kruger Effect discusses the cognitive bias of the unskilled thinking they are more skilled than reality.
- NQT advice, a summary of other people’s thoughts highlighting some very good blogs posts on how to make the best start as a teacher.
- The Biology of Superpowers: Part I a write up of an assembly I gave in November 2014 exploring the biology behind the members of Marvel’s Avengers.
- Biology A Level: International Rescue? a short look into why we changed from a domestic exam board to CIE’s International award for Biology A Level.
- Five books all Biology A level students should read recommended reading for Sixth Form biologists.
- Gridiron Greatness a book review of The Score Takes Care of Itself looking at how to create a culture of success.
Please note that the views and opinions expressed on this blog represent Michael only and no-one else. All feedback appreciated.