I was driving to Southampton when I heard on the radio that a new planet had been discovered which might support life. Was it a spoof or an April fool? When I taught, it was just the sort of thing that would have instantly become the centre of that day's work.
Children often respond well to what is happening in the news and this was ground-breaking stuff. Actually, I was on my way to a class of Year 5 children and had been thinking about holding a debate on the Loch Ness monster.
I had background information about sightings, including quotes from those who claimed to have seen the monster, as well as visual images that show something with a long neck. Or someone sticking their arm up in the bath.
I was armed with a collection of cards with debating phrases for the children to use. We were going to follow the Loch Ness monster discussion with "Do mermaids exist?" But I seized the moment, "Is there other life in the Universe?" was definitely more topical. It made me wonder if teachers "seize the moment" enough?
Pie Corbett is a literacy consultant