Never Forget: Lessons from Lockdown (Sam Harris’ DIY Google Doc)

Phase One. Personally, socially and professionally, I hope you're managing to manage the situation we're in. Phase Two. However, without mastering phase two - learning the lessons for the future - the loss of life and personal freedoms would have been a complete waste of time. We will simply stumble limp and blind into the [...]

‘Running into Trouble’ Lesson Plan: QuaRUNtine Lockdown

*Thanks to my life-long friend Aaron Lansberry for the drawing, done after I'd told him the story (note Colosseum in background). England Golf Coach of the Year, March 2019; working on his cartoon drawing in lockdown in the UK, March 2020.  Not teaching at the time, but Sunday morning served me up a number of [...]

Post-Lockdown Holiday Lesson Plan: QuaRESTine

“The bad news is nothing lasts forever, The good news is nothing lasts forever.” ― J. Cole Lockdown won't last forever. In the meantime, this is what we have in front of us, and kicking, streaming and complaining is a monumental waste of time and energy. Instead, we should see this as an opportunity to spend [...]

Balcony Karaoke Lesson Plan: QuaranTUNE

I believe in bringing real life into English lessons, and English lessons into real life. They aren't two different worlds; they should feed into each. In any case, music gives life a bit more colour, doesn't it, in or out of lockdown? Other lockdown-inspired lesson plans for online teaching: Coronavirus mythbusting Woop, Woop the QuaranTEEN [...]

Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialised World (Part II)

To roll right on from Part I, here are some more insights from David Epstein's outstanding book Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World: The Trouble with Too Much Grit You're Not a Tree: Move Own Choices --> Ownership --> Intrinsic Motivation Flirt with Your Possible Selves Fooled by Expertise Teaching as Perspective Farming [...]

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World (Part I)

By my friend and old triathlon and running coach Pablo 'Trimatas' in Albacete, Spain. A loose translation: Well...our quarantine is going to do wonders for the world and the environment. P.S. Stop kicking up a fuss at Iglesias or Abascal [politicians], Amancio Ortega [Zara founder] or China and read a book or learn something new; [...]

Woop, Woop the QuaranTEEN

'To care only for well-being seems to be positively ill-bred. Whether it's good or bad, it is sometimes very pleasant, too, to smash things*.' Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (read this book – it's a game-changer!) *Interpret 'smash things' as you will, but for the purpose of this exercise I'll define it as 'work on [...]

Coronavirus Mythbusting Lesson: Media Literacy II

To very loosely paraphrase Winston Churchill, never in the field of human biology was so much noise made by so many with such little information. When making decisions ranging from basic fashion *facemask or no facemask today in Rome?*, to travel *shall I cancel my trip to Venice?*, to hand shaking between footballers in the [...]