What does it mean to be intelligent?

Here you go guys, as promised, my first Vlog. Hope you enjoy it.


Blog days.

Hi all. Hope everyone is well and enjoying the few blogs I’ve posted so far. I just wanted to share the fact that I have decided Tuesdays will be blog days for me. Come back for a brand new blog every week. I’ll post other things in the meantime but the main blog topic will be Tuesdays. This week I will be talking about Multiple Intelligence Theory and what this means for students, parents and teachers. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/learnessential.

Bye for now. 

Getting to know you!!

One of the best strategies I have employed as a pastoral leader and Special Educational Needs Co-ordination is probably one of the most logical. In fact, thinking about it, most of what I do in school is about common sense. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an expert problem solver, just an experienced one and my learning is based on the rich experience of the students I have had the pleasure to work with. I have always maintained that building a relationship with the young person and their family from the outset is vital to ongoing success. It’s useful to know what the ‘hooks’ are with the young people we work with. Knowing how we can focus the work we set on the interests and strengths of the students rather than devising mundane generic tasks will always help motivation. It’s important to get updates from parents so I invite and encourage regular communication. I look to the parent as the expert when it comes to the young person and the information I gather is key. Any school worth it’s salt will welcome communication from parents so please don’t wait to be contacted by your child’s school. Be proactive and arrange a meeting to share information you might not think is relevant but could actually reveal little gems of information that can unlock massive future potential. Why not make a real impact and send your child’s school a postcard telling them of your som or daughters latest successes or achievements from home?

Summer Escape: A Teacher’s Guide to Using Time off as a Means to Becoming a Better Educator

nice article.

Discover Thought

Summertime… A time for Teachers’ to practice a different set of 3R’s: Reflect, Rejuvenate, and Respond!

Plain and simple, time off and away from anything helps give another perspective, which supports authentic reflection that can help rejuvenate the soul and inspire a better response. Teachers are not exempt from this rule. That said, let’s take a look at how the summer or time off coupled with mindfulness can later impact student engagement,flexibility, and professionalism (wikihow) with regards to general instruction (Domain 3 and 4 of the Danielson Framework), thus reflect, rejuvenate, and best respond to what life brings.

Generally speaking, student engagement is defined as students on task, but more importantly it also includes helping the students be intellectually active while working though challenging content. The easiest way to help students engage is by creating a structure and procedure that includes a beginning…

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Why am I not as good as him?

It’s a fact of life that we are all individuals with a unique personality, a range of skills and abilities, strengths and weaknesses and differing aims and expectations about what we want out of life. I have come across many young people (and adults) who have increasingly developed low self confidence and self-esteem because they compare themselves to others. Whilst this is a natural thing to do (and we all do it), it is really a quite unhelpful and unhealthy habit to break but we always have to keep focused on number one, ourselves.

Whether you are developing academically, losing weight, gaining muscle or doing DIY it is in our nature to compare. You get a ‘C’ grade and automatically ask others what they achieved. You come out of an exam and compare the answers you gave. You stand at the free weights about to lift 15KG when you notice the muscled stud next to you about to lift 40Kg, or you hang some awesome wallpaper and the next day feel envious about the decor in living room of the neighbour. Keeping up with others is really not the key to motivation, self-discipline and personal satisfaction. We have to accept (as should our children), that in life there are always going to be people better than us and worse than us and therefore the only logical comparison to make is that against the only person who is like you, YOU! This sounds obvious but it really does work. Keeping records about progress is not something only teachers are expected to do and show when Ofsted come visiting. Creating graphs and charts detailing progress in any of the areas similar to those mentioned above is a positive step to raising self-confidence and self-esteem. Progress may be slow but with regular monitoring and recording you will be able to notice improvement over time, however gradual.

A test result of a ‘D’ or an ‘E’ may seem, at the time, like a poor result. Comparisons will be made against others and motivation levels will rapidly decline. It is vital at this point to make the comparison between the grade achieved and the grade expected based on prior learning and achievement. At this point you know where you are at (D or E grade), you know where you should be aiming for (C grade for example), and therefore you know how far you are away from this expectation and a discussion can be had as to how to get there. A bit like planning a journey. There is little point being upset about not arriving at your destination if you don’t know where you are, you have a vague idea of where you want to go but no map (or SAT NAV) to help you get there. Of course frustration/anger is likely to ensue.

The same can be said of physical progress through exercise. Whilst you should be careful about obsessing about your body (which can be unhealthy in itself) if you have fitness/health goals you want to achieve then knowing your start point and goal/target will help you track how well you are doing. If your goal is to lose weight then expect progress to be gradual. You won’t drop 2 stone in a week just like a young person won’t go from a grade ‘E’ to a grade ‘C’ in a week. Patience is key but so is tracking or charting progress. In my next blog I will show you how I have used charts to help motivate students and gymnasts I coach in the Great Britain Double Mini Trampoline team.

We never stop learning…

During my last 15 years in school I have met thousands of young people, hundreds of parents and hundreds of like-minded professionals who share (to a greater or lesser extent) my aim of giving young people the tools required to access the education system upon entry (however much we agree or disagree with the central establishment at the time) and exit it as successful learners able to make the transition to employment and sustainability. I don’t yet have children of my own and I am certain that when I do, the decisions I make as a father will be as difficult as those I have helped parents and young people make during their educational journey. What I love about education and learning is that no two learners are ever the same and the challenges faced by each learner and their family are unique. However, there are a number of common themes I have addressed over the years and I will begin to address a range of them in no particular order. Since I took on the role of Special Educational Needs Coordinator in 2008, I have learnt masses about a range of needs spanning the moderate to the complex, yet my approach has always been the same. As I begin to upload more and more posts you will hopefully be able to relate to some with your own experience and context in mind and begin to see a recurring pattern of pragmatism and creativity. As you will have seen already, I will try to include hyperlinks to websites I think may find of use. There are lots of websites out there designed to support parents and carers and if you find any of what I post useful please share this and feel free to make comments and ask questions.

A place to engage in all things learning/education related. Teacher of 15 years Toby Eager shares his experiences to help make better informed choices and decisions about learning. I don't guarantee that my advice will solve all problems but feel free to comment particularly if you do find any advice of use.


Most Influential Blog on Education in the UK


A place to engage in all things learning/education related. Teacher of 15 years Toby Eager shares his experiences to help make better informed choices and decisions about learning. I don't guarantee that my advice will solve all problems but feel free to comment particularly if you do find any advice of use.

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