Tuesday, 29 July 2014

#nurture1314 - a review

In January this year I wrote a #nurture1314 blog post outlining 14 hopes for 2014 alongside 13 things I was thankful for in 2013. I have seen a few people on Twitter posts reviews on their posts recently and thought it'd be interesting to see what I had achieved alongside the hopes I set out (until re-reading my previous post I had completely forgotten a lot of these).

I have copied my original post below and have added my thoughts/review on each hope - if nothing else this may give me a condensed list of items 'to do' from September, and who knows...someone else might have nothing better to do and read it too?


1) First and foremost to continue to be happy at home, at work, with family and friends and to be healthy throughout 2014. This will probably include eating more healthily and continuing to play football both on a Tuesday evening and on a Friday after-school at 'Staff Football'.
Well this is pretty much going to plan and I'm happy to say I'm now engaged having proposed in February this year (yep...it was on Valentine's Day). I've also been swimming twice a week since the Easter Holidays and so am aiming to be healthier than my former self! Staff Football continued throughout the year and will be back in Sep!

2) At the tail end of the past term I was accepted on an 'Aspiring Middle Leaders' course as part of my schools' partnership with local schools. This course starts on Monday 6th January at our 1st INSET of the year. Instead of taking part in my school's 'normal' INSET day I am going to have the 1st session of the course at one of our partner schools with the other teachers that are on the course. As part of the course I will be leading a working party at my school on 'Numeracy across the Curriculum'. I will have 4 colleagues working with me as part of the working party and hope this will be the 1st step on a ladder to taking on more responsibility in future. Watch out for blog posts (and reflections) on this course as it progresses.
The 'Aspiring Middle Leaders' course went well. I successfully gave a presentation to the deputy heads of my school, as well as the Head of one of our partner schools and the guy that delivered the course. I was presented with a certificate of completion in our end of term staff get together along with my peers who also completed the course. As to what happens now...I'm not sure? Perhaps there will be an opening nearer the end of the 2014/15 school year for a position starting Sep 2015? Time will tell. As for the blog posts and reflections on the course, well that didn't really happen, but I may have time over the next few weeks to post about the numeracy across the curriculum ideas I developed whilst on the course.

3) I have also been put forward as my department's IT representative and as such am now on the school's IT development party and will be attending BETT2014 as our first 'task'. I'm very excited about going to BETT2014, the subsequent TeachMeet that will be held that Friday evening and finding out about all the different IT that could be used in my future teaching. There will undoubtedly be more on this as the year progresses!
BETT was good. At first I found it totally overwhelming as I found it hard to concentrate on one thing at a time with so much going on in the main arena. There hasn't been much else to do with the development on the IT front this year. I do now have a visualiser in my classroom as a result of requests I was asked to put forward from the Mathematics department and have been using this when I can in this last, past term. The one thing I found from BETT is that there are so many things we could be doing, but need more time and resources in place for many of them to become possible. I'm hoping the school's WiFi gets set up as soon as possible so I can start using my iPad much, much more than I'm currently able to and other developments allow me to use certain websites that are currently blocked or not in use. I aim to go 'paperless' in terms of my planning next year and hope the iDoceo app will help me do this - I'm in the process of setting everything up for next year and will be blogging on this front soon...

4) Next school year 2014-2015 I hope to become an ITT/NQT mentor. I was considered for this this year, but was later told that I needed to be in my 3rd year of teaching (at least) to be eligible for the training for the role. Sep 2014 I will start my 3rd year of teaching and so hope that I will be able to undergo the training to then take on an ITT.
This was something I was really grateful for this year. I was asked to help mentor 2 ITTs we had for their second placements this year and subsequently have been on the training course from our ITT provider so I can mentor 'officially' from September. I really enjoyed the experience of supporting our trainees and found it an enlightening experience watching someone else teach my classes; being sat at the back of the room trying to support both my students and my trainee colleague.

5) I would ideally like to blog more over the next 2 terms than I have been able to over the past term at school. I have found my workload go up considerably since completing my NQT year and starting my 100% timetable. The 6 periods of PPA I get a fortnight seem very few and far between and so I need to work smarter and not necessarily harder in order to find the time to do the blogging I have found extremely useful and rewarding.
Hmm...have I blogged more than I was able to at the back end of 2012/13? I'm not sure really, I think I have blogged when I have had something significant to contribute, rather than blogging for the sake of blogging. However, this does not mean to say I will not blog about insignificant stuff at a later date, but I do remember my previous HoD saying how he wanted to blog with greater quality and less quantity - words I took on board!

6) I would like to continue to add to my YouTube Channel and the videos I have already put on there to support my students in the learning of their Mathematics. This is a time consuming job that I like doing, but just don't seem to find as much time for as I'd like. I know that my students benefit from the videos on there, and there have been specific requests from them as to the next videos I can produce for them - namely help with completing the square and quadratic sequences. So, I will aim to get the next lot of 'homework sheet videos' up by the Feb half term and then go from there.
I haven't done this...yet! I thought I had uploaded a few videos, but having just checked it seems I haven't done anything on my YouTube Channel front since November 2013. I still want to add the videos for the 'calculator homeworks' that I will be using with my Y11s next year, but am unsure as to when the time will be found?

7) Along the same route as the YouTube videos I have a plan for the 'numeracy across the curriculum' working party that I will be leading and hope to get my colleagues on board with the idea I have. There will be more on this in the future when I have ironed out a few things. For now, I'll keep the idea close to my chest and this point will serve as reminder for me in the future.
This was developed through the 'Aspiring Middle Leaders' course I completed, but was only small in its impact and so I hope this is something I will look to develop further from September. Blog post to follow on what I did on the course...

8) Begin to think about writing some sort of educational book. This is something that I really want to do. Having been inspired by the likes of @TeacherToolkit and @Maths_Master for their '100 Ideas for Outstanding Lessons' and 'The Magic of Pineapples' books respectively, I'd love to write a book about the teaching of Mathematics, ideas for lessons, perhaps a 'numeracy across the curriculum' book in line with what I'll be doing as part of the aspiring middle leaders course? If there's anyone out there of the book publishing kind that wants to get in touch you can contact me by commenting below or via Twitter: @mrprcollins (here's hoping).
I still really want to do this, at some point. But no progress as of yet!

9) Continue to improve my teaching of Mathematics for my students. This includes everything I do as a teacher: planning, marking, differentiation, assessment for learning, homework, communication, working with my TAs, etc etc. I will continue to use Twitter and the TES to source new ideas and resources. I will use the TeachMeets I am already planning on attending (TMBett2014 and TMSussex) to meet with other professionals and discuss ideas and, of course, I'll continue to work alongside my colleagues to improve the teaching and learning in our school.
This, I'd like to say I have continued to look to do. I've been really enthusiastic about the #takeawayhomework idea and have invested a fair amount of time on this. I am seeing the benefits of this approach to homework, as are my students and I will look to combine this approach with intermittent mixed revision sheets next school year. I'm looking to improve the quality (and consistency) of my AfL techniques next school year by using Craig Barton et al's 'Diagnostic Questions' website http://www.diagnosticquestions.com/. Our department has done a lot of work on marking this year and this will be something that is continued into the next school year. I love my TAs and have loved working with them this year. I hope they'll be as regular in my lessons next school year! Planning - I will hopefully get more middle term planning done this year as I'm good with the short term planning and know the bigger picture of my classes, but need to link them together more effectively from Sep - I'm hoping iDoceo will play a role in enabling this.

10) Book a holiday for the Summer Holidays. Having enjoyed our holiday to Lapland so much we'll be booking a holiday for the summer holidays. This time...somewhere hot and probably for 10-14 days.
We now have a wedding to save up for so we're not going on holiday as such this Summer, we'll be doing 'Summery' things instead - we're off to Eastbourne tomorrow! We may to look to get away somewhere in the xmas holidays?

11) Try to get up to the Emirates Stadium to see Arsenal more than I have been able to over 2013.
I didn't get up to the Emirates once last season. However, I saw the pre-season friendly at Boreham Wood last week, am off to the Emirates Cup on Sunday, Wembley the following Sunday for the Community Shield vs Manchester City and know my dad is planning on getting tickets for a match to coincide with my 30th birthday, so I feel this is sorted now!

12) Like Jo Boaler's 'How to Learn Math' online course I would like to take part in another course like this to improve my pedagogical knowledge and wider mathematical knowledge. Having signed up to Boaler's course over the summer of 2013 I now receive e-mails from Stanford University's online courses and have already seen a few that look interesting.
I haven't found anything online to match Jo's course I took part in this time last year, but have had the 'Aspiring Middle Leaders' course to keep me busy this year I guess?!

13) Organise and host the next #TMSurrey at my school.
Didn't happen last school year, might happen before the end of the year?

14) Based on all of the above...be realistic and don't try to do too much! Focus on what is important and what is needed and prioritise the tasks I have to do with what I would like to do. I believe in having lots of aspirations, but I also realise the need to curb some enthusiasm and save it for doing the day job!
Based on commenting on the above I feel I've achieved a lot of what I set out to do this year (so far), which is far more than I thought I would have. I tend to have a lot of ideas and fail to follow them through completely - I think I'm getting better at concentrating on some of my ideas and developing them further than I used to when I was doing my GTP?! There's still work to be done on some of the above 'hopes' and I'll look to continue developing these into the new school year.

One thing I've failed to mention is that I've now completed my 1st year back at 'my school', have completed my NQT+1 year and, for the first time since going into teaching, don't have to move schools!I look forward to continuing where I left off in September, rather than starting fresh all over again; this will undoubtedly save time and effort next year! I have 3 of my current 5 classes that I'll be teaching again next year (albeit with a few personnel changes here and there due to set changes) and am looking forward to developing my teaching with these classes and to the few new classes I'll be taking on - another chance to set the standards from the off, which will be improved based on experience gained this year.

Thanks for reading...if you did :)