Ask Auntie Siobhan #3: The Administration Says I’m to Blame for Student Problems

The third installment of Auntie Siobhan’s advice column appeared on’s education blog this morning. Today’s question: what do I do if the administration blames me for irrational student behavior?

Go check it out, and leave your own advice!

If you have questions for Auntie Siobhan, please email me at


dear Auntie Siobhan, installment 2: an absent student is making me crazy

Today on’s education blog, Auntie Siobhan expounds on what to do when a student refuses to come to class (and thus ruins other people’s lives.)

Please visit and leave your thoughts! And if you have a question for Auntie Siobhan, write to me at

ask Auntie Siobhan, 1st installment: “All My Students Are Cheating!”

My new advice column, “Ask Auntie Siobhan,” debuted on’s education blog this morning. Today’s topic: why are so many of my students plagiarizing their papers?

Please go visit and leave your reactions! And if you have a question for Auntie Siobhan, email me at I’ll be answering one or two questions a day, now through Sunday.

how I saved my teaching career part 6: get more training

The latest post on my series “How I Saved My Teaching Career” appeared on the TimesOnline’s education blog, School Gate, today. This post is about getting more training in order to improve your skills and refresh your perspective.

Go check it out! And leave us some comments on the ways you’ve used education to improve your career and your life.

Thanks to all of you who’ve been such loyal followers of the Times series. There are two posts left, and I hope you’ll find them useful.

In the meantime, I will be guest posting at’s education blog next week, as education advice columnist Auntie Siobhan. If something is troubling you as you begin preparing for the looming school year, write to Auntie Siobhan and she’ll tell you what to do! You can see yesterday’s post for more details, or you can just write to me with your questions at

Links to the series will be provided here next week, so I hope you’ll come check out the agonies of others!

10 edublogs I’ve been reading

Keeping a blog gives me a lot of chances to learn from other bloggers. I’m often inspired by someone else’s post, and that inspiration can be the beginning of a terrific conversation and blogging relationship.

Below are ten education blogs that are “favourites” in my feed reader. Some of these are well-known and widely appreciated, but others might be new to you – I encourage you to go check them out.

(Note: I recently switched from GoogleReader to Feedly and am loving it. It presents your feeds in a magazine-style format, with images and summaries; this makes it easier to skim and choose what to read.)

1. School Gate: The Times Online’s Education Blog.
Sarah Ebner writes about the UK education system, but many of her posts have international relevance. She regularly invites guest posters with varying perspectives on education issues. Her latest post – about a pregnant grad student who decided to terminate her pregnancy in order to stay in her competitive program – is gut-wrenching.

2. Prone to Laughter
Dance’s blog features intimate little ruminations on moments in the teaching life. Her latest post comments on dancing at her students’ graduation, and touches on both self-consciousness (“should I really dance to this raunchy song?”) and self-righteousness (“why are they dancing to ‘Thriller’?”) Reading her blog is like taking glances inside her brain.

3. Line 46:
Another blog I love for its intimacy and honesty. Like me, she writes ongoing sagas about specific students, and makes a point of counting the blessings.

4.’s Education Blog:
Clay Burell is always pointing me toward stories and ideas I want to learn more about. For example, a recent post about a graduation speech by Steve Jobs got me thinking more about the opportunities (or lack thereof) for kids not willing or able to follow a traditional educational path. He writes a lot about the American system, but non-Americans can still find stuff to chew on.

5. Joanne Jacobs:
Joanne is my guide to finding interesting education stories all over the web. She posts daily, sometimes several times a day, but her posts are usually brief summaries with links to other sources and the topics are always interesting. For example, she recently directed me to an L.A. Times article about two boys with similar abilities and ambitions who will probably live their lives very differently because of external circumstances, including differences in their schooling.

6. Learn Me Good:
Mister Teacher is a 3rd grade math teacher who writes on subjects that speak to teachers on all levels. His latest post, a list of “25 Edu Blogs Worth Reading” from guest poster Karen Schweitzer, was the inspiration for this post.

7. So You Want To Teach?:
Who doesn’t love a good list? This blog is full of them, and they are truly useful. Some examples: How to Make the Most of your Summer Vacation: 7 Simple Tips; 20 Blogs I Wish Were Around When I Started Teaching; and 9 Reasons to Quit Teaching (and 10 Reasons to Stick).

8. Wicked Teacher of the West:
Another personal teacher blog, one I discovered only recently. I identify with many of her ruminations, including this one about how we often misinterpret student intentions.

9. The Core Knowledge Blog:
I go to this blog, like I do to Clay Burell and Joanne Jacobs, for education news. It’s also pretty America-centric, but many of the stories have wider implications.

10. Detention Slip:
Headlines and brief summaries of outrageous education stories, mostly about teachers behaving very, very badly. Hilarious and disturbing.

There are loads more blogs in my Feedly reader, and I’ll post about some others at another time. I’d also love to get your feedback – do you have any favourite education blogs that I should know about?