When I’m feeling brave, I teach. Or more officially, I lecture. It isn’t really lecturing though, not with creative writing. My classes are more like workshops – everything is about helping students build the very best narratives out of their own, individual story ideas.
There are a couple of reasons I teach – sometimes I need the money but most of the time I just love discovering creative potential and encouraging it in other human beings. It’s a privilege and I’d recommend at least a bit of teaching to anyone who thinks they’re able. We live in a world where there seem to be more people who want attention than who want to give it but in my experience, when you pay attention to others and their work, you become better at your own.
My areas of educational expertise are English and Creative Writing with particular emphasis on Screenwriting. If storytelling is what I love best, teaching is very close second. It has brought me into contact with so many wonderful people and I would lose something special without it. At the moment, I can be found tutoring online and occasionally lecturing, most recently at the Northern Film School in Leeds. I mainly teach adults at university level, although I do have a PGCE and used to teach in secondary schools. At some point, I’d like to get into teaching botanical painting but I haven’t mastered it myself yet, so I suspect that’s a long way off.
Every so often, I create teaching resources to help me explain things in class. It’s early days but I’m starting to add a few to this site, on the off-chance someone might find them useful. I believe in sharing with other teachers. One of the best things about education is that it’s not competitive; or at least it shouldn’t be. We’re not here to outdo each other or make a fast buck, we’re here to help our students learn. I’m proud of that.
The following posts contain classroom resources and/or information teachers of English literature, English grammar, creative writing and screenwriting might find useful.
I’m going to keep the language in this post as simple as possible, in mind of those who may be trying to teach homophones at Key Stage 2. (KS2 is seven to eleven-year-olds for anyone not in the UK.) That said, off we go: What is the difference between homonyms, homophones and homographs? Well, it’s … Continue reading Homonyms, Homophones and Homographs
As of late I have found myself co-writing rhyming books for children and along the way I’ve worked out a handful of dos and don’ts. Before I get into that though, I should make it clear that this post is only about functional narrative verse, that’s to say telling a basic story in rhyme. It’s … Continue reading Writing Rhyming Books for Children – Dos and Don’ts
Teaching never fails to humble me. As the French moralist Joseph Joubert wrote, “Enseigner, c’est apprendre deux fois.” (To teach is to learn twice.)