So as another year draws to a close it’s a great time to reflect on things.
I started the year working with Aspire2Be as the Programme manager. My job was to organise and craft the training for teachers that needed support in using digital technology
In the classroom. My goal was always to make that work feel as though it was part of their everyday practice, not another bolt on to an already pretty busy workload. I always endeavour to empower the teachers, to get them to think about how the technology will make their classroom a more efficient and engaging environment. Lots of this work is based on my own practice but is equally born from conversations I have with fellow Apple Distinguished Educators around the world. When I started using technology I quickly learnt that working in isolation was tricky, finding like minded, inspirational people was definitely key to my own development.
After attending the summer ADE institute in Amsterdam I started to realise I really missed the classroom, I enjoyed training staff but I felt I had unfinished business in the classroom and I wanted a return. A great opportunity came up to work for the University of South Wales in Initial Teacher Education. So I went for it, and I got the job. More on that later.
So The rest of the year was spent making sure that existing programmes were completed and staff felt empowered in the work. We also launched the iTeam programme, something that I had wanted to do since starting with Aspire2Be. Being passionate about PE and it’s role in education I wanted to create something that would support teachers to see the wealth of opportunities that sport brings to the child, literacy, numeracy etc are inherent throughout PE and offers such a different way to engage learners. The programme launched as part of the Ospreys school programme and it will start training teachers in the New Year.
As for me I move on to a new role. It’s an exciting role as I get to work with people that are passionate about being teachers but have not been discouraged by the negatives that can surround marking, accountability etc. Having read a lot recently about success in the workplace, in particular Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed, I am enthused to transfer this thinking into the classroom. I hope to help these trainee teachers see that there are different ways to teach children and to make technology an invisible but critical part of the process. If we can create a different culture, one where failure is learning opportunity, even in tests then hopefully there will be less of a fear of tests, inspections or any of the other things that effect great teachers.
So I guess, watch this space.