Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Securing change through collaboration - sharing is caring ~sltcamp


Have we got time for a little something extra? To give up a weekend in a busy term, as the nights draw in better be worth it, right....

How did I get to be signed up to sltcamp?

February - I ventured onto twitter to see what I was missing out on, became a tweeter who is still a little confused what to hashtag and @...
Joined #sltchat, liked the discourse, reflection...and good natured challenge to move thinking forward
Saw #sltcamp punted as an idea and it appealed (especially the not camping- strictly Summer only for me) replied and sent ideas to Sarah, then
Signed up to #sltcamp  - all in less than 6 months!

I love teaching and I have been working in an amazing school for 8 years.. So what did I hope to get from #sltcamp

Menu - I would like please

Starter - meet new people, have a good time, be inspired with different ideas. Learn how to use twitter! (more on this later)

Main - speak to people working in different phases and/or contexts re some of my big areas - analysis of impact of CPD, educational research and teachers as researchers through teaching and learning projects, supporting staff to strive for outstanding EVEN with the new framework AND curriculum AND assessment changes AND link to PM - let's thrive, not survive, flipped learning and technology, curriculum design, attitude to learning/behaviour.

Maybe a side of School Direct and SCITTtalk

Dessert - geocaching (everyone loves a treasure hunt), sparklers (close second to fireworks and let's not be greedy), bake off cake, meet someone from Passmore's Academy to find out what it's like working for Vic Goddard, make lots of colourful notes ready to implement when back in school.

The tone was set before sltcamp through the amazing use of twitter, a dedicated website and google docs. To add, amend workshops as well as exchange details to share lifts, removed the potentially awkward/lag time of getting to know everyone. You know when you haven't seen someone for ages but then drop into conversation like it was yesterday....it was just like that.
Joined with a common purpose and diverse enough to generate a whole weekend of valuable conversations with minimal input from resources.....and have a good party! Sharing is caring and the willingness to freely discuss, critique, advise, support, question and add value were pleasingly constant.

Though the whole weekend was set up through twitter, the absence of wifi meant a real retreat! Did mean I am none the wiser with correct use of @ and #, retweeting and how to quote a tweet and fit more in - never stop learning - I will try to get this right! Whilst the outside world was in the dark, the opportunity for mindfulness and presence was very beneficial I believe.

Post weekend - my beanie, certificate, notebook of reflections, zondle subscription and book '8 qualities of a successful leader' were the start of change.

What will I take forward?

We all build bridges as we walk across (thanks @jillberry102), but I think even more so in this time of change. The destiny though has to be driven by our moral compass and as leaders i think we have to be sure where the path will go, stabilise the swaying and to provide certainty.  Making reasoned timely decisions in line with a vision provides the stability to be confident and hopefully the space to continually focus on teaching and learning. Leverage leadership on the reading list...after I finish Chimp Paradox (our SLT read).

Lots of conversations on teachers as researchers. This reaffirmed decision to get teachers involved again in trio observations looking at an area they have chosen, mapped to school priorities. Lesson study has popped up a few times and will look more closely at this. New ideas on where this will go in the future - using self assessment of areas from lessons and lesson observations over time to get themes for improvement would be good. Thanks to Andrew, Deb and research group for conversation.
Loved the checklist approach from Andy Day. Especially good for when I'm supporting new staff and looking at this for CPD in certain requested areas.

This amazing feat, with perfect ambience and high quality catering, is a complete triumph of which Stephen Lockyer and Sarah Findlater should be very proud.....look what you've started.
Restaurant review - every bit delectable and lived up to the order!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Attitude and approach

New term, new start........any changes?

How do you respond?

We know the world is changing quickly all the time. Have you seen shift happens?
A good reminder of the opportunities that exist....which is why change is not only necessary but also that we need to be able to role model positive attitudes and approaches to deal with it effectively.
Is our curriculum fit for purpose?

Is the hidden curriculum of school ethos and the development of personal traits and aptitudes getting enough air time? We agree that getting the curriculum right is key. We also know that timing the change right and being able to prepare students effectively for the assessment they will face is essential. They get one chance at a year in school, and whilst they may be able to retake if it hasn't gone well, this is not the philosophy or approach any teacher takes whilst bearing the responsibility for pupils memories of this key stage of their life. But, the opportunity for change in the curriculum gives us time to reflect.
As a school, you best know your pupils and will be responding to the changes in a way that takes account of this. Teachers as individuals and subject areas, will hopefully have had input curriculum design/amendment as well. But that's not all. We realise the pace of change is so quick that we need to respond equally quickly. Therefore we don't always get the 20% google creativity time or in depth thorough planning time. We also have different year groups studying for different exams.

It's tempting to want to stop the change, stick to what we know...especially when we're getting quite good at it. But it's happening. The global goalposts are shifting and so must ours.

So is change still good? It can be, because the real beauty of teaching is in our classroom. We, the teacher, have ultimate control of what happens in a lesson. How we develop the person as well as their knowledge, understanding and skills. How the personal interaction is what we know they remember as well as the inspiration and enthusiasm that we provide. The way we respond to change is down to attitude and approach. We can use this as teachers to get the best from our pupils....whatever the circumstances.

So, lets ask the question again, how do you respond? Positively and embracing the opportunities that arise? Or perhaps despondently with some cynicism, haven't we seen/done this before? I hope you can be a change maker rather than a change breaker. And if you see a change for the better that needs igniting, go for it!