Tom Bennett: This is how I work

I am Tom Bennett and this is how I work

Tom Bennett

Tom tweets:

Tom blogs:

Current job: Teacher and writer

Been a teacher since: 2003

Location: East London Gorblimey

Current mobile device: iPhone 5

Current computer: iPad

School-issued devices: Flintstone 2000

One word that best describes how you work: Penitently

How do you manage your calendar/diary?

On my phone or it didn’t happen. I hope to use this excuse in a court at some point in my life. I call it Magic Subjectivism.

How do you manage your lesson planning?

As my hand touches the door handle.

I’m serious.

How do you manage your marking?

By outsourcing it to Teach Firsters. I tell them that it’s the best CPD they’ll ever get.

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

Recapture the flag that makes you who you are. See friends who aren’t teachers. For GOD’S SAKE don’t spend it tweeting and blogging about teaching: traveller beware. Here be dragons.

What do you do during school holidays?

Writing books, visiting my Fortress of Solitude, thinking on my sins, going far away.

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

None. I could live without any of them. You’d have to be a complete goddamn idiot if your life depended on software.

What offline tools can’t you live without?

My Iron Lung. Old Wheezy.

What’s your main workspace like?

My study is a library that I like to imagine conceals secret doors to passages and caves. My desk faces a blank wall, and my back faces the door. I drown out the world with bucket headphones and dance music, and the work happens in my head. But the work happens anywhere.

What do you listen to while you work?

On today’s shuffle: Mozart’s Laudate Dominum, Ludacris, and the sweet, sweet sound of close harmony male voice choirs covering contemporary pop hits.

What’s your best time-saving trick?

Realising when the sky won’t fall if something doesn’t get done; and then it does, boy. That, or learning to say ‘No’ to people. Try it. It’s liberating.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?

I read this and I feel like I’m reading Sanskrit. What?

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

Have we entered the digital cyborg stage of evolution yet? I’d happily put a bullet through either if I needed to. I’m like Kaiser Soze.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

I can write 1000 words an hour until someone stands on my hands. Granted, it’s sub-literate.

What’s your sleep routine like?

When the muse allows me. I sleep lightly and little. My conscience troubles me, and sleeplessness is the price your soul pays for vice.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

I refute that polar classification. I’m an extrovint.

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

Stop worrying if they like you. Do what they need, not what they want.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

That’s all folks.

I would like to I’d like to see John Blake answer these same questions.


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


Tom Bennett: This is how I work

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