Thank God it's Friday

5th March 2004 at 00:00

I have always considered myself a left-brain thinker, organised and efficient. My neat piles have been the talk of many a staffroom. This morning I realise I am shifting hemispheres; the place is a disaster. I console myself with the thought that many great leaders have been right-brained - seeing the big picture and having great vision. What's the point of arranging the deck chairs neatly on the decks of the Titanic?


As I am the school's lead learner, my teaching should reflect the best ideas from the key stage 3 strategy and encompass brain-friendly learning.

With this in mind, I go in extra early and plan an all-singing, all-dancing geography lesson. But I'm late for class as I have to resolve a dispute over bikes. The learning objectives, the soothing music, the engagement through multiple intelligences, the regular pupil feedback and the plenary go by the board.


Two exclusion re-admittance meetings and a chance to integrate some emotional intelligence into the proceedings. The first meeting goes like a dream; the parents and boy agree that the threat involving the pizza and the canteen supervisor was not considerate. In the second, the father stands up menacingly, displaying similar levels of violence to those of his son.


I try some brain gym with my Year 8 bottom humanities set. The problem is Imran, who keeps standing up to do spontaneous exercises, claiming it's more interesting than river meanders. He has a point.


My PowerPoint assembly to Year 10 on preferred learning styles is stimulating. Later, Philip is sent to me after a disagreement with his teacher. After 45 minutes of an auditory-dominated lesson, Philip rudely suggested that the teaching method was not being sympathetic to his obvious kinaesthetic preference mode of learning.

Geoff Walker is head of Walton high school, Nelson, Lancashire

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