Students with stories to tell: Inclusive marking

I ran my eye along the desk.  It’s not a big or beautiful desk. The space for planning and mark making with paper, pens and pencils is now occupied by anonymous technology. This desk and space is part of the identity of being a teacher. It provides a degree of stability, security and structure to a teacher’s day. Perhaps even a psychological safe place. I know who and what I am in this space. It’s where I generally live as a teacher when not in the classroom. It’s a shared space, a social space, a dialogic space. A space for conversations, co-existing, collaboration, thinking and reflection. The Ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus is said to once demand of a friend whose house had burnt to the ground, “If you really understand what governs the universe, how can you yearn for bits of stone and pretty rock?” I appreciate that the scale and magnitude isn’t comparable but sometimes after the classroom my desk space speaks of serenity, a restorative space just to be. Continue reading

Student voice: It’s Powerpoint, but not as we know it

I’m in an art gallery in Halifax when I realise I’ve been planning murder. Not only that, but my love affair with screen beans and embedded video is over, finished!

The  realisation was brutal. I’d been a role model, an actor in ‘Death by Powerpoint.’ Yes, it was annie in the classroom with the projector. Also in the lecture theatre, conference room and in the words of the King (aka Yul Brynner) et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!

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