Reads of the Week #25


A bumper crop this week as we were away on holidays in Dingle.
First, the Key to Leadership is running and a good meeting and understanding that leaders and managers are not the same thing.

Metaphor is not the sole preserve of Shakespearean scholarship or high literary endeavour but has governed how we think about and describe our daily lives for centuries, according to researchers at Glasgow University.

Niall Murray in the Irish Examiner has written a brilliant summary of what’s wrong with special education provision in Ireland.

Pushing responsibility down the hierarchy makes for better organisations, including schools.

There’s no denying that had he been alive today, Orwell – the great opponent and satirist of totalitarianism – would have deplored the bureaucratic repression of HR.

Mary Ann Reilly shared this beautiful poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca: I Am Offering this Poem.

This is most honest writing about the loss of a child I’ve read, heartbreaking and raw.

For historians: The Fall and Rise and Fall of Pompeii.

And finally, the flipping Evolution of Profanity.

Here are all my reads of the week and this is the archive

How do we fix Irish Education?


I wrote this article for the summer edition of Forum on how education in Ireland is being hit by the economic crisis and the GERM, and teacher and union responses to that onslaught.   

Thanks to Howard Stevenson for the invitation to contribute. 

Reads of the Week #24


First, one of Anthony Wilson’s Lifesaving Poems, from Catherine Smith: How It All Started.

This is the digital StoryMap of an Irish archaeological journey along the Carlow bypass, a brilliant resource for history teachers.

One of the greatest hurlers of all time Jimmy Doyle dies last week, Vincent Hogan wrote beautifully about him here.

Another great use of mappingand a great resource again: 1916 Rising Pension Claimants mapped onto the 1912 OSI map.

Laure-Anne Bosselaar’s poem “Rooms Remembered” is the best I’ve read on grief in a long time.

Barnardos has proposed we provide free primary education for all, why stop there?

And finally, Tom Bennett has a new job, but holds no illusions about how difficult but rewarding teaching can be.

Here are all my reads of the week.

This is the archive.

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Reads of the Week #23


A metaphor merchant? How much would one charge per metaphor? It depends… 

“Who is E.D. Hirsch? What does he believe?”

Ben Lerner on Disliking Poetry

‘Irishmen need not apply’: the failure of a Four Nations labour movement

‘Secret amateurs still read Ulysses but as a furtive perversion’ –Declan Kiberd, the best teacher I had in university.

Appropriate for all summer readers Tom Gauld on book guilt

And finally, another beautiful piece by Mary Ann Reilly, Her Husband

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Here are all the Reads of the Week 

Here’s the Archive 

Happy Reading!

Reads of the Week #22


First, here’s Carl Hendrick on how important research is in education, and how little we use it. 

How much has happened since you were born? A brilliant visualisation from the BBC on how has Earth changed since the day you were born.
This is James Theobald on how breaking education out of a subject based structure is nonsense.

Andy Tharby writes about how great writing teaches with and for a teacher.

And finally, amid all the talk about Yeats, here’s Roy Foster on his politics.

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And here’s the archive of previous posts.

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Reads of the Week #21


Here are seven things I read this week that made me think, inspired me or taught me something I didn’t know 

Ellen Metcalf: Government-Sponsored Agencies Dispense Harmful Advice on Leaving Certificate

Eric Nebbia: Ways Teachers Avoid Saying “No.” 

Gary Kaye: Education is a marathon, not a sprint 

HeatherBellaF: The Hydra

The Quirky Teacher: Are teachers their own worst enemy?

Interesting Literature Blog: A short history of word ‘serendipity’ and its literary origins

From the Archives of the Irish Times May 30th, 1959: The first VW ever built outside Germany was assembled in Ballsbridge

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And the archive of previous posts is here

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Reads of the Week #20


First some history: here’s Charlotte Hobson review of Stalin by Oleg Khlevniuk: He understood the power of terror so well because he constantly feared for his own life. 

Next is equality in Ireland. Irish legislation allows for discrimination in schools, so Section 37.1 of the Employment Equality Act (2004) must be deleted immediately, from Voice for Teachers blog. 

Andy Tharby writes about the value and tribulations of assessment for teachers: Assessment – it’s all in our heads

This is DJ Gallo in the Guardian: Numb3rs for l3tter5: how Nike started sport’s most annoying trend

Aidan Regan says we got the crash wrong and we’re getting the recovery wrong too: Ireland’s ‘recovery’ wasn’t austerity but public sector policy

This is gold: Roddy Doyle on Bill O’Herlihy.

And finally a photoessay from Foreign Policy on The Forgotten Kingdom of Sikkim

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And the archive of previous posts is here

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