On the MTPT Project and two job offers during a global pandemic

Last week, I had to make a difficult career decision and let down a headteacher of a South West London school I would have loved to have worked at. He had called me the day after I had accepted a leadership post at a successful and expanding London fringe school (that will also lop off a good forty minutes each day from my commute, ensuring I have more time with my family). When he called, I felt crushed and the doubt about my decision set in: I had not seen another job offer coming my way simply because maternity leave had left me feeling vulnerable and concerned about the impact of a baby on my career. I knew my professional achievements were fairly impressive, but I didn’t think anyone would see beyond my new identity as a new mother and I didn’t know how I could loudly shout about my credentials – certainly not when I had never been very good at talking up my work – not when I was always horribly embarrassed about being singled out, and always so deeply mortified when others did it for me. Instead of being excited at accepting a post and declining another, I felt positively overwhelmed.

At the time of the call, I felt locked in at the first school, having spent two days becoming emotionally invested through taking part in the most competitive, challenging and rigorous interview of my career to date. I’d never had an interview like it – I wasn’t only mentally exhausted, but I felt unrehearsed and unpolished after coming back from maternity leave. An internal promotion at my school simply had not prepared me for those two days. I’d also been lucky enough in my career to have interviews that resulted in headteachers impulsively offering me the job during relatively short interviews. To have beaten 60 applicants to the post and not made a complete fool of myself, was a huge achievement: I couldn’t turn my back on that. I floundered during the phone call and agreed he could call me back in a few days, but it still took me days to work up conviction and the courage to write back and explain how flattered I was but how I wanted to honour my acceptance at the first school.

I am a notorious people pleaser: I don’t like to let others down. I noted the missed calls, but I couldn’t bear to call back and say “I’m sorry” in person, or gently explain that in the end, the extremely generous salary and timetable wouldn’t be enough. It would have been a career defining move too, and I think, in fact I know, I would have been able to transform the culture of teaching and learning the school. But my MTPT project coaching calls with my coach Naomi had taught me that I wasn’t interested in trying to prove my credentials anymore, and that it was okay that I wasn’t ambitious for headship in the way my peers were. I’ve always been a reluctant leader and leading on teaching and learning has been one of the loneliest and hardest experiences of my career. While, I have been fiercely proud of changing the teaching and learning discourse at my school, often being ahead of time on a lot of things I’ve led on, it had always been the pastoral side that appealed to me. My message read a bit like a nice breakup text for a relationship that hadn’t even started. I even offered to mentor or support anyone they appointed in the future, and provided my email address to freely share all my teaching and learning resources, but I felt terrible.

How could I let down a headteacher, who said I was “heads and shoulders above” anyone else, and was responsible for giving me my much-needed post maternity ego boost? At that moment, I didn’t realise then just how privileged I was having two job offers at two schools from two great headteachers, and during the midst of a global pandemic at that. I felt torn, conflicted and scared. Had I squandered an opportunity? Had I been wasteful here? Could my judgement be trusted? I knew teaching and learning inside out, so could I really take on the enormous task of pastoral care at a large school?

Pregnancy had categorically affected my confidence and almost completely eroded my professional sense of self. I had gone through a tremendous period of change, and suddenly I’d become disconnected with my own professional and personal identity. The coaching which is an integral part of the MTPT project was important in reconnecting me deeply with my values: they had changed a lot while on maternity leave. My coach had worked hard to support me in reshaping the way I saw problems, and suddenly I had sharper lens to look at challenges. The coaching showed me that while motherhood had made me feel vulnerable, it had taught me about balance and empathy, about knowing how to push myself for the things I was passionate about, but also when to let go of things that didn’t matter anymore. I had changed so much, and while I was feeling dissonance at times with my former identity, I was also more sure of the mother, leader and teacher I wanted to be.

While I fretted, I thought if she was on the phone to me at that moment, what would I say to her about my predicament? I’d say family, trust, teamwork and personal fulfilment were more important than anything else. I’d say I was excited that my new school knew about the MTPT project and allowed me to talk about what I’d done on maternity leave. I’d say I believed I could make a profound difference in a newer role because I had never failed at all the scary and daunting things I’d done before I had a baby. I’d say, my gut was telling me to trust the headteacher who put me through an unflinching and uncompromising two day interview but who said I’d been his first choice. I’d say, I wasn’t letting anyone down, that it isn’t just about a school choosing me, I had the autonomy of choice too. In fact, in January Naomi asked me where I’d be in September 2020 and we walked through my fictional life: I’d said I would be pursuing my dream role: leading on pastoral care and behaviour and closing the door on teaching and learning. And suddenly, September was real, except it was just scary how real it was by thinking it out aloud.

Naomi might have also asked me to take a moment to celebrate having two schools interested in having me on their team, and asked me to celebrate myself as a mother and leader too. Once I’d played out what our coaching phone call might have been like, I felt less agonised about my choice.

In the end I went with my gut: I chose not to be swayed by the flattery, money or promises of professional comfort, and I stuck with the school that struck the greatest chord with my values. And while I can’t pretend I’m not terrified of leaving behind the familiar for the unknown, I’m genuinely excited to get started in September. And maybe one day I’ll join that South West London school that I feel I know inside out as a South West London girl. It’s entirely possible when the headteacher there is still keen on me staying in touch despite the breakup text. And where does this shaky but tangible conviction and hope spring from?

It comes from the wonder of being a new mother and also being part of a professional network that supports teachers in celebrating their strong identity as a parent and professional. The self-reflective process of the project has instilled in me a deep sense of who I am. Motherhood has made me even more empathetic, aware and patient as a leader. I believe I always had these traits in me but they have grown significantly over the last few months. I feel better equipped to understand and support others when they are going through a challenge, personally or professionally. Not only has motherhood changed the way I see myself and the world around me but it has supported me in knowing I want to be an ethical leader living her values, and not being afraid of making hard choices if they are the right choices.

Teach them to the top – no – really teach them to the top

“A curriculum exists to change the pupil, to give the pupil new power.  One acid test for a curriculum is whether it enables even lower-attaining or disadvantaged pupils to clamber into the discourse and practices of educated people, so that they gain the powers of the powerful.”CHRISTINE COUNSELL

When I first started training as a teacher, I had the privilege of being able to observe countless English lessons. But as exciting as it was seeing brilliantly taught English lessons, I saw a lot of polarizing practice teaching different groups which made me apprehensive about teaching my own classes. I remember getting so tangled up about what effective practice was especially when “best practice” being advocated wasn’t always effective practice. But I was only a trainee teacher who had no voice in shaping the learning of classes I was never going to be fully responsible for, and to be honest I didn’t know very much about effective teaching and learning as a novice teacher. As a frazzled novice teacher, I planned and taught lessons that I thought my observers wanted to see. I was performing, always performing and I didn’t always give my classes what they needed. Then everything changed during an NQT observation in the Spring term of 2009.

This was about twelve years ago. Yes, I’m taking you back twelve years ago, but I promise there’s a purpose to this story. I’d been finally awarded an Outstanding in the spring term for the first part of a double year 10 English lesson, and I sort of remember being stunned by the feedback but particularly the feedback of the students the minute my mentor left the room. My most challenging and brutally honest learner Mariam said ‘oh thank god Ms X is gone, now you can teach us properly and teach us the smart stuff rather than teaching us like we’re dumb or something.’ This casual disdain for my teaching set off Abdul and Laith (I promise names have been changed for the purpose of GDPR), who thought it was amusing to concur and add their “innit man” to Marian’s unsolicited feedback.

Those that know me as teacher might find it hard to believe that once upon a time students gave me a hard time but it was only after my NQT year that I became an expert in behavior management and transformed into the sort of flinty teachers that most students are too wary about giving attitude back to. So you’ll have to suspend belief and actually accept this Year 10 class drove me close to insanity in the first term of my NQT and that it was only during the Spring term, we were finally getting somewhere with the whole respecting me as teacher (even if it involved unwanted feedback, calling me “Twinkletoes” because I tiptoed to reach the board, or asking if they could “jam” with me in my classroom at breaktime). I remember asking Mariam what she meant as Abdul handed out my carefully cut out copies of the Act 2, Scene 2 from Romeo and Juliet. Naturally Mariam was happy to lean back on her chair and tell me: ‘Well when Ms X is here, you always say stuff like “to get a C grade, you need to…” or “you stop using big words like “encapsulate”. I remember feeling completely mortified. I’d worked so hard to pitch my lesson to a middle ability group as per my target from the term before where my pitching was becoming an issue. I’d been teaching ‘A View from the Bridge” and my mentor had challenged me on why I was teaching set 3 out of 5 about the conventions of a Greek tragedy and telling them about Aristotle, the father of Greek tragedy. “Do they need to know what pathos is or Eddie’s hubris? Why say hamartia when you can just say say tragic flaw?” Being a bit of a puppy who wanted to please my mentor who was actually a brilliant teacher, I remember nodding along without questioning her. But this time, the students were picking up on their new academic diet when an observer came along. They knew they were getting a different kind of education and they didn’t like it. And to be honest, neither did I. So I sat back in my chair and started teaching Mariam and the others about how a feminist critic might look at Juliet as an insubordinate daughter, destined to be punished by an unforgiving patriarchy, and then I think after discussing whether Shakespeare was a misogynist, telling Mariam off for her misandrist views. I went onto compare Juliet to Desdemona in Othello, another one of Shakespeare’s tragic daughters. I even told them Othello was black which sort of blew their minds. Hardly C grade stuff and more like A* material. And let’s be honest A* material is way more exciting and juicier than bog standard C grade stuff. Suffice to say after that, they kept their opinions at bay, in fact most of the girls left the lesson fuming at the systematic patriarchy still operating in 2009 with Mariam deciding shoving Zain out of her way was a way of righting things.

I tried not to feel too guilty when later that day, my subject mentor finally cracked a smile and told me “your pitching was a lot better” and “I’d say you’ve managed to get your teacher talk down to at least twenty percent”. Yes, I come from the days when discovery learning was in vogue and direct instruction was frowned upon. I didn’t have the guts at 22 years old to ask why I had to teach a narrowed curriculum to students who would as a consequence never move from being novice learners to experts. However, I was brave enough not to do something so unnatural as holding back knowledge when teaching. It did make me wonder where the discourse to provide students of different abilities, a different curriculum came from  – particularly when learners know you are doing something fundamentally wrong by choosing to teach them differently.

So why am I telling you this story? Well, it’s 2020 and we don’t need to worry about being afraid to teach to the top or being told students of different abilities need different teaching methods.. The landscape of teaching and learning has changed so much with Ofsted moving away from prescriptive descriptions about what they want to see in the classrooms, and teachers have the most autonomy they’ve ever had about making the right choices for their students. So, when we talk about teaching to the top, we need to unpick whether we do this, and if we know how to do this with more challenging groups. Is our subject knowledge deep enough to provide learners with an immersive and engaging experience of our subject? We need to think about what we mean by pitching and differentiation. It is well documented that students’ perception of their own ability is a powerful influencer on their attitude to learning so giving students powerful knowledge has a transformative effect: students know that acquiring powerful knowledge makes them more intelligent and being seen as more intelligent has currency in schools where academic excellence is valued. It’s simple psychology: most of us don’t like doing things we struggle at and become easily demotivated and discouraged from trying but when we start to get something, our feelings and habits in terms of the way we approach the thing we struggle with, starts to change.

Christine Counsell beautifully writes the “curriculum exists to change the pupil, to give the pupil new power.  One acid test for a curriculum is whether it enables even lower-attaining or disadvantaged pupils to clamber in to the discourse and practices of educated people, so that they gain the powers of the powerful.” But do you do this, and how will students know you do this? Will someone looking at the workbook of your learners be able to tell they aren’t in the top set?  Is substantive knowledge (knowledge teachers teach as fact) balanced with disciplinary knowledge (how knowledge was established)? Do you also teach knowledge in its broadest and most expansive sense? Because it is  entirely possible to fill the gaps in learner’s knowledge and open the doors to powerful knowledge too. I went into teaching to teach the students everything I knew about my subject, and I wonder at any teacher who thinks their practice is equitable by simplifying learning or distorting knowledge through teaching only the surface knowledge required to pass exams.

A link to my hefty MTPT project can be found here: mtpt

Start with high aspirations that you follow through on

“Research suggests that if teachers believe that students have great potential, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the students are more likely to succeed as expected.” LUCY CREHAN

Whenever I teach a group that is primarily made up of a mixture of low and mid prior attainers, I feel a dizzying mixture of trepidation and excitement before I even begin teaching them. Trepidation – because of the hard work that will be involved in thoughtfully planning and delivering a rich and ambitious curriculum that takes students from their current starting point right to the top of excellence. Trepidation – because of the lack of patience I have as I’m impatient to get my learners to the top fast but at the same time nervous knowing we can’t set off too quick and we need to travel together on the journey to excellence. I’m going to have to win them over and reshape their identities as learners and that’s going to take unrelenting effort. Excitement – because there is nothing like mid way Year 11 when you start to see real evidence that those Year 10 students you’ve tirelessly focused on have made remarkable progress and are becoming mature and independent scholars of your subject. Excitement – the lurching butterflies I feel on GCSE results day when I know that virtually every child in my class will have achieved grades that they never thought they were capable of because they used to believe those grades were only for the most able students in the year group, those lucky ones in top sets.

It’s a strange thing to know with an almost certainty that your class are going to do incredibly well even before you have met them. It’s either considered boastful or a bit absurd if you say your class are going to average an A grade even though they’re not a top set. It makes some teachers defensive or skeptical that you believe a lone teacher could possibly push back on all the other messy factors that might stall a student’s progress. But in the last decade, every class I’ve taught has defied expectations. It doesn’t matter how challenging or complex a group they’ve been, they’ve gone onto achieve some of the best results in the school. Why? Because I believe I work at schools where they can succeed and because I believe I am an effective teacher who can impact student outcomes. I am on the side of the Sutton Trust when they report with an effective teacher, disadvantaged learners gain over 1.5 years’ worth of learning compared to 0.5 with a less effective teacher. Research shows that teachers who believe they can be very effective have the best results in the classroom. The effect size of teacher’s belief in their effectiveness is higher than any other.

But it’s not good enough just being a good practitioner. The one absolute thing that gives students the best fighting chance in pushing back at the bell curve that forecasts their underachievement, is having a teacher who really lives by the high aspirations at the heart of their vision. In well documented research, it is teacher expectations of their learners that influences student performance. Positive expectations influence performance positively (the Pygmalion effect), and negative expectations influence performance negatively (the Gollum effect). Although other complicated factors such as the behaviour, motivation and effort of learners might dampen and reshape expectations, it is the teacher who is relentlessly bothered about their students that goes onto make the greatest difference.

I know before I meet my learners they will do well because I will live by my values: to develop their resilience, to give them a second chance, to celebrate success for all and to never give up on any of them –  no matter how hard they fight back and resist. I start each year off by looking at my class and making a set of predictions about what they will achieve along with three things I plan to change about my practice to push them to the finish line. The predictions are always a bit ambitious but in the last decade, they’ve always come true, and I don’t expect that formula for success will change.

By becoming emotionally invested in my class and their achievement, I also become attached to them and always feel a lump in my throat when they head off to the exam hall and  sort of hesitantly look back at me. But it’s time to let go, and when I don’t meet them again, I hope that I’ve done enough to give them a glimpse of the wonder of education and a chance at opening doors they thought were closed to them. Because surely, that’s why we do what we do? Teacher beliefs and expectations that remain consistent make the greatest difference in transforming students’ experiences of education.

Ability is not fixed and mid-low prior attaining pupils can achieve great success. MTPT project proposal and appeal for help.

The majority of ‘low/mid’ prior attaining students can go onto achieve grades 7-9 but not everyone believes that. It is 2019 and in England we still have ‘target grades’ and describe a number of the children we teach as being ‘low ability’. We call them ‘weak’ and despair about their achievement when they wind up as our KS3 or GCSE classes – inadvertently fuelling the damaging and false belief their attainment will always be capped. When these pupils scrape a grade 3 aged 16, some of us even consider it a win because they’ve met their ‘target’ – it doesn’t matter they haven’t met national benchmarks so as long as they’ve made the minimal progress expected of them based on a short sighted understanding of their ability. The sheer injustice of this less inclusive approach is hard to stomach, particularly if you’re scrutinising data and finding that ‘low ability’ groups continue to make negative or less progress compared to their ‘high ability’ peers. Unfortunately, there still isn’t a huge uproar at this damaging approach we take in education. Even with the new mastery approach of the curriculum, ability grouping in a lot of schools still dictates how we deliver the curriculum and what we expect children we teach to achieve. Not enough is being done to mitigate the widening achievement gap created by our approaches to setting. It doesn’t matter how wonderfully evidence informed schools are becoming, there is huge variability in what curriculum content is being taught and how it is being taught. Ambitious principles and targets for designing and delivering a curriculum that has social justice at its heart are destined to fail if we don’t interrogate students’ and teachers’ experiences of ability grouping and check teachers have a shared language and understanding of how to counteract the barriers that prevent pupils from having an immersive experience of the curriculum. It is not unusual for parallel classes to perform differently from one each other based on varying understanding about their ability and the approaches to teaching them. Student A and Student B can be very similar in terms of prior attainment and current attainment, but student A might achieve 3 grades better than Student B simply because one teacher knew how to gently dismantle the glass ceiling. You can’t reduce teacher variability unless you begin investigating and challenging beliefs about ability and effectively addressing barriers to learning. This sometimes seems impossible with the fallacy of target grades.

In England, target grades for 16-year olds are used as the measure to check whether students are making good progress. They are the minimum threshold a child is expected to achieve at the end of their secondary education, and they are inexplicably and curiously generated from English and Maths tests children sit at the end of their primary education.  More bizarrely these grades are used to set targets for other subjects. In a number of schools, the performance of a child at 11 is used to calculate their academic trajectory for the next 5 years of their education. They are labelled ‘low’, ‘mid’ or ‘high’ ability, and there is an expectation and belief based on these awful labels that they are less likely to achieve than their ‘more able’ peers. They are incorrectly assumed to have more limited learning potential and though they are only 11, there is an expectation that the difference in their current performance will continue into their future and determine the difference in their academic performance from their peers This tends to sadly be a self-fulfilling prophecy (Lucy Crehan of ‘Cleverlands’ coins this the Gollum effect). . Those of us who have taught a ‘low’ or ‘mid ability’ class know that by their time we meet some of the fifteen-year olds in our GCSE classes, the damage is done. The achievement gap hasn’t narrowed, it has widened so much more and trying to bridge that gap becomes a somewhat impossible task. What is the point in knowing about the merits of Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory or espousing the brilliance of Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction, if you believe students in your classes are destined to achieve only certain grades?

Those of us who teach in schools that group pupils by ability and discuss their progress in our subjects in relation to their target grade, unwittingly hamper social mobility and curtail future educational opportunities for the poorest children in our care. We operate on the false premise that ability is fixed and don’t tell our teachers and parents that target grades based on prior attainment are wildly inaccurate and systematically set up a significant number of pupils to fail.

Not acknowledging that more needs to be done to counteract the damaging effects of setting is morally wrong. Research consistently tells us that setting does not guarantee success in raising standards: it has no academic benefits (“Evidence on the effects of grouping by ability, either by allocating students to different classes, or to within-class groups, suggests that it makes very little difference to learning outcomes” – Higgins et al, 2014). The EEF and Hattie have widely documented that ability grouping has a negative effect size for ‘low ability’ classes and yet not enough is done in Year 7 to begin to mitigate the future negative progress of ‘low ability students’.  The Effects of Pupil Grouping: Literature Review disturbingly notes that Special  Educational Need (SEN) is a significant predictor of set placement, with these pupils concentrated in the low attainment sets. Less than 10% of pupils in the highest sets have SEN, suggesting SEN and low attainment are seen as closely related. It is not uncommon for schools to find themselves struggling to close the attainment gap at GCSE for these pupils. Let me not even get started on EAL students who are misdiagnosed or don’t make the progress they are capable of making as a consequence of teachers’ professional knowledge gap in supporting them. Ranking pupils as ‘low’, ‘mid’ or ‘high’ ability based on prior performance means we inevitably (consciously or unconsciously) cap their future achievement. In failing to work even more closely with teachers of these classes in closing gaps and ensuring there is a shared approach, we risk widening educational disadvantage. It’s not fair to ask GCSE teachers to suddenly close these gaps a few months before the exams – the work should have started long before that point.

It has been widely documented that learning capacity can be transformed and grown through pedagogical and external intervention. But that cannot be done without changing teachers, pupils and parents’ perceptions that success is not dependent on a predestined scale of ability. You can’t convince a GCSE teacher that it’s worth teaching their ‘low ability’ group as if they were a ‘high ability group’, if they don’t genuinely believe a child in their class can achieve at the same level as their ‘more able’ peers. Ranking students according to ability and target grades leads to inevitable prejudice as some teachers don’t always understand the internal world of the student and see them as a number.

Genuine belief in a pupil’s capacity to achieve is perhaps one of the most powerful factors in supporting stronger progress. In her book CleverLands, Lucy Crehan perhaps more succinctly writes about this when she explores the Pygmalion and Gollum effect and takes us to places like Finland and Japan where there is no tension between mastery and ideas about ability:  

“Research suggests that if teachers believe that students have great potential, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the students are more likely to succeed as expected. This is called the Pygmalion effect… The psychologist Robert Rosenthal was the first to use this term in an educational context in 1968, to describe the results of an experiment he carried out with school principal Lenore Jacobson. Rosenthal and Jacobson gave the children at Jacobson’s school an IQ test at the beginning of the school year. They told teachers that this was a measure of student potential and ‘blooming’, suggesting that it could tell which students would perform well that year –in fact it could do no such thing. Teachers were told that certain students in their classes had come in the top 20 per cent of this test, whereas actually they were randomly selected from the class list. At the end of the year, the children took IQ tests again to estimate any change, and the students the teachers had expected to do well based on the invented test results had actually improved their IQ scores, relative to the other children. The only explanatory factor was the teachers’ expectations of them. On a less positive note, the same thing happens in reverse (the Gollum effect), and when teachers have low expectations of children, it affects their scores in the expected direction too.”

But the truth is, most us aren’t going to be working in schools like Finland whose educational outcomes are some of the best in the world and where setting does not happen until pupils are sixteen.  Most of us will work in schools that group pupils by ability and therefore there is a moral imperative to ensure that low and mid prior attaining students have the same chances and opportunities to achieve at similar levels as high prior attaining peers.

While Becky Francis’s 2017 research into ability grouping in England  and her absolutely brilliant practical guide ‘Do’s and Don’t of attainment grouping’ should be widely shared with middle and senior leaders to ensure students are entitled to equality of access to high quality pedagogy and curriculum so that they achieve well, I am interested in working with teachers who have successfully implemented strategies to narrow the achievement gap between low/mid ability and high prior attaining students.

I really don’t believe in superstar teachers and I don’t believe in comparing progress across subjects, but I do believe there are extremely effective teachers who know how to mitigate the negative impact of setting on attainment and whose low/mid  attaining pupils can achieve at similar levels as their high prior attaining peers. I know that there are a huge number of teachers out there who teach like me: we teach our low/mid prior attaining groups as if they are a top set, whom we expect no less from. Over the last couple of years, over 70% of my mid/low prior attaining students have achieved grades 7-9, often matching or beating the performance of their high prior attaining peers. It is not uncommon for students who achieved a Level 3 in Year 6 to achieve a grade 9 in Year 11. It is not uncommon for well over half of students predicted a grade 3, 4 or 5 to go onto achieve grades 8-9 or low prior attaining SEND students to go onto achieve at the highest level. I I’ve also worked on an Aiming for 9 club over the last three years, of which almost a third of students are from low/mid prior attaining groups and who have gone onto achieve grades 7-9. These results aren’t achieved because I’m different from your average teacher but simply because I believe there’s an alternative approach to teaching ability groups that actually works. I am interested in debunking the myth that ability is fixed and I genuinely believe that GCSE teachers still have the power to negate a lot of the damage of setting even when they have the seemingly difficult task of convincing their low or mid ability group they can achieve at similar levels as their high attaining peers. I don’t want to just anecdotally concentrate on approaches I use with my classes, so if you are a school or educator who has had continued success in supporting low/mid prior attaining pupils to achieve at the same level as high prior attaining pupils, I’d be really grateful if you could get in touch. It would be wonderful to create some powerful case studies to underscore what research consistently tells us about setting and support teachers to see if there are some more uniformed approaches across different subjects that work and would universally work in the classroom of any school. I’m not arguing that a child can achieve success in every subject, but I do believe in the undisputed power of the teacher who relentlessly believes in his or her students’ potential and how that is manifested in the classroom and then leads to exceptional achievement. So if you are interested in supporting me with my MTPT project, I’d be gratefully if you could DM via my twitter account @english_nr