10 THINGS NOT TO SAY IN A STAFFROOM (if you still have one)

1. I just got another outstanding
2. That Inset day was hopeless (unless of course it was)
3. I’m getting off early today
4. I’m still a bit tiddly
5. I can’t be bothered with SEN – too much hassle
6. I know the kids like your subject,but it’s not as important as the core subjects, is it?
7. I put in the winning bid on eBay whilst my kids were working
8. This school is shit
9. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
10. My goodness, I think I’ve won the lottery

(from Oops! Helping Children Learn Accidentally)



Difficult Second

Hello everyone

Hope the summer is going well for you.

I remember an interview in Smash Hits in the early eighties when Depeche Mode were announcing the release of their second album (A Broken Frame) which they described as their ‘difficult second’ album. Many bands and artists have bemoaned the same situation before this and since – anyone remember Toploader’s second album? See the review for that here:



The concept of difficult second doesn’t just sit there in the world of music. It’s there in films as well. See a list of ten brilliant second movies below. My favourite film JAWS is in there – Spielberg’s follow up to Sugarland Express. A weight of expectation on his shoulders and a special-effect shark that wouldn’t perform for the camera.

I’m sitting in my kitchen contemplating this and my difficult second book The Oath. I’ve pressed pause on the writing of the book because I was finding it too darn stressful. Rather than enjoying the process, I’ve been looking over my shoulder and worrying about what people will think of it. You’d have thought I’d be okay with that, and, indeed, I am now. As I’ve stated in an earlier blog, my mojo is back, and having pressed pause on The Oath, I can concentrate on my teaching, training and work – all of which I’m loving. The book will be out in late 2015 and I apologise to those of you who were looking forward to it. My aim now is to make it worth the wait. I’ve already written 30,000 words and its full of genuine classroom practice, reflections, ideas and lists. And it’ll be fun. I’m grateful to @thatiangilbert and @crownhousepub for their patience. You can pre order the book here:


The other thing that’s encouraged me to slow down a little is the fact that my first book OOPS! Helping Children Learn Accidentally is going down really well and I’m grateful to readers who have got in touch with me on Twitter and Facebook to tell me so. I loved writing it and am thrilled with the reception it’s received. You can take a look at it here:http://tinyurl.com/kvu5zfj

So The Oath has become my own difficult second. It will get written and I’m excited about the prospect. I just want to ensure I nail it and am bang on.


 Ten Great Second Films (in no particular order):

1. Jaws

2. Near Dark

3. The Terminator

4. Midnight Express

5. Assault on Precinct 13

6. Boogie Nights

7. The Elephant Man

8. Raising Arizona

9. The Deer Hunter

10. Days of Heaven


Cheers. 🙂