Mrs Humanities

Because I'm married to the job

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Proud Moments from Twitter

As I spend some time reflecting on the year, despite all the downs I’ve remembered there have been a number of ups. I thought I’d share with you some of the more positive parts of my teaching year.

  1. DIRT sheets went international… here’s a message I received from China

2. Attending and presenting at TMHistoryIcons

along side many great historians and history teachers…

3. Setting up Magpied Pedagogy

4. Attending and presenting at #PedagooHampshire…

…where I got to meet many of the greats for the first time (or again) and take part in a number of interesting workshops/presentations.

5. Setting up #Teacher5adaybuddybox and being able to support so many great educators. From the first one…

…to having over 400 participants in a year….

 … that have sent loads of fabulous boxes…

…with extra big thanks to all those that sent a back to school surprise box or two

Get involved…

I’ve been really lucky the last year to have connected with so many incredible educators and academics as a result of twitter. They’ve kept me going through the darker days of teaching and have helped me to remain in a job that I love (well when it’s just me and my classes, forget the politics and data, along with progress tracking and the covering your back paperwork etc. etc.)

So what we’re your proudest moments of 2017? Let me know.

I hope that 2017 leads into lots of positive teaching experiences for all.

Best wishes for the year ahead.

Mrs Humanities


One small memory, one big impact.

Whilst out for a stroll this afternoon I was reminiscing about my high school days.

Whilst I have some fantastic memories of friendships, teachers and trips I also remember how rough and poor my school was. I remember discussing life and death around a broken table in the ‘garden’. I remember being shot with a BB gun in a French lesson. I remember a boy in my class launching himself across the table and punching my music teach square in the face.  I remember my proud GCSE results day. I remember my first trip abroad. I remember the sayings of my favourite teachers.


But there was one memory that was standing out.

Here’s how it goes…

My friends and I had been discussing the theory of evolution (as you do at the age of 14) in form time. Our current tutor was a devote Christian and didn’t believe in the theory or possibility of evolution. Rather than joining us in the debate he set out to prove us wrong. He spoke some time about the eye and the intricate nature of it. He spoke about how God created the eye and there was no way that nature could possibly have had anything to do with such an intricate creation. We listened, we listened some more, but did not speak. He would not allow for debate or discussion.

The next day he brought in an old radio.  He also brought in a hammer. Then there right in front of us he smashed the radio into pieces. As he did so he explained that if evolution really existed this radio that was now broken into over a hundred pieces would eventually put itself together.


We attempted to debate it with him, but little did he listen.

He put the radio in a box and left it on the desk.

The next day, he asked “has evolution worked yet?” and shook the box to demonstrate it was still in a hundred or so pieces.

The same thing happened the next day. And the next day. And for a few more days.

As teenagers, it’s not that we weren’t open to the idea of God and religion, but we wanted the opportunity to discuss and debate. We wanted to the opportunity to discover and learn. We wanted to make our own opinions of the world.

Since we didn’t feel listened to, my friends and I decided to do something rather rebellious. This was out of character for us, the usually ‘good’ ones.

One lunch we snuck into our form room. We’d gotten hold of some glue and decided to attempt to piece the broken radio back together. From what I remember we did a pretty good job of it. We carefully placed the radio back in the box and returned the box to its original position so as not to raise suspicion.

The next morning our form tutor went to prove his point by shaking the box. To his surprise there wasn’t the calamity of noise one would associate with hundreds of pieces of metal and plastic bouncing around. Instead there was a loud thump to one side of the box, sliding to the other side as he shook the box.

I’ll never forget the look of bewilderment on his face. I always imagined that for a moment he may have lost faith in his argument, his belief that he held so strong. For that one moment I’ve always felt bad.

But quickly his bewilderment led to curiosity as to what had happened. He opened the box to find the radio almost looking like it had several days before the hammer was taken to it, of course though with the addition of cracks and vast quantities of super glue.

That’s as far as I remember. I can’t remember the consequences of our actions.

But I remember why we did it. We wanted to be heard, we wanted to discuss, we wanted to discover. We didn’t want to be told what to think, we didn’t want to be put down, we didn’t want to be told our beliefs were wrong.

None of us were against the idea of God, against the idea of being part of God’s creation. Some of us were religious, some of us not. But we wanted evidence from both sides of the debate and the opportunity to explore the theory.

I thought for a while of how this experience influenced my future. My desire for knowledge. My desire to see evidence. My desire to understand. A desire and skill I’ve tried to pass on to my students.

Do you have any memories from school that influenced you?

Would be interested to hear.








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#teacher5aday 2015 Review

With just a few days left of 2015 I thought now would be a good time to reflect upon my personal well being journey, a journey that started thanks to Martyn Reah and #teacher5aday.

My journey started on the 30th December 2014. It began with a blog post. It developed into 5 promises. It continued throughout the year.

Let’s rewind to 30th December 2014

After seeing inspiration on Twitter, whilst being rather anxious about going back to work in the New Year and just downright unhappy about the hours I was working I promised myself the following for 2015:

#connect – say yes more; see friends and family, socialise frequently, connect with other educators. Be less lonely.

#exercise – more adventures outdoors with my Mr Humanities

#notice – notice those I love; stop noticing imperfections in my work

#learn – learn from others

#volunteer – go back to my conservation/environmental roots

How did it go?

Whilst work has remained stressful and work related anxiety has continued, 2015 has enabled my overall sense of happiness to improve and this has been evident in the classroom.

January and February was great, I really got on board with limiting how much time I spent working on weekends to ensure I had every other weekend off (except for the Sunday morning lesson planning). See how it went with the End of January Review.

However March and April didn’t run so smoothly, stress related stomach problems resulted in a hospital trip and a few days off sick. I was on the verge of leaving teaching by this point. But with some focus on myself, a re-focus on my #teacher5aday promises and an invigorating trip to #TMLondon helped me to get back on track and remember what I love about the job.

By the time summer came, my reflections showed a relatively positive journey. On return to school in September I tried to keep this in mind.

If I’m honest the period between October half term to February half term I find the hardest and the run-up to this year’s seasonal celebrations were no different. The one thing that changed however was the fact that I allowed myself to say no. When I was too tired to work in the evening, I stopped, I refused to do it and instead allowed myself to rest. None of us should have to work 6 days a week, 5 of which are 7:30am – 9pm; It’s too long and unsustainable as I’ve learnt. It has meant however that I’ve had to prioritise, planning first, deadlines second, marking if I have time.

Taking part in #teacher5aday this year has given me the confidence to say no, to see it’s okay to look after myself and a chance to connect with other educators across the country – removing the sense of loneliness.

I recently started the discussion on staff and student wellbeing in my school’s first Teaching and Learning newsletter.The same evening a fellow colleague sent me a lovely email in regard to staff wellbeing, it was really nice to be able to open up the pathway for such discussion.

I’m really pleased to have taken part and want others to get involved with wellbeing , it’s made such an impact to 2015. Although I didn’t stick to each promise everyday, just having a wellbeing focus helped me to look after me.

I’m excited for 2016 now, it’s goint to be the year I get out of my comfort zone. Eck!

Hope you have a great new year.


#Teacher5aday Digital Skill Share

Originally posted on Staffrm


How often do you take time to learn something for yourself? For fun?

This November the #teacher5aday emphasis will be on learning, therefore the digital skill share encourages you to learn something new for yourself for your own enjoyment.

How does it work? 

In simple terms you sign up to a skill in a digital format and in return offer a skill.

Sign up to share

Firstly we need people to offer their skills. Skills can be anything you think somebody else would want to learn for their own enjoyment, this can include anything from crafts to musical instruments, from a jam recipe to the use of computer software. In the ‘Skills you’d like to share’ column outline the what you’re offering, see the examples below.

Once you’ve decided on a skill you wish to share, decide upon your sharing format. We recommend a video or step by step instructions posted on blog or shared as word document; other formats are possible dependent on what works for you. #teacher5aday #digiskillshare

If you have a preferred date in November that you wish to share your skill, pop it in the ‘Date to Share’ column. Otherwise leave it to us, we’ll nominate a date for you to share the skill and send you a reminder.

You can offer as many skills as you wish, feel free to share one or share more.

Sign up to a Skill

To sign up to a skill simply take a look at the ones on offer. You can sign up to just the one or all of them. Take your pick. Simply add your name and twitter username to the ‘Sign up for this skill’ column.

#teacher5aday #digiskillshare

Sharing the skill

In order to share the skills, each skill will be given a date to share.

The skill sharer will then send a link out to all those that have signed up to the skill via twitter on the relevant date; this could be a link to a video, blog post or cloud storage.

If you think you might have problems sharing on the stated date, send the link in advance to @MrsHumanities and it’ll be shared on your behalf.

Where do I sign up?

Join the #teacher5aday #digiskillshare here or scan the QR code below.

twitter post qr code