Weekly Photo Prompt: House

Welcome to my weekly photo prompt!  Every Monday I will share a photo which I like, and taking it as a starting point, I'll endeavour to come up with a piece of creative writing.  This might be a 100 word story, a poem, haiku, limerick or long piece - I'm not setting any rules apart from … Continue reading Weekly Photo Prompt: House


On teaching Shakespeare

An interesting take on how to help young people get the most out of Shakespeare, from a fellow blogger and teacher of English Literature:


51QrP0QTnTL._AC_US160_A follower’s question about the teaching of Shakespeare has had me reflecting on my experiences in the classroom.

I was wary of teaching Shakespeare too early on in secondary school. I know there are people who think ‘the younger the better’, but the other side of that idea is dealing with the kind of questions students are likely to ask; I have never been one to censor anything in the classroom, and so waiting until students were – hopefully – of a suitable mature age to be given honest and truthful answers to their questions, felt more sensible to me. Inevitably questions about sex would arise: Shakespeare is full of allusions, references, and, more than anything, word-play. Explaining Romeo and Juliet even to Y9 students demanded a certain level of care… so my personal preference was to wait until Y9.

There is the idea of beginning earlier with something more…

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Mommy Wars, “Me-ternity” Leave, and American Desperation

Did you read that whole “me-ternity” thing recently? Apparently child-free people are under the impression that mums spend maternity leave meditating, writing novels etc. I could think of a lot of responses to that, but this is probably the best one!

Bubbles and Beebots

Lately, I’ve been thinking the term “Mommy Wars” is a bit of a misnomer.

Sure, there’s a lot of in-group bickering going on about stuff like using formula vs. breastfeeding, staying at home vs. going back to work, and whether we should be allowed to skip vaccinations.

But the term “mommy wars” makes it seem like we wouldn’t have parenting debates in America at all, if it weren’t for these endless, tedious catfights… as though parenting is somehow only a woman’s problem and we women just refuse to sort it out.

And I don’t get it.

Yes, biology means women have to deal with pregnancy and childbirth, but there is so much more to parenthood than that.

Weren’t all of us children once? Don’t children also have fathers? Even if we don’t all choose to be parents, doesn’t someone need to do it for our society, not to mention the human race, to exist?

I don’t believe the parenting problems in our…

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I took an 11YO to see Macbeth. Does that make me a bad parent?

11YO has been studying Macbeth in high school this term, and as there was a production of it at our local Leeds Arts Centre recently, I thought I'd give her the opportunity to experience it as it was intended - as a piece of live theatre.  (She's also seen this episode of Blackadder and wanted to know … Continue reading I took an 11YO to see Macbeth. Does that make me a bad parent?