In My Own Time
- As an English teacher, books are everything to me. I now read far more using my iPad with the Kindle app, and many of my students use the various e-book readers available in my classroom or at home. I find I read much more because it is convenient to carry lots of different books, some of which I'm re-reading, others in preparation for teaching them. I'm currently reading A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - the whole trilogy. I firmly believe all English teachers should regularly read books meant for young people. As Sun Tzu said in The Art of War, "Know your enemy". I've just finished Readicide by Kelly Gallagher, which has given me so many ideas to get my classes reading more. I tend to buy Kindle versions of educational books now and annotate them to within an inch of their digital lives.
- I am a lifelong Trekkie and sci-fifantasy fan. Star Trek, Lord of the Rings and Avatar are on my watch-again list, and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Hobbit this year. I even use Avatar, as well as PC games (such as Machinarium) to get students doing discursive essays and creative writing. I always cry during the final graveside scenes in Forrest Gump and wave an invisible sword watching Game of Thrones.
- My students often recommend bands and songs. I've even downloaded some of their efforts (try Joe Forsyth in the iTunes store). I like the Mike Oldfield "hippy" ambient music. A former tutor, Mark Priestley from Stirling University, tipped me off to IOEarth, The Orb and Explosions in the Sky, which are great for when I'm marking or sorting out resources for the school website etc. As a former soldier, I also love the pipes and anything with a fierce martial beat.