Nicola Morgan

Author, Speaker, Supporter

Understanding and Supporting Your Teenagers – few spaces left and I’m not doing it again!

For teachers: Ten Ways to Build a Brilliant Brain

On 13th October I’m delighted to be in conversation with Phoebe Demeger, a wonderful librarian from CLPE, The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. The link to the FREE event is here. We’re going to be talking about my latest book, Ten Ways to Build a Brilliant Brain. This audience might not know my work as well as secondary school teachers do, but this book is for upper primary as well as younger secondary, so let me fill you in a bit on who I am, what you can find on my website and what to expect from me in the event.

Obviously, you can look at my website for yourselves but a) you are busy people and b) there is  LOT here! I do not know if you even have enough coffee in your house!

“Who are you, Nicola?”

I’m the Teenage Brain Woman. I used to write teenage fiction but my career took an unexpected twist when I got the chance to write about my hobby, teenage brains. Blame My Brain, the amazing teenage brain revealed, was published in 2005 and has sold well over 100,000 copies in the UK and many more around the world. Since then I’ve written many books on subjects around young people’s mental and general health, resilience, anxiety, sleep etc. I also specialise in the effects of screens. I’ve given hundreds of talks all over the world. It can be hard to stop me talking, despite the surprising fact that I am deeply introverted.

“Where should I start on your bonkersly huge website?”

If you know what you want to find out about, use the search box.

If you don’t, go to the Research tab and then choose from the four sections you’ll find there:

  • Adolescent Brains and Lives – everything specifically teenage
  • Wellbeing and Stress Management – everything generally about wellbeing and mental health
  • The Reading Brain – about how brains learn to read (and how they sometimes struggle – I was a dyslexia specialist before I was a brain and behaviour specialist) and the science behind reading for pleasure and how to make it happen in your school, class or family
  • Life Online – everything to do with how our brains (and the rest of our bodies) react to screens, why they are addictive and how to live well with them

In the resources for those sections you’ll find the starting points of research, plus all my insights. You’ll find a lot of my blogposts.

“What if I’d like you to come and talk to our staff, parents or students?”

See the Speaking page – but be aware that I almost never do an event for nothing (I can’t and shouldn’t). But if you make it sound interesting and you have a budget, I’d love to do it!

Note that I believe your budget is much better spent in an event for staff or parents – I can really be useful there. I guarantee great feedback and insights your audience will never have heard. Insights that could change their lives for the better.

“What about this book – how can I use it in my school?”

Great question! Let me point you towards some resources:

I am absolutely delighted that teachers want to use this book in schools as it is perfectly designed for just that. I’d love you to buy a whole class set and Peters are generously offering schools a 30% discount throughout October. See here.

Suggestions:

  1. You could divide your class into ten groups and give them one of the “ways” (each is a separate chapter) and get them to do a presentation for the class. Could be a song, drama, piece of writing, advert, campaign, poster.
  2. Or you could choose one “way” and focus on it for a week. The ten ways are immensely cross-curricular so you wouldn’t be taking time from anything else but you’d be embedding the actions across every part of life. The downside I see to this is that you’d have to wait so long to get to the last of the ten ways, and that’s a shame as they are all a) important and b) simple to put into action! So I personally prefer the first suggestion.
  3. Using the chart above is a good way to keep students knowing what they’re doing and measuring their engagement.
  4. I believe that some students do and feel better working on their own so I’d recommend at least some activities where they can do just that – group activities don’t work for all brains. (Mine, for example!)
  5. Each chapter has the science behind this particular “way” and then suggestions and ideas for using the knowledge: you could get students to pick the suggestions they like best and work out how they’ll build them into their lives.

But you’re the expert teachers! I used to be but only in the days when teachers had blackboards and sometimes threw blackboard rubbers at children, which is rightly NOT allowed now. Nor indeed possible, as all the rubbing out is done digitally…

Do come to the talk with CLPE on Thursday Oct 13th. I promise you’ll be inspired, entertained (though I do not do comedy) and intrigued. AND you might be one of the SIX lucky winners of a class set of postcards from me! 

 

 

 

 

 

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