This year’s teaching as inquiry

With the ever growing importance of tracking and monitoring and data gathering I have just been thinking about how I can monitor the effectiveness of different element of our learning programmes.

Longitudinal data will prove the effectiveness of moving to a team teaching model.

After doing paired writing last year I was intrigued by the in and out data it provided, particularly the words in ten minutes. I think that that is one really easy method to follow. I would like to use it in our generic writing programme every five weeks or so to monitor development. Continue reading

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Tony Burkin: professional practice versus teaching practice.

I’ve just returned home from a course focussed on, well, the above. In brief Burkin differentiated between these two practices.

Teaching practice is what you do in the class, whereas professional practice is everything else. Professional practice covers the quality of reports you write, meeting deadlines, how you conduct yourself and interact. Professional practice even includes journalling, professional readings and duty.

Teachers can be great at the teaching practice, but poor at professional practice. Good professional practice develops the teaching practice.

Additionally Burkin discussed being a teacher as a learner, or rather, ‘having a growth mindset’ compared to a fixed mindset. The fixed mindset is of course being happy for things to stay as they are.

Continue reading

2015

First post of the year! Exciting times.

Well we have done it: taken the plunge into true team teaching. This is really exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. I have a feeling that I am facing the most challenging year of my career to date.

I am the youngest in the team of three (and those on staff -but that is beside the point). I get to work with fantastic people, never-the-less I expect battles (and celebrations) to come. This becomes obvious when you nearly burst into tears over placement of some dictionaries (let’s be honest – it was never about the dictionaries and probably never will be).

Why so challenging?

Never in my teaching career have I felt so exposed. With the team teaching and planning environment we have established (kudos to the team leader!), all elements of our practise and practice are out in the open. There is no preparing the perfect lesson for that observation you know is coming. You are in there every day with another teacher who will see what you are doing. They will share in your triumphs and failures, your good days and bad because they are there. There are no selective stories shared in the staffroom as you offload, painting you in a slightly saintly light. Frank discussions that could have previously been politely avoided now need to be had. It really is entering the great unknown.

But it is these very challenges that hold such promise. Already the opportunities I have had to learn from my experienced colleagues have been numerous. We have only planned so far – never mind teaching children (that begins next week).

In exposing my teaching practice in this way I am presented with a huge opportunity for growth (and reassurance that I am actually doing the right things).

One of the greatest opportunities for me is to get used to constructive feedback. It is something I know I need, and I appreciate, but I secretly dread. In experiencing this more regularly through my day to day practice formal appraisals will not be as nerve wracking (I hope anyway).

At any rate a promising year is ahead! Go the junior hub team! I am very blessed to be working with these wonderful people in this wonderful place.

Cheers God (and people who hired me).