Thursday, 28 August 2014

Keeping it Simple

So I have spent the last 11 years as a primary teacher trying to keep up with what I thought was best practice, jumping through Ofsted and school observation hoops.  As an enthusiastic perfectionist I embraced new initiatives: brain gym, virtual platforms, APP, Literacy Hour, etc the list goes on..... I tried to fill every minute of the school day with what I thought were valuable activities (some school dictated and some thought to be best practice elsewhere): bell work, starter activities, etc etc. The number of hours I spent at home: planning, making 5 way differentiated activities- that were taught outside, around the school, using iPads, using whiteboards etc etc

Well, this year I am going to try very hard to spend time on things that will make the most difference to my pupils. Knowing where they are and where they need to go with their learning, marking their books (in a way that makes an impact) and providing good feedback to aid their progress and learning. I am trying to simplify what I do, fine tune it and reflect upon it. I will endeavour to strive towards this above all else. 

I have recently been reminded (Dylan Williams- I think), that telling teachers what to do does nothing for changing their habits and practices; they only learn by action research. Well I will attempt to use this theory for my own development. Instead of jumping through all hoops tossed my way; I will instead listen to my own intuition and experience. 

The first thing I will start with is slowing things down: perfection over pace!! (drafting, checking and perfecting!! )- I will let my pupils finish the job for once.  I hope that the new curriculum and our school's one topic per term will allow for this.

Wish me luck, by Dickens I will need it!

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