#107 Teaching from Home: Adam Boxer – retrieval, conducting interviews, and staying safe and sane

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The Teaching from Home podcast series is kindly supported by Tes resources. Tes resources have created a home learning collection full of hand-picked free resources for teachers to use with children who are learning at home or to share with parents. You can also find this collection through the Tes coronavirus support hub at tes.com/coronavirus


Hello and welcome to another episode of the Mr Barton Maths podcast, with me Craig Barton.

This is another episode in my Teaching from Home podcast series – a series dedicated to supporting teachers who are working from home amidst the Covid-19 outbreak of 2020.

My aim is that you will hear from a wide variety of teachers, sharing a wide variety of experiences. There will be technology focussed episodes – just how does remote teaching work? But also episodes focussed on the practicalities of coping with setting students appropriate work whilst also having to look after your own children at home. Then there are issues of safeguarding, differentiation, mindset and more that I hope will come up as we progress. There will be maths teachers, teachers of other subjects, and primary school teachers. There will be teachers from the UK and overseas. Hopefully something for everyone. I have no idea how long this series will go on for – but so long as people keep listening and hopefully finding it useful, I shall continue!

This time I spoke to Adam Boxer, author, blogger and Head of Science at The Totteridge Academy in London. I am a huge fan of Adam’s writing, and I have been wanting to get Adam on the show for ages, and when I read his tweets about how he was finding balancing school work amidst the school closures, alongside this responsibilities as a father and the husband of an NHS worker, together with his views on cognitive science, I thought this was an ideal opportunity to chat to him on the podcast. We also ventured into discussing how interviews might work in this new environment, and Adam’s mantra of helping his students stay safe and sane.

Now, just two quick things before we start. Adam was concerned after the conversation that he may come across as lazy as he is looking after his child during the day and essentially only starting school work at 4pm. I reassured him that this could not be further form the truth, and indeed I believe how Adam makes this work will provide both comfort and ideas for others in similar situations.

And then one from me. Towards the end of this conversation I explain how I am finding looking after my little boy, Isaac, whilst my wife works (she also works for the NHS) incredibly challenging. I am usually away a couple of nights a week doing talks, so me being sat home all the time is a big shift for everyone. I feel like a failure of a father for finding it so difficult, and I am wracked with guilt for wanting to be spending my time doing work like these podcasts, my Beat the Nation videos, etc. I had not talked to anyone about this before, but it just came rolling out of my mouth during my conversation with Adam, and I am not sure I articulated it careful. For the record, I love my son to bits, I am so, so lucky, and I know I will look back on this extra time I have got to spend with him as so special. I am just finding it hard, that is all. I hope that makes sense.

I hope you enjoy the episode and find it useful. And please stay safe

On Twitter, Adam is @adamboxer1
Adam’s blog is achemicalorthodoxy.wordpress.com


My usual plugs:


Thanks so much for listening, stay safe, and I really hope you enjoy the show
Craig Barton

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