Have you ever considering using a GoPro in your classroom?
With so much pressure on teachers to perform in observational environments, performances can drop due to the overriding nerves. With Ofsted, Estyn, Management and external companies coming into schools to observe teachers’ performance it can be difficult to be your best on the day that you get observed. Yet when the observation has taken place the level of feedback you get is, in most cases, quite appalling. I read an article in The Guardian about a teacher who went from an Outstanding to Inadequate within six weeks, yet with no feedback given he had absolutely no idea why! This can have a real depremental affect on your teaching – why do you think people give feedback if you’re not successful for a job role – if they didn’t (and when they don’t) you feel like an overall failure. At least when your failings are identified you can either a) go and work on those areas and improve or b) go to the pub and moan about how little that person knew and how wrong they were!
There is a huge problem with CPD in schools – not enough time is spent on it. If you have an INSET at the beginning of your term then it reminds you of the end of your wonderful break, and if you have an INSET at the end of term, all you’re thinking about is wine o clock!
Every week you will see something about education in the news. We get told we are failing in our duties to teach, yet are never offered a solution. We get given the criticism but not the answers. That’s where Twitter comes in. A social hub for many teachers and educational experts looking to network, to talk about their passion for teaching beyond the walls of the classroom or the scrutiny of management. Like a herd, we feel safe among other like-minded individuals. Sure – you get the odd arrogant individual who has nothing better to do than moan, but on the whole people get on, share, collaborate and engage.
Safety Outside of the Classroom – Feeling bettertogether
Twitter is a place to gather and share. It is place where you’re not judged by any educational bodies – you can speak freely about what you think works in the classroom, what your opinion is on strategies, how you think you should raise the attainment of pupils. Better yet, you can show people what worked for you. What did you do in the classroom to get your pupils to engage for example? You also have the opportunity to see what other people in your profession are going through – the highs and the lows!
For a lot of teachers in the UK, today is the first day of a new term after a lovely two week Easter break. Monday blues could not be worse! With every new term comes some kind of change and after such a long break you should be thankful that you you can jump back into work with re-charged batteries. Here are a few things to think upon your return to the classroom…
The only thing worse than the feeling a teacher has when they have to return to school after a half term is the feeling that the pupils have. Remember, you’re in this together – you will be more connected with your pupils on the first day back than you think. Start the week off with some recapping just to refresh the memories and get the brain active again. Don’t jump straight into a new topic, the pupils really won’t be able to work as well as you would want, which will frustrate you more than them.
I read an article the other day highlighting a schools need to develop their own brand, logo and overall digital image. The article was written by a graphic design/ media buying company so I knew straight away that it would be slightly bias in their argument for re-designing. The first line got to me straight away though, “Effective branding for a school attracts students…” My minds sub-conscious opened up and I immediately remembered an article I had read from the BBC just a month before, “One-third miss first school choice in London as numbers rise”.
With the general election on the way, the near and distant future of education in the UK is unknown. Parties are playing their part in attracting the teacher and parent vote by showing their ‘interest’ in the education system.
However a Conservative campaign error missed by many, yet not those involved in education, may make you think twice about the amount of ‘heart’ our current politicians put into education – are they not just looking for a vote to feed their greedy egos? The mistake – why the hell are these kids in school during half-term? It’s the Easter break, and they set up a campaign meeting at a school? With the surprising April heat-wave hitting the UK, the last thing a child wants to be doing is sitting in a classroom with a man she has no idea about! So, is it any wonder that Cameron failed to impress schoolgirl with reading skills?
I’m new to this, but felt it was time to put the digital pen to the digital paper! I am here to (hopefully) inspire, interest and engage with teachers across the globe through a series of blogs focused purely on education.
As for my identity, my past and my future, that will have to remain a mystery. There is a lot of prejudice in the world of education that stops the development of teachers. It doesn’t matter if you teach at an Independent or State school, in England, Wales or Congo, if you’re an NQT or Head – you all teach for the same reason, and that reason is to improve our future by improving the future of our next generation. Just think of me as the omniscient and anonymous ‘Monkey Fish’ who has a passionate view on education.