David Didau: This is how I work

I am David Didau and this is how I work



Current job: Currently Director of English & Literacy at Clevedon School but am about to start with Academies Enterprise Trust in September

Been a teacher since: 2000

Location: North Somerset, but soon to be in Birmingham

Current mobile device: iPhone

Current computer: Macbook Pro (we have an almost obsessive relationship)

School-issued devices: iPad (used mainly by my children!)

One word that best describes how you work: Unpredictably.

How do you manage your calendar/diary?

Badly. If I had a PA I could rule the world!

 How do you manage your lesson planning?

I plan a lot of lessons in my head. I keep my medium term planning up to date and aim to focus each lesson on one particular student’s needs. I tell them that they’re my student of the day and that this is lesson is especially for them. Can be very powerful. Here’s a more extended discussion of my ideas on planning: http://learningspy.co.uk/2012/11/17/2-minute-lesson-plan/

 How do you manage your marking?

Marking IS planning. I’m constantly marking – it’s (perhaps) the most important thing I do. Here on my thoughts on marking: http://learningspy.co.uk/2013/01/26/work-scrutiny-whats-the-point-of-marking-books/

 What’s your best tip for term-time weekends?

Don’t get too drunk. And never, ever, go out with Lisa Jane Ashes! Or Phil Beadle. I have, on 2 occasions, made the mistake of going out with both of them. This is absolutely to be avoided.

 What do you do during school holidays?

Read. A lot.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?


What offline tools can’t you live without?

Red pen. It has to be red. I can’t bear all this nonsense about green pens being better for self esteem.

What’s your main workspace like?

It’s a metaphor for my brain. Nuff said.

What do you listen to while you work?

My inner demons.

What’s your best time-saving trick?

Making sure that what I do is low effort, high impact.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?

My wife.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?

Espresso machine? Nah, I’m not really that gadgety. I thought I’d love my kindle but I’ve lost the charger.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

I have the voice of an angel. Plus, I‘ve never met anyone who is able to mark a set of books more quickly.

What’s your sleep routine like?


Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Hmm. I can be both. I’m very self-sufficient and spend a lot of time in my own company. But when I’m with people I find it hard to keep my gob shut!

I would like to I’d like to see Andrew Old answer these same questions. But he won’t, so I’d settle for Daisy Christodoulou.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Insanity is repeating the same mistakes expecting different results.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Blogging and Twitter is the best thing to ever happen to my teaching – I have grown so much over the past two years, and I’m not just referring to my waistline.


Many thanks to David for agreeing to post here. Other *This is how I work* posts are available here.

David Didau: This is how I work