Those Who Can

Those Who Can is a podcast for teachers, talking through all things educational! Each week we will be interviewing teachers and getting to know the stories behind their work in the classroom. From investigating the best and worst lessons that have been taught, through to discussion about pedagogical theories and techniques, this show is for all teachers looking to build and develop their practice.
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Those Who Can






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May 10, 2020

What's the best advice you've ever been given? That's the premise for our latest episode, featuring regular guest to the podcast Jess Lund. 

Jan 26, 2020

We start Season 5 with a look at applying for jobs, with a particular focus on the lesson. After getting some of our own 'worst experiences' out of the way, Will has a few suggestions for how schools might improve the process for prospective candidates, while we both share tips on what to do to help prepare for interview lessons. 

Sep 22, 2019

We're joined by Chloe Bateman this week, a recent NQT who shares her experiences and wisdom with us. Paul does his best to recall his NQT year, while Will does his best to recall being a teacher. 

Featuring an array of tips that we hope are useful for any Newly Qualified Teachers, mentors and leaders, we also hope this prompts a few trips down memory lane to where it all began for all who listen!

Sep 7, 2019

This week we discuss the relationship between middle and senior leaders: when it goes well, where potential issues arise and how to get the most out of talented HoDs/manage upwards when necessary. 

We also discuss the nature of results and the examination system, which was a lot more pressing at the time of recording but is hopefully still of interest!

Aug 8, 2019

With the gaps between seasons becoming longer and slightly more erratic, our return sees a reflection on the past year. We consider the value of educational conferences in the context of Will's growing profile, talk about Ed Tech and blogs vs journals, while Paul gets slightly grumpy about Twitter. 


Most importantly - we're back!

Jan 13, 2019

We talk this week about the list put forward by Ben Newmark last term, outlining all of the activities and approaches he felt hadn't worked in the classroom. The list drew upon his extensive experience and was extremely well-received, so we felt it would be a great starting point for discussion and reflection from our own time at the chalkface. 

From card-sorts and reading races to role-plays and learning styles we consider what makes something a 'success' in the classroom and how to plan to ensure that all students are served in the best possible way. 

Nov 18, 2018

Given Will's role and the on-going challenges facing PGCE courses across the country, we thought it worth spending a little bit of time unpacking exactly what it is that Will does for a living. 

Featuring an insight into teacher training at university, some thoughts around the strengths and drawbacks of the PGCE and its alternatives, as well as a full blown introspective meltdown on Will's part, we hope you enjoy this week's episode on a slightly different area of teaching. 

Sep 23, 2018

The second episode of this season sees us debating the worth of extra-curricular activities. Often a large part of school life, do they distract too much from the core work of teachers, and is enough done in recognition of the efforts that are put in?

This podcast marks perhaps the first time we disagree on an issue, as well as straying in to other areas of school life, for instance the role of the form tutor and how to best support students outside the classroom. As always, do get in touch if you want to discuss any of the issues that come out of this week's discussion, or if you'd like to appear in a future episode. 

Sep 3, 2018

As summer winds to a close, alarms get set and pencils are sharpened up and down the country, we want to open Season 3 with a few thoughts on how to get the new school year underway in the best possible way. 

From considering the impact and purpose of INSET, to offering thoughts to those starting in new roles or kicking off their careers in teaching, we hope this will be useful in setting the right tone for the coming months!

Apr 13, 2018

Heads of Department should be the engine room of any school. Ensuring that this is the case, without becoming overburdened by admin or losing trust in colleagues is the topic we unpick this week. 

Guest starring Jess Lund, Head of MFL at Michaela School, and very long-winded questions from Paul, we look at the best parts of being a HoD, the pitfalls to look out for, and general advice to anyone who is looking to make their mark as a middle leader. 

Mar 29, 2018

Questioning is one of the core aspects of teaching. Often talked about, much debated and sometimes taken for granted, we take the chance to talk to Sarah Donarski about her recent work around how to best approach questioning in the classroom. 

Both Paul and Will do their best to keep up with the intellectual level that Sarah brings to the table, with a combination of practical tips, common pitfalls and philosophical musings all provided. 

Mar 12, 2018

This week sees us talk about what got us into teaching in the first place, as well as offer thoughts on whether it has been all we expected it to be. We also talk about what has inspired us over the course of the past year, as well as the ways in which we have learned from those around us. 

How we look to set a tone in the classroom and help our students develop in the best way possible has undoubtedly changed since either of us started teaching, and this episode gives us a chance to talk about what this now looks like. 

Feb 28, 2018

This episode sees us try to tackle workload head on, and inevitably only scratch the surface of what is an enormous issue in teaching. For many teachers, the idea of a work-life balance will seem a laughable pipe dream, which is something that needs to change. Paul and Will reflect on ways in which this might start to happen on an individual-teacher basis, while also offering some thoughts on where the issues stem from. 

Whether you are an NQT who is worried about what lies ahead of you, or a member of SLT who wants to think more about how to address workload in the school, we hope this is a useful starting point on an issue we will definitely be coming back to!

Feb 12, 2018

This episode sees Paul and Will take on behaviour management (for probably the first of many times!). From looking at what the role of senior leaders should be in shaping policies and supporting staff, through to the advice we would give to teachers who are just setting out, we try to talk through how our own experiences have shaped our current approach. 

Trying to do as large a topic as behaviour management justice in 40 minutes is no easy task, and so we hope you enjoy this starting point for the conversation. 

Jan 28, 2018

The new season of Those Who Can sees new co-host Will Bailey-Watson join the show, with a slightly different format. Each week we'll be discussing a broad issue or debate within education, as well as answering questions from teachers about some of the specific problems they are facing, or areas they would most like to celebrate or improve. 

This week sees us tackle what we think are the most difficult parts of teaching (which could be a series in itself!), as well as offer advice on how much effort should be spent on creating resources for the classroom. 

If you want to get involved or have a question you would like us to answer, join us on twitter or drop us an email!

Apr 30, 2017

A celebratory episode in many ways (mainly because it marks the first time we have actually managed to release in line with our fortnightly schedule!), this week sees me interview Jess Lund, Head of MFL at Michaela School.

We take a look at the methods of Michaela and the way that they go about ensuring the teacher is at the centre of learning in the classroom, as well as how French is taught in a knowledge-based curriculum. Jess also talks us through her worst lesson and Paul studiously avoids speaking French to avoid embarrassing himself. 

There are top tips for teaching 'the Michaela way', while Pippa and Paul also take time to consider how to best look for learning in the classroom and the role that exercise books should play in schools. 

With thanks to our sponsor @golemtheatre, and to Audionautix for music. 

Apr 17, 2017

This week sees Paul interview Ben Butlin, a teacher of Religion, Philosophy and Ethics at a Milton Keynes comprehensive. We talk all things behaviour (including tips on how to avoid being egged in lessons), how to ensure that consistent standards are maintained across a school and the value of a strong form tutor. 

We also talk about the importance of subject knowledge and the responsibilities for Heads of Department to lead from the front, the best way to develop subject passion within students, and reflect on how to best communicate with colleagues, parents and students from an academic and pastoral perspective. 

There are tips for managing behaviour in the classroom, both for teachers and school leaders, as well as thoughts on what makes a strong form tutor and how we can best ensure that subject knowledge is at the heart of all that we do. 

Jan 4, 2017

After a longer than expected break brought about by a loss of voice issue and then Christmas (Happy New Year!), this week sees us talk with Charlotte Harvey, Lead Practitioner at Tolworth School and Teach First alumna. 

Charlotte reflects on the role of Lead Practitioner in general and the pitfalls that schools can fall into when trying to make the best use of the role. We also take a moment to look at how to get the best out of mentoring relationships in school, as well as how to best judge if a lesson isn't working and how to best change tack. 

Charlotte talks to us about what got her into teaching, why she decided to take the Teach First route, and what makes her despair about changes to GCSE and A level. 

If you would like to be involved with a future episode, drop us an email at or tweet us @thosewho_can. 

Nov 21, 2016

This week sees me talking to Sarah Donarski, teacher of English and in charge of ITT training at Wellington College. We talk about how resources became too much of a focus in our lessons when starting out, as well as what she thinks the future of education looks like. 

Sarah has a great deal of expertise and insight when it comes to using research to develop her own practice, and what more schools can do to help staff to reflect on their pedagogical approach. Pippa and I also take a chance to talk through our own use of resources, as well as our respective training paths and whether we wished we had taken a different route. I also learned that 'izzy-whizzy' was a thing. 

If you'd like to be interviewed and share your story in a future podcast, email us at You can also follow us on Twitter @thosewho_can. Sarah can be found @s_donarski

Nov 6, 2016

This week sees us talking to Peter Maskell, a Latin and Classical Civilisations teacher. We discuss his worst ever lesson, how he came to be involved with Classics, as well as what he thinks the future holds for the subject. 

Paul and Pippa also talk through their thoughts on AQA's decision to drop Classical Civilisations and whether single exam boards might be the best way forward. Paul is also given the chance to reminisce when conversation turns to the benefits of FE colleges, while Pippa considers to what age it should be compulsory for students to have to study certain subjects or topics. 

If you'd like to be interviewed and share your story in a future podcast, email us at

Sep 27, 2016

This is the first episode of Those Who Can, hosted by Paul Dwyer and Pippa Wadey. Our inaugural episode is a chance to introduce ourselves and talk through some of the things that make us tick in the classroom. This episode will also give a flavour of what's to come in future podcasts; the kind of questions we will be asking, the issues we will be exploring, and a little more about the two of us. 

Those Who Can is an educational podcast aimed at teachers and those involved in school life. We all have different approaches to life in the classroom, and this podcast is designed to find out more about the stories behind those who work to help students achieve the best possible outcomes day-in, day-out.