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1 week ago
The Write Coach

Thanks heaps to the team at Seven Sharp for this - it was so much fun (as you can see by my raucous laughter at one point!). If you’re ever in a similar position, I hope you’re also lucky enough to have Julian Lee interview you and Tony George film it - they were great. (Also, I was genuinely thrilled to hear Hilary Barry say my name!😂) ... See MoreSee Less

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My awesome mentor teacher during my teacher training. Well done! You famous (woops not good English there 😂)

Loved watching this Jo. So, so pleased your expertise and love& enthusiasm for our awesome subject is being spread far and wide🥰. Ka rawe

Congratulations Jo! That was such an awesome interview. You're really a super star.

Keep up the Great Work

I loved you as my English teacher at Karamu and am still learning from you all these years later. I am now a teacher aide in a mixed year 2, 3, 4 class and a mum to daughters 7 and 10 and your wee videos are amazing. You have a way of making things makes sense, so thank you!

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1 week ago
The Write Coach

I’m thinking of teachers today - and standing with them (metaphorically speaking - too soon after my knee replacement!😂). I know what teaching’s like. How wonderful, exhilarating, inspiring. How exhausting, relentless, consuming. How whatever you do is never enough. The feeling of personal failure when the end-of-year tests don’t measure up to your beginning-of-year hopes.
I remember the joy of extra hours spent with kids on school shows, debating, yearbook - and the sadness that those were hours spent away from my own kids. The jittery feeling of too much coffee on a Sunday as the last essay moved from the ‘unmarked’ to the ‘marked’ pile.
During COVID, and now post floods and cyclone, I’ve felt so sad for all the students whose education has been profoundly disrupted. I’ve agreed with every word on the news about that issue. But I’ve listened almost in vain for some recognition of what teachers have gone through. I’m not saying other people haven’t suffered. Of course I’m not. But for every casual mention of an adaption schools were making - online learning, say, or classrooms where some students were physically present and some were online, I imagined the teachers scrambling to make that work. Learning the technology, working out where to put the camera, how to keep student involvement alive. And all the while risking infection or dealing with their own damage, and trying to keep their families safe.
So I say good on you. You deserve what you’re asking for. Stand strong. And link arms, so you can hold each other up.
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Nicely said, Jo! The adaptations required of teachers over the past three years and their accompanying stressors have been huge. The flow-on effects of disrupted learning on students are also continuing. Teachers deserve proper recognition and support if we are to recruit and retain the best professionals. I hope ze knee is soon tip-top. Good interview on Seven Sharp, as well! Xx

Beautifully put, Jo x

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What’s this text? #thewritecoach #texttype #unfamiliartexts ...

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The answer to the first ‘Guess the text type.’ #thewritecoach #wordswordswords #nceaenglish #unfamiliartexts ...

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Guess which text type this is - answer in the comments. Answer will appear soon! #writecoach #texttype #genre #unfamiliartexts #nceaenglish ...

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Got your results? Don’t be sad – don’t be mad – take positive steps for the year ahead!
I’m a bit sad actually that it isn’t clear what high school English is really about, and sad that so many people don’t take advantage of the subject. At its core, English is all about learning useful life skills.
Read my blog to find out how to make the most of English at school:

#thewritecoachnz #loveenglishstudies #schoolresults

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Results are out! Are you jumping for joy or a feeling a bit disappointed?
If your grades in English aren’t what you need or hoped for, I’ve got some great ideas on how and why to fix this. Read my 'How to Survive High School English' blog on why English is in fact really important for most career paths – and life in general – and how you can get the skills you need to succeed in your chosen field of study.

#thewritecoachnz #loveenglishstudies #schoolresults

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A folllow up to yesterday’s video… #thewritecoach #biography #richardiii #richardiiisociety ...

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And since they’re in the news - here’s one of my latest TikToks! #biography #autobiography #memoirwriting ...

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In the news today - and on RNZ at 8ish tomorrow morning, if anyone’s up! ...

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24. And finally one of my all time favourites...
A Visit from St Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore
Happy Christmas to all!

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23. I love this poet’s response to yesterday’s 12 gifts.
On the thirteenth day of Christmas my true love phoned me up . . .
By Dave Calder
Well, I suppose I should be grateful, you’ve obviously gone
to a lot of trouble and expense – or maybe off your head.
Yes, I did like the birds – the small ones anyway were fun
if rather messy, but now the hens have roosted on my bed
and the rest are nested on the wardrobe. It’s hard to sleep
with all that cooing, let alone the cackling of the geese
whose eggs are everywhere, but mostly in a broken smelly heap
on the sofa. No, why should I mind? I can’t get any peace
anywhere – the lounge is full of drummers thumping tom-toms
and sprawling lords crashed out from manic leaping. The
kitchen is crammed with cows and milkmaids and smells of a million stink-bombs
and enough sour milk to last a year. The pipers? I’d forgotten them –
they were no trouble, I paid them and they went. But I can’t get rid
of these young ladies. They won’t stop dancing or turn the music down
and they’re always in the bathroom, squealing as they skid
across the flooded floor. No, I don’t need a plumber round,
it’s just the swans – where else can they swim? Poor things,
I think they’re going mad, like me. When I went to wash my
hands one ate the soap, another swallowed the gold rings.
And the pear tree died. Too dry. So thanks for nothing, love. Goodbye.

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22. Pentatonix – The twelve days of Christmas
Another a cappella group – and a masterpiece, if you ask me!

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21. The school Christmas play is evoked here by Clare Bevan, who pretty much sums it up.
Just Doing My Job
I'm one of Herod's Henchmen.
We don't have much to say,
We just charge through the audience
In a Henchman sort of way.

We all wear woolly helmets
To hide our hair and ears,
And Wellingtons sprayed silver
To match our tinfoil spears.

Our swords are made of cardboard
So blood will not be spilled
If we trip and stab a parent
When the hall's completely filled.

We don't look very scary,
We're mostly small and shy,
And some of us wear glasses,
But we give the thing a try.

We whisper Henchman noises
While Herod hunts for strangers,
And then we all charge out again
Like nervous Power Rangers.

Yet when the play is over
And Miss is out of breath
We'll charge like Henchmen through the hall
And scare our mums to death.

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