Thursday, September 18, 2014

Spring Time Haiku: Concluding Reflections

I started my 30 days of haiku writing more or less on a whim. A couple of brave students had shown me some of their creative writing, and it reminded me of my poetry writing days. Since I was out of practice - and busy - I decided to go with a relatively straight-forward form (not that I'm saying a good haiku is easy to write - it's just a bit shorter!) as opposed to the sonnets that I used to write in Maths lessons at school.

A month later, I am amazed by how profoundly helpful the discipline of writing 17 syllables of poetry every day has been. I have composed haiku on my bike, in bed, while invigilating tests. I have pondered the beauty of nature, the harshness of nature, the relevance of nature. I have scribbled a haiku in 5 minutes, and spent hours rearranging syllables in another. I have been taken by surprise (again) by the way in which the act of writing has birthed the reflective process.

I don't feel that I have made any remarkable contributions to the poetry world. I certainly don't feel like I have said anything particularly useful. But I have spent time with myself, thinking about my life in a different way.

I am certain that poetry season will come again.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #30

Joyous confusion:
Explosion of happy dogs
Celebrating life

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #29

Riding through the spring
A park awash with flowers;
Memories waken

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #28

Though darkness is deep
And clouds hide the horizon;
Sunlight will break through

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #27

Lightly as a breath
An owl's feather brushes by:
Transient treasure

Monday, September 8, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #26

Too young for wisdom
We wage war against salt wind:
The ancient trees bow

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #25

Mysterious dawn,
Purple under a grey sky:
Red fades into day

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #24

Sinews snap and stretch
Unaccustomed skills to learn:
Furious new growth

Friday, September 5, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #23

Steady summer gale
Rips through new bud and blossom:
Strange resilience

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #22

Stillness after noise,
Cooling breeze through the heat:
A blessed relief

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #21

City fog rises
Grey compound of mist and smog:
Mystery remains

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #20

Wild warmth in the wind
Sweeping grass seed and sea scent:
I smell things growing

Monday, September 1, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #19

In search of slowness,
Seeing the world otherwise:
I keep pedalling.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #18

Sun soaking shadows
Half painful contrast of light:
Full of sleepy warmth

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #17

Mud between my toes;
Sensuous summer softness,
Smooth soil stained feet

Friday, August 29, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #16

Laughing eyes meet mine:
Hidden kernel of new life
Beneath barren earth

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #15

Haiku reflection:
A half-month pondering
My life in nature

This is also my 200th post on Daydreaming in Maths...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #14

Tempestuous sky
Hurls a crescendo of rain:
Then, peaceful, ceases.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #13

A flight of starlings
Wheels across a cloud-struck sky:
Waiting for sunset

Monday, August 25, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #12

Enjoying sunshine
Although the rain is coming:
Discipline of joy.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #11

Braving a fresh start
After winter's endurance:
Spring is for courage

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #10

Sunlight through wild grass,
Green blades caress my shoulders:
Spring on the mountain

Friday, August 22, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #9

Unexpected sun:
Surprising, pre-dawn birdsong
Lifts the winter blues

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #8

Leaves through my window - 
I struggle to wakefulness;
Taste another life 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #7

suddenly daisies,
turning brave faces sunwards,
herald the summer

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #6

Heavy clouds amass
A rolling storm approaches;
Waters thirsty earth

Monday, August 18, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #5

the rusty sky fades
another day's completion;
eyelid petals close

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Spring Haiku #4

before day's dawning;
lazy on the horizon
wakes a sluggish sun

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Spring Haiku #3

emerging damply;
the weight of rain is lifted
on a south wind's breath

Friday, August 15, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #2

You stir in your sleep
Dormant awhile; the cold earth
Filled with warm promise

for A

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Spring Time Haiku #1

The clouds pass over;
I dream a slow reflection
Of a wind-swept life

Thursday, February 6, 2014

(My) Classroom Expectations

As promised... see if you can guess what the 'blurb' for each one was!

Nothing fancy - and not very high quality - these posters are just meant as reminders of the conversation we had at the beginning of the year! But at least I had a giggle with the last one. Hint: the blurb had to do with a) soaring and b) extinction.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

High Expectations in the Classroom

Hello, and welcome back to me!

I took a blog-break in the month of January, partly to give myself a chance to really get back into the school year and partly to reflect and re-evaluate the purpose of this blog. No conclusions really, and no big ambitions blogwise for the year - suffice it to say that here I am, posting again!

Before the school year begins we always have a series of professional growth meetings as a staff, and one of the main things that my principal mentioned this year was High Expectations. This post is based on some of the things he said. (Also some of the things I thought - you know I'm never short of an opinion!)

The theory of the matter is that having high expectations seriously influences student performance, not least because they mean that my behaviour changes slightly...

Every year is a fresh start and a chance to reset our expectations of the students (yay! one of my favourite parts of being a teacher). Homework completion wasn't really up to scratch last year? Behaviour a bit dodgy? Start over. These are new students, or students at a new grade level. And the students probably want a new start just as much as I do.

So, how do I set high expectations? Here's the set of tips I took away from the session:

  • Be specific - and use clear language
  • Make them visible - display them in your classroom and refer to them frequently
  • Use teaching techniques which reinforce your expectations (like no opt out, right is right, stretch it and format matters - all from Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov, and subject for another post I think!)
Being a good employee (hahaha!) I went away and thought about my expectations. Being a good English teacher, I made sure my thoughts alliterated. I printed them out on plain white paper, discussed them with all my classes and have just (two weeks later) stuck them up in my classroom.

What are they? 


yours expectantly