Monthly Archives: June 2014

Does Colchester Academy need a Teaching and Learning blog?

Good question.
This is, without a doubt, the hardest job in the world.
It is, however, not without it’s rewards.  
No one does this with money on their mind – “We do it for the love…”.  
There’s a strange economy at play as a teacher; we’re happy to exchange 1000’s mins of exquisite anguish for 1 min of joy, elation, success (insert synonym).  I wouldn’t dream of doing anything else.
There is so much to consider when we look at what a teacher’s roles and responsibilities are that you’d have to be some sort of super human to get it all right, all of the time.
Wow you can see inside my head!
Wow you can see inside my head!
 
So by virtue of this argument; we are only human, aren’t we?  If you scrutinised every lesson you taught today couldn’t they be improved upon? If we can accept that we’re not a perfect teacher then we automatically find ourselves constantly in ‘need of improvement’ and I would argue that this is a good thing.  Maybe there is no such a thing as a perfect teacher.  It’s like the Holy Grail though, just the suggestion that it could exist inspires people .
They named the dogma Indiana!
They named the dogma Indiana!
If teacher ‘perfection’ is out there we won’t find it by doing the same thing, day in, day out.  Change is always a wrench from the comfortable and familiar and frankly, it’s hard.  It’s much harder if you do it on your own though and so much more fun if we do it together.
If we accept that none of us are perfect then all of us can improve – no one is spared.  If we’re all in need of improving then anything we can do that makes us better practitioners is a boon.  We are all this together aren’t we?
Go Wildcats!
Go Wildcats!
Nothing changes in a vacuum.  We need stimulus for change to occur (I teach Science you see).  The more stimuli we have, the more potential there is for change to occur.  So it’s entirely possible that the more conversations we have about teaching and learning, the better our teaching and learning will become.  And so… we come to the blog.
Time for a cheesy analogy.  We’re in a new building.  These are the blueprints the architects drew up for what has become our school.  Our new home.
The vision
The vision

 

I can see your house from here!
I can see your house from here!
This blog is only one of many strategies and initiatives that are in place as a blueprint for building excellent Teaching and Learning.  We’re all different; some of us are great at assessment, some of us excel at questioning, some of our behaviour management is exceptional. What makes for an excellent teacher though is someone who is willing to scrutinise their practice, willing to make changes to how they do things, willing to share their good practice in exchange for other’s.
Mmmm...apples.
Mmmm…apples.
One of the challenges is just admitting that actually, “I could have done a better job of that lesson”.  Maybe “I could tinker with the way I asked that question”.  I would argue that engaging with your own personal development is one of the signs that you are an outstanding practitioner.  It shouts loud and clear to all around that “It’s OK to be OK, but I do want to be better.”
I digress.
The reason for this post is pure and simple.
Errrr...Hi?
Errrr…Hi?
“Hello.  We’re here.”
What is the blog for?  It’s a place for us to discuss Teaching and Learning.  I will try to blog once a week.  I would hope that people read it.  I would actively encourage you to get involved and comment on the blog.  Sign up.  It’s dead easy.  I would go so far as to say that when you feel brave enough, you should consider writing a blog entry with something you might like to discuss.
It isn’t the staff room.  This is a public forum.  Anyone in the world can read this blog and the comments that are made.  I’ve staked my word on this being the best way to run something like this.  Open.  We’re all professionals.  Let’s leave it at that.
So let’s discuss something.  Watch the vid.  Let me know what you think.