About me

My name is Andrew Hutton and I am a secondary teacher of English language and literature and social sciences.  I am currently in my sixteenth year of teaching with fourteen of these years being spent teaching internationally.  I have taught in Australia, Japan (with time spent in Kagoshima-ken and Tokyo) and Germany.

I graduated from the University of Queensland in 2003 with a Bachelor Arts and a Bachelor of Education (secondary).  My primary majors were in anthropology and archaeology, although having a broad range of interests led me to take additional studies in language, literature and the sciences.

I strongly believe in collaborative learning, intrinsic motivation, project-based inquiry and the IB (International Baccalaureate) educational framework. I am inspired by Tribes Learning Communities, restorative justice ideals as well as Harvard Project Zero Visible Thinking routines. I try to incorporate these programs and philosophies into my planning for teaching and learning as much as possible.

My biggest area of interest within this subject is science-fiction and fantasy literature, particularly speculative, dystopian stories.  Fortunately, this genre is booming among young adults these days and so there is always plenty to read!

Finally, my hobbies and interests involve anything to do with the mountains and the sea: snowboarding, surfing, hiking, scuba-diving and so on. I also enjoy learning Japanese, drawing, and am also trying to teach myself the piano and guitar.

34 thoughts on “About me

  1. Hi !

    This blog is such a world of wealth !
    Mr Hutton I congratulate you for the commendable way you structured this blog. It is a true reflection of your interests; that I share as well.

    Honestly, I was in awe to see how you put it all together and make it seem so simple.

    Once again, thank you.

  2. Mr Hutton
    I am so glad I came across your site.
    It is an absolute delight!
    And as another teacher said above you make it look so simple to do!!! Which is not!!!!
    So that is a great gift you have and which you generously share with all those who do not have it!
    I am an MYP lan and lit team leader and Year 5 teacher in a school in Argentina where I teach English.
    I wonder if there is any chance to plan any activity which our students could do with yours.
    We are finishing the academic year down here in the southern hemisphere but maybe there is something we could do in 2016.
    Please let me know if you think of something.
    Best regards and sincere congrats

    • Sounds interesting Pat! Send me an email to huttona@yis.ac.jp with the grade, topic etc… and I will see if we can’t get something going. I must say I don’t really create many of my own resources and activities but rather gather them from various places. I really encourage people to check out the IB InThinking website!

  3. Mr. Hutton,

    Thank you for this wealth of information. I read your reply to Pat above and will take a look at the link you have provided.
    This is my first year teaching the MYP next chapter and am still getting my bearings with respect to incorporating all of the contexts and concepts in addition to streamlining the literary and linguistic jargon. Your work and plans have made it look so simple and I feel I’ll be able to do a better job for the coming session.

    Thank you again!


    • Hi Priya,

      The website I listed is designed for the DP language and Literature course, but there definitely should be some material you could use in the MYP as well, particularly in the later years. Good luck with the MYP – I know it takes a bit but it is great once you get used to it!

      • Yes, I explored the site and realised it is for DP. But I did get some ideas for backward planning towards MYP. Is that how you do it as well?

        • I generally build MYP units by taking a central theme from a literary text and creating a unit around that, then looking at the literary concepts and how they relate. For example, The Outsiders by SE Hinton is about prejudice, so we build a unit around perspective and how it can overcome narrow points of view. The literary (related) concept of narrator / POV fits quite well here! I also like to tie in some language into each MYP unit as well. For example, after students finished the Outsiders and wrote a traditional literary analysis essay, we branched out into news articles and podcasts about prejudice in the real world. Students will write letters to the editor (language text). So I hope it will help prepare students well for the DP language and literature course!

          • Thank you for corroborating my approach. Since I appreciate your work, it means a lot.

            All the best with everything!


            PS: There’re interesting captcha every time!

  4. Hi Mr. Hutton,

    Your blog is tremendous! I am also an international teacher, I currently live in St. Kitts. I have been teaching for about 14 years as a special education teacher. Due to the island being so small, I am teaching out of my license. For the first time I am teaching 7th grade English. I am very excited about this challenge. I came across your blog and discovered the book “Journey to Jo’burg. I was wondering if you could direct me to some resources where I could help incorporate the book into my curriculum this year. Thank you for any help

    Yours in education,

    Malcolm Purnell

    • Hi there Mr Purnell,

      I’m afraid I didn’t use too many external resources for my Journey to Jo’burg unit, but a quick search at TES turned up quite a few schemes of work. The students really enjoyed the linking activity with the movie ‘Invictus’ – I think it really helped them visualise the setting and internalise the themes of the novel. Not sure if they are any good, but feel free to use any resources or lessons you find on my blog as well. Good luck!

      • Thank you so much for your help. I have a class that is very diverse so your first unit on diversity could be a lot of fun. Thank you for all your resources. Do you know by any chance of any online pdf’s for Journey to Jo’Burg? I work at a small school in St. Kitts and resources are very tight. My principal is pushing me to do Esperala rising, but that is 6th grade level book and I would rather differentiate a harder text, rather then give them something easier,

        Again, thank you so much

        • Hi Malcolm,

          How about some of these resources? I also made this basic chapter reading comprehension quiz. I haven’t actually read Esperanza Rising, but we have lots of those lying around as well! Our focus for the unit was prejudice and discrimination, so we paired the text with a book called ‘Two Weeks with the Queen’. A more challenging text set in Africa though… What about ‘The Garbage King?’ It doesn’t deal with Apartheid per se, but it deals with issues of prejudice and discrimination of homeless children and poorer classes.

  5. Hi Mr Hutton,
    I just wanted to thank you for creating such an excellent website. I am at the beginning of my IB journey, with my school offering the DP for the first time in 2017. I am finding planning to be enjoyable but also challenging; however, sites like this are a tremendous help. I am teaching in Brisbane, and just like you I went to the University of Queensland. Thanks again!

    • Good luck Alice! There is an IB InThinking website that is full of resources – you should check it out! Requires a subscription but definitely worth it…

  6. Dear Mr. Hutton,
    Your website is a unique source in itself! I really liked the clear feedback on exams. I’m an English Tutor and I have recently taken on a new student who is sitting his MYP Assessment in May.

    I haven’t really taught this before, but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a specimen English Language & Literature paper to get a feel of what type of questions are used. I’m really struggling to find examples so any help would be greatly appreciated.

    L Churchill

    • Hi there, and thanks for the comment!

      As for the paper, I am afraid we are out of luck. On the IBO OCC website, they state:

      “May 2016 examination packages and exemplar marked candidate responses now available (12/01/2017). The May 2016 examination packages are now available on the OCC and the MYP resource centre for all subjects apart from:
      Language and Literature
      Integrated Sciences
      If you require access to one of the aforementioned examination packages, please contact IB Answers – ibid@ibo.org

      So I can’t help you, but perhaps someone at that email address can? Good luck!

  7. Hi Mr. Hutton! I’m about to start teaching The Handmaid’s Tale with my IBDP students and was really interested in hearing from you about the materials you’ve put together for the novel to use with my class. If you have an e-mail, I’d love to discuss your materials and see what I can use and how I can use them. Thanks so much!

  8. Hello Andrew
    Just wanted to say that I stumbled across your site awhile ago and I love it! I’d be lying if I said I haven’t stolen some of your ideas. I appreciate your ability to make traditional literature relevant. I used your R&J question and answer task for my Grade 9s, and they loved it. I too, am a UQ Graduate, teaching for English and Humanities for 20 years, and am currently working in MYP/DP Lang/Lit in Dubai. The IB is such an easy transition for Australian teachers….similar philosophy
    Ever thought of a sea change to the UAE?

    • Thanks for the message! Yes, it certainly is an easy transition — I really love it! As for UAE, hadn’t considered it to be honest, but will definitely keep it in mind!

      • Hi Andrew
        I meant to mention Philpot Education to you as well for DP Lang/Lit. There are a whole heap of resources from the master himself. Brad Philpot was my trainer and I’ve always loved using his resources. The subscription is also for 2 years as well. He started it up after leaving Inthinking to do his own consultancy.

        • Thank you, Trish! Yes, I also had a training with Brad and I love his textbook – very accessible for students. I know he left InThinking but didn’t realise that he set up his own thing. I will check it out!

  9. Hi Andrew,

    I am in my first year teaching languages and literature (4 months!) in Secondary school, not English, however, but German. I am simply amazed by all these great units you teach and the great knowledge you have on the subject matter. I am trying to apply some of your ideas where feasible, it´s not always easy though haha, as the German system is not very IB and I figure that many activities already require students to have some prior experience with self-centred and inquiry-based learning. May I ask how you manage to include new students to those concepts in L&L classes? Thanks, and have a good one!

    • Hi Christian,

      I am glad that the materials are helpful. I really recommend InThinking and Philpot Education as two great sources of ideas, texts, and suggestions. The assessments (FOA and WT) really do require students to be independent inquirers, although even in our school (PYP, MYP, DP), students still benefit from generous guidance. Personally, I think that by showing students concrete examples of concepts, lines of inquiry and so on can help initiate that inquiry process. Having a limited number of set options to choose from can also help students who don’t know where to start. Does this answer your question?

  10. Hi Andrew,

    I am a big fan of your site and it has helped me a lot in my teaching! Thanks so much. I wondered if you do any practice with your grade 10’s for the E Assessment, specifically Task 3 where they have to incorporate the Global Context in their writing? I am trying to come up with some new tactics for this task…

    Thanks much,
    Tricia (teaching in Portugal)

    • Hi Tricia,

      Our school has chosen not to do the E-assessment while the bugs are still being worked out. For incorporating global context, check out our G10 unit on Fairness, Development and Advocacy. I tried to really break down the GC into specific explorations in ‘Session 3’. Students were expected to link their subsequent discussions of the literary extracts from the memoir to one of those specific explorations. Following this, students then completed an op-ed that again was meant to show insight into one of the explorations. We too still need to work on using the GCs more explicitly with our students so I am not an expert, but I hope these ideas help in some way. Good luck!

  11. Hi Andrew

    Thank you so much for such a helpful and informative website and sharing your resources with fellow educators around the world.

    Chandru S.

  12. Dear Andrew,
    Thank you for sharing your amazing resources! Our entire English department refer to your site.
    Birgitte Jensen (IBDP Language and Literature & TOK teacher

  13. Dear Andrew,

    I admire your collaborative spirit! Thank you for sharing your wonderful resources with the online teacher community.

    Best regards,

  14. Hello from Canada Mr. Hutton! Thank you so much for generously sharing your resources and expertise. I am so excited to teach this book that I love so much with your help. How should I reference you in the materials that I’ve adapted from your work? I would like to give credit where credit is due!
    Edmonton, Canada

  15. Hi!
    We found this wonderful treasure trove during a google search. It’s so well organized. We are going to “borrow” lots of your work. Of course we will give you credit. Thank you so much,

    Dana Strong
    SGC MYP LL Kang Chiao International School
    New Taipei City, Taiwan

  16. Hi,
    I stumbled upon your website and am so happy that I did. I admire and appreciate your collaborative spirit. I, along with other teachers, will grow from your practices and our students will benefit from such organized lessons. Thank you for all the resources!
    With much appreciation,

    Mimi Huynh

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