In the course of a routine teaching day, it can be difficult to find time to eat and pee (not simultaneously, you understand), let alone settle down to reading a magazine. But finding time to flick through a subject specialist magazine isn’t just a frivolous sideshow, it can have a real impact on your lessons.

Sound too good to be true? Well, here are my reasons why:

1. They’re contemporary

If you’re looking for an up to date example, discussion or commentary to complement your core textbook, then a specialist magazine in your field will be able to do that.

2. They contain more colloquial language

For this reason, magazines might appeal to any student, but if you’re teaching EAL students, the chance to explore the meaning of colloquial language or idioms may be of particular benefit.

3. Vocational learning

I recently read an article warning of the dangers of compartmentalising learning, so I use ‘vocational’ with caution, but magazines can certainly help in subject areas that may not have a wealth of traditional textbooks to support them.

4. The visuals

Glossy spreads and carefully-assembled layouts designed to draw the reader in will give variety to lesson resources.

5. CPD

CPD seems to focus more on pedagogy, which is of course important, but subject CPD is important too – how else do you push students to the top grades, for example? Specialist magazines can give you a quick shot in the arm when it comes to subject CPD. 

Either way, the CLA Education Licence covers institutions to copy 5% or 1 article, whichever is the greater, from opted-in magazines

I’m not saying you have to sacrifice sleep to trawl through magazines. Small commitments like reading on the train once a week, or your department implementing a reading rota, or even getting your student subject club to source the articles are time-effective. Either way, the CLA Education Licence covers institutions to copy 5% or 1 article, whichever is the greater, from opted-in magazines (just check if it’s opted in using our Check Permissions tool). Heaps of titles are covered, from areas as wide ranging as accountancy, business and economics; art, design and photography; hospitality and tourism; humanities; beauty and fashion; computing; nursing and care; music; science and sports science.

The Education Platform also has a whole library of free-to-access magazines for teachers to copy from and share with their students via link or by uploading it to a VLE.

Magazines aren’t just for the dentist’s waiting room, sometimes they might add the final gloss to your lesson.