"Make everyone feel as good about themselves as you possibly can, set the bar right up there and mark every bloody word they write."
Since coming to our attention as a Teacher of the Year winner, Phil Beadle has been one of the UK's most influential teachers.
It is his willingness to challenge or disregard conventions, combined with his unrelenting high standards both for his students and himself, that make Phil such a controversial yet seminal figure
Phil was first ‘spotted’ for his work as an English teacher bringing the best out of young people in a multicultural working-class inner-London comprehensive. Since then he has widely shared his approach to teaching and learning - with a special focus on English teaching, behaviour management, literacy and creativity - through his prolific writing, his many speaking engagements, through his TV appearances, through speaking and lecturing tours of the US and Australia and by being a constant presence in classrooms in schools in various parts of the UK.
From a regular column in The Guardian and a number of books including the How to Teach series for the Independent Thinking Press, to TV series such as The Unteachables and Can’t Read, Can’t Write, Phil has challenged us all to reevaluate so much of what we believe teaching and learning can be like.
What’s more, he calls on us all to stretch ourselves too by tapping into our own innate creativity with extraordinary books such as Dancing About Architecture, described on the influential US Brainpickings blogsite as ‘a strong, pointed conceptual vision for the nature and origin of creativity, and a kind of activity book for grown-ups'.
Phil Beadle went down an absolute storm, and was the absolutely perfect way to close the event. he was absolutely brilliant
I attended your course on Literacy and I was blown away! You were simply inspirational!
The feedback was superb – your day was brilliant and left the staff buzzing! Once again just FANTASTIC!!!!
He's one of the best speakers I have heard and, in particular, offered practical strategies to improve teaching and learning rather than just woolly exhortations to do better
What can I say? What a star!! No wonder he's been on television. Thank you very much for this fantastic session in our conference ... we feel very complimented that you provided speakers of such quality
One aspect of Phil’s work that makes him stand out as an educator and a speaker, apart from his experience as a professional musician and accomplished songwriter, is the way in which he draws on his own working-class background to highlight the power we have as teachers to change lives for the better.
For Phil, it was the manner in which he discovered that the ability to read and write – and choosing the right sort of newspaper was instrumental - could mean the difference between achieving your potential or simply being another statistic.
It is a story he recounts powerfully in his book How to Teach Literacy and his contribution to our collaborative book The Working Class is equally memorable, both as a paean to working class family life as well as an insight into just how we are missing what makes so many young people tick in our classrooms.
If you are looking for a highly regarded, controversial practitioner and educator who will challenge you as much from you as he is perpetually challenging himself, then Phil is just who you are looking for.
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