Monday, 29 September 2014

My Mantra

You can download a copy of this poster at this link from my Dropbox. Alternatively you can select various sizes at my Flickr page by clicking on the image above.

This poster was created using Stampin' Up's My Digital Studio's Stamps Playground Project Life - pencil and Playground Project Life - apple. The font used is KG Next To Me Solid.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

You're Not Just A Teacher

I did it again.

I was buying a cup of coffee on my way to work and was in conversation with the two ladies serving behind the counter.

"What do you do?" I was asked.
"Oh, I'm just a teacher" I replied
"Don't say you're just a teacher" the barista told me. "My friends have just started teaching and I can't believe how exhausted they are. They work so hard."

And you know what. She was absolutely right.

Why do I say "just" a teacher.

I'm more than "just" a teacher.

I am so proud of what I do. I work hard. I do amazing things. My job isn't mundane. I don't just do anything.

I engage students. I challenge them. I work to extend them. I get them out of their comfort zone. I help them to see the world differently.

I'm not just anything!

But I'm not the only teacher who says that. Why do we put ourselves down? Why don't we recognise the amazing work that we do? The multi-faceted work that teachers do? The various roles that we fill for our students.

I'm not just anything.

And neither is any other teacher out there!

This poster was created using Stampin Up's My Digital Studios Embellishment Playground Project Life 3x4 - 42 and fonts KG Ten Thousand Reasons, KG Lego House, KG Makes You Stronger, KG Wakes You Up, KG Alphabet Regurgitation.
 embellishments/Playground Project Life 3x4 - 42
Friday, 5 September 2014

Professional Learning

I've been doing a lot of reading lately. This isn't unusual - English teacher - will read. But I'm trying to focus my attention on Education books - books that I guess could be considered professional development.

I've seen lots of infographics floating around that state that if you spend 10000 hours reading about a particular topic/idea you can be called an expert in the field...

I'm not sure how accurate this is. If you want to seem more information about how this number is determined have a look at this post by FreakoStats...

But right now, I've got a couple of key areas that I feel I need to me more well read in - to I guess be an expert in the field. 

So to help me to reflect on what I am reading, I'm going to start blogging about what I'm reading. I know that I'm a reflective learner and that this will help me to process my ideas.

The first book I've grabbed is "Using Data to Improve Learning: A practical guide for busy teachers" by Anthony Shaddock. I picked it up because I'm trying to determine how to best use the data we're collecting from a range of sources: PAT Testing, NAPLAN, Academic Data etc. Instead of looking at it and saying hmmmm...that's where that student it is - I want to think with my staff about what we do with it next - now that we've identified what the student can and can't do - how do we help them to improve?

I know that I'm going to enjoy this book because in the first chapter that really resonated with me:

This is so true. I can't work out how to balance everything. To meet the needs of a constantly changing work environment that is impacted more and more by the outside - policies, parents, society. How do we use all the data available to tailor learning. And most importantly - when do we do it? 

When do we as individual teachers with our own classes, as teachers working in year level or subject teams, or as teachers within a whole school cohort have time to analyse the data and make decisions about how to tailor and differentiate the curriculum more specifically to meet the needs of all our students?

How can I ask my staff to analyse the data without providing them with a clear framework? A clear purpose for why they need to analyse the data? A clear explanation of how they should analyse the data? 

I hope that as I take a journey through this book, that I can come to a better understanding and realisation of what I should do next and how I can work with my staff to make real change.

A small step for an English teacher....