I had a minor flap this morning when I realised that for all I know there could be a year 9 assembly tomorrow, my first one, and I can't find the rota... So I've prepared an assembly which I'm now looking forward to when the time comes. The assembly is on JOMO - the Joy of Missing Out and was inspired by this article on the TES back in November.
In the powerpoint, attached below, I've spoken about what FOMO is, how social media makes it worse, and what JOMO is. I'll emphasise to the students that adults can be just as bad for this, and to prove that I'm sharing my plans for JOMO with them. I'm encouraging them to share theirs with me too. It's all on the slides more or less, but obviously it'll be backed up by what I say.
I'd love to know if anyone is doing anything similar, and feel free to use mine.
Unfortunately I'm struggling to get the ppt to upload. I can share the pdf but that seems the best I can do for now...
I wrote my Teacher5aday pledge the other day, but I haven’t set out anything specific that I want to focus on professionally this year as of yet. I think this will be a useful exercise and posting it serves as a way of holding myself accountable for the resolutions in a way.
1) Focus on my subject-specific pedagogy.
I’m going to focus some of my reading on MFL specific pedagogy. Attending the Chartered College of Teaching Languages Network event made me realise again just how important this is. I don’t think this is something I’ve really given myself the time and space to focus on until now.
2) Try our new ideas, stick to them and properly reflect on them. I have a tendency to want to try new things but not implement them effectively and they end up passing me by. I need to focus on one thing at a time, give it a really good shot and then if it goes well, integrate it into what I do and don’t let it disappear.
3) Get to grips with my new role and how to manage my time. I have been pleased with the balance of hours I’m spending at work and what I am willing to do at home and I’m hoping my new role won’t completely throw that out the window. I’ll have to work hard to do this now that I am both Learning Manager for year 9 but also Second in MFL (Curric lead for Spanish). My HT and DHT must believe I can do this but I need to prove it to myself!
4) Use the Chartered Teacher programme to help me achieve the above, and more. I want to make sure I use the CTeach as a tool, not extra work. It seems like it will from the look of the assessment but I need to make sure this happens.
When Martyn tweeted me to review last year's teacher5aday pledge my instant reaction was that I didn't want to look at it, knowing how badly I had followed the pledge!
So here is the quickest review before I move on to what I will do better this year:
#connect - visit the staff room more often... I've been going every Friday breaktime and talking to more people around the school in other ways, I haven't quite lived up to the pledge but it's not too bad.
#notice - The positives. I think I've done this fairly well, although I could've shared these more.
#exercise - This is the one I've been avoiding... I have been going swimming, although still not as regularly as I'd like. Never did start going to the park run, maybe when it's warmer?
#volunteer - I got an email just the other day to say that a year later I am still waiting to be matched up as a phone befriender for Age UK. Maybe I should've found something else to do when that clearly wasn't happening?
#learn - ha! Italian I said.... didn't happen, not even slightly. A few minutes on Duolingo maybe?
For 2018 I am going to learn from the past and try and make my pledges achievable, so without further ado...
#connect - I am promising myself to keep in touch with my friends better than I have been. I'm very lucky to have a group of friends from secondary school and one uni friend that it's very easy to catch up with, even with no contact in ages - but it shouldn't be this way. I'm going to make an effort to keep in touch more often.
I am also going to try and connect more on Twitter. At the moment I feel like I sit on the outskirts watching what is going on and occasionally interacting with a few people, I want to change that.
#notice - I'm starting a Bullet Journal and will make sure I spend time every day noting down the positives, tracking my habits and reflecting on the day. This should encourage me to notice much more.
#exercise - I don't want to be too ambitious here. Lets start with swimming on Tuesdays and then maybe Park Run once it gets warmer?
#volunteer - After last year's disaster I'm going to look out for another opportunity, although I don't know what just yet.
#learn - I'm on the pilot for the Chartered Teacher programme so I think the amount of reading and reflection for that will lead to a fair amount of learning.
Here's to a more successful 2018 #teacher5aday than the 2017!
This year I have decided to take on yet another challenge, this time in the form of the Chartered Teacher (CTeach) Pilot. I've just been writing my first Reflective Journal entry for my mentor to read before the January launch event and I thought this was as good a time as any to write about why I've decided to join the programme.
When I first joined the Chartered College of Teaching in January 2017 I was hoping to join a group of like minded people, wanting to engage in research and work together to change the teaching profession for the better, to be a voice outside of the unions. I even signed up to be an advocate for the College, promoting it to my colleagues, something I need to try harder at in 2018. I've enjoyed receiving the journal to read and the Languages Network event I attended a few days ago. I'm hoping that in 2018 these opportunities are going to grow and I'll really feel part of something, which at the moment is where I am unsure.
I joined the CTeach pilot for a number of reasons. Firstly because I want to help to develop what I have talked about above. I don't feel like I can complain about not feeling part of something if I haven't tried to help improve it, I hope the CTeach will help me do this. Secondly, I want to develop myself further. I enjoy reading edu-books and joining in on Twitter, but I feel at the moment I don't have much of a direction for it. I am hoping that CTeach will give me the opportunities to carry on doing this, but purposefully and with a positive outcome and changes in my practice. Thirdly, I really want to share my reading more with my colleagues and at the moment I don't feel like I have a platform for doing that. I am hoping that now I am on the CTeach Pilot I might have a stronger voice for sharing these things with colleagues and have more of a chance of them trying them out too.
I'm looking forward to getting started in the new year and seeing what opportunities it will bring for me.
Last week Simon Jenkins wrote an article which I probably don’t even need to link to, it has prompted a huge response, both from those who teach languages and those who don’t. In his article Mr Jenkins makes a number of points as to why he believes that learning languages in school is a pointless task. The comments on the article go some way to showing how people felt about what he said, but I wanted to put a response together to combat this rather disturbing suggestion.
I’m not going to deny that there is some fact in the article. Yes, on a practical day-to-day level there is no pressing urgency for people that speak English to be fluent in any other language. You can easily get by without it on holiday in major tourist destinations, and international businesses will have English speakers. Even the EU is likely to keep English as one of the key languages of communication as it is spoken by so many people. However, what I reject is that this therefore makes learning languages pointless.
Last week I read this blog by @TLPMsF about feedback, which also linked to this blog by @MrThorntonTeach. This post by @jo_facer talking about the way they give feedback at Michaela is also mentioned. What I am about to talk about comes from these blogs, I can't take any credit, other than making a very similar sheet and presentation to those mentioned.
This year I intend to take a different approach to marking and feedback.
For the second time recently I've been inspired by something Mark Enser has blogged/tweeted. At the end of his post, Mark asks what would be the first thing you would stop doing if you were trusted to get on and teach without anyone checking up on you. I'm sure this would vary wildly depending on the school you teach in, the expectations of SLT and the policies in place. I'm certain though, that the thing I would stop doing in the same way is similar for many people.
It's not a surprise is it?
Having read Mark Ensor's tweet and blog I thought I'd have a go at writing about what a typical lesson looks like for me and why I do the things I do. I thought this would be a productive exercise, not only for sharing the way I choose to do things, but also as a reflection for myself, a chance to really question what I do.
I'm going to think of a typical lesson with my year 7 Spanish class. This class have 7 hours of Spanish a fortnight (yes, I know we're very lucky) and started in September. There is nothing new in what I'm about to say. It's all been magpied and adapted for my own use from various blogs, talks, books, observations etc.
Another holiday rolls around, and once again the pang of guilt that I seem to have let the blog slide. This time I blamed moving house, although as that was about three months ago it's probably not that valid. I worry most about not having anything worthwhile to say, repeating myself or not really having anything to add to debate. I also struggle for ideas of what to write about, I . come up with ideas but by the time I start to write I realise it doesn't really merit a whole blog. I asked around on Twitter for some advice on regular blogging and as per usual Twitter didn't disappoint in the support it provided.
A lot of these replies are things that totally make sense, and even things that I've tried in the past and need to get back into. I'm going to set myself a day and time to blog, I think that really is the only way I'll regularly do it again. I need to write down ideas, thinking about blogging when I'm marking, or when I plan, when I'm in staff meetings, when I'm reading other blogs and tweets. Anything that makes me think, jot it down for later. I need to be less worried about other people, I'm blogging for myself in the first instance, to reflect and come up with new ideas. If it resonates with other people, then that's a bonus. In the past my blogging was all about my training/Masters, so now I need a new direction. I'm still deciding on if I want to mainly focus on MFL or on whole school issues, I'm hoping that will come as I get more practice.
I'm not sure that this should really count as this week's blog... maybe I'll come up with something later...