Category Archives: Motivation

Rewarded by Rewards

I’ve worked with thousands of lovely teachers over the years, and one thing I especially love is when they tell me funny stories about the rewards they have created. There is the Hallelujah Button, which plays the Hallelujah Chorus. That button … Continue reading

Posted in Motivation, Rewards | 2 Comments

It’s Not About the Money, Money, Money

This week my daughter finally earned her sticker from school for doing 25 nights of reading. She has been looking forward to getting the sticker. The sticker acts as a useful ‘marker’ of her achievement. But we would have read every … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Motivation, Rewards | 5 Comments

Informed Consent

Teacher: You’re going to do your baseline test now, Charlie. Charlie: Why? Teacher: Because we need data. Charlie: What’s data? Teacher: It’s something we can use to measure systems. To see if they are efficient. [There is a pause.] Teacher: Think of it … Continue reading

Posted in Behaviour, Children, Motivation, Play, Systems, Testing | Leave a comment

Crime and Punishment

“So, I’m driving along the motorway, and I’m going 85 miles an hour. And hey, I know that technically I’m breaking the law, but look everyone else is doing it. And the rule is stupid anyway. I’m a good driver … Continue reading

Posted in Behaviour, Motivation | 4 Comments


To learn something, you have to focus on it. You have to engage your eyes, your fingers, your body, your mind. You have to get on and do it. Young children engage instinctively, with the right encouragement. They play, explore … Continue reading

Posted in Behaviour, Children, Engagement, Motivation | 4 Comments

Why am I Hear?*

Disclaimer: Nothing in this blog post is intended to tell you what to think or how to teach. Warning: This blog post contains elements of self-indulgence. I’ve been trying to work out why I blog. It’s not really about marketing, except in a … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Books, Motivation, Thinking, Writing | Leave a comment

The Jolly Postman

When I was a child, letters were really relevant to me. I waited by the front door for the postman, because he might have a letter from my dad. And when one finally did drop through the door, my heart … Continue reading

Posted in Drama, Experience, Learning, Motivation, Writing | 2 Comments

Falls the Shadow

When you voluntarily help to create or run an educational setting, you do so with an agenda that guides you. You might not be aware that you have an agenda, or you might choose not to examine what it is. But we … Continue reading

Posted in Behaviour, Charities, Early Years, Motivation, Parents, Preschools | 2 Comments

An Impossible Choice

This has been a week of blog posts on the subject of what people call ‘accountability’ but what we might also fairly term ‘compliance’. The announcement came last weekend via The Telegraph. A ‘crack down’ on heads ‘cheating’ the system through … Continue reading

Posted in Government, Motivation, Teaching and learning | 2 Comments

Growing a Child

This morning I gave an assembly at my children’s school on ‘Reading for Pleasure’. I’ll upload the materials to my website when I have the chance, although I’m afraid I won’t be able to upload the bed, duvet and pillows … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Early Years, Motivation, Parents, Writing | 5 Comments