About Dan Whittaker:
- Lecturer in primary initial teacher education, University of Worcester specialising in computing.
- Over 10 years experience working in some of Birmingham’s most challenging and economically deprived schools.
- Doctoral researcher at University of Birmingham – researching pupil-teacher relationships.
- Expert in ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome in schools. Mentored teachers and families across a range of contexts.
- Delivers CPD and lectures to undergraduate and postgraduate trainee teachers.
- Won the HSBC Link2Learn International School of the Year Award 2012/13 while international leader at Jervoise School.
Why this blog?
You can’t teach anything if you haven’t nailed good behaviour. You can’t have good behaviour without good relationships. And ‘don’t smile until Christmas’ isn’t good for your mental health.
British education today is focused so much on statistical outcomes that concentrating on the relationships isn’t a sustainable option for most time-pressed teachers.
Teachers get piecemeal support in developing classroom relationships. It’s often either ad hoc, mantra-ridden advice such as ‘zero tolerance approach’, ‘model expected behaviour’, and the aforementioned ‘don’t smile until Christmas’ or a full on ‘we’ve got a growth mindset / SEAL / character education scheme of work’ that is offered. While the former is too vague to be useful, the latter is too overpowering and time-consuming to be sustainable.
That’s where this blog hopes to help. Building good pupil relationships and behaviour doesn’t take huge amounts of time and planning and it can be developed one layer at a time, as bricks would be laid when building a house. Layers of techniques, scripted responses and snippets of communication make these relationships tall and stable. This blog will seek to give practical ideas (backed up by science and evidence where possible) that can be drip fed into your practice without any pain.
My doctoral research and network of international schools that I travel to and work with allow me to tap into the newest, bravest and wildest ideas in education. My vast experience working in some of Birmingham’s most economically deprived schools helps me to focus them on the context we teach in. I hope this results in a blend of coherent, exciting ideas that are adopted easily in your classroom.
Above all, I write this blog to help other teachers develop happy, successful class climates. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy researching and writing.
5 thoughts on “About this blog and Dan Whittaker”
Hey Dan, how’s it going? I worked with you at Rood End 2006-2008. (I was teaching Year 2). I’m currently doing a Masters in Education specialising in SEBD. I’ve found you blog and articles a great source of info and ideas! (Found them through Twitter).
Amazing work…well done! Hope life is treating you well….
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Hi Ali, I do indeed remember working with you! Didn’t you go travelling after you finished? It’s good to hear from you – it sounds like life’s good for you too!
Thanks for the lovely feedback, I do enjoy the geeky side of learning about educational stuff. How is the Masters going? Where are you doing it? If you ever need anything to help you let me know.
Hi Dan. We worked together many years ago. I would be really grateful if I could contact you regarding your expertise and how this could help a pupil in my school. Many thanks . Sue Williams
Am I right in thinking that you were the AHT at Rood End when I was there? If so, it was indeed a long time ago but I’m very glad to hear from you. If not, I apologise! I’m very happy to help. My email is email@example.com
Please feel free to mail whenever you’d like.
Yes Dan! I have sent you an email . Thank you so much for your offer to give us some advice.
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