Hello, It’s been a while since I’ve blogged (busy teacher and all that). I’ve been reading a few #Nurture1314 blogs and was tempted to do my own…and after a few tweets telling me to do it here I am…So, here goes.
Well, I was an NQT until July 2013 and then ‘became’ a RQT in Sept 2013. My blog will be about ‘life as an NQT’ for me and the transition to RQT. Hope you don’t get bored.. haha! Not sure I’ll have enough to say….
OK I’m going to write my reflection (the number) and then the ‘wish’ underneath
1. My family and close friends who have supported me through the ups and downs on being and NQT and RQT (through the changes and challenges that have happened during the year) It’s been a huge help. I’m not sure I’ve been clear enough with them on just how much they’ve helped. My best pal on twitter @carleyjoanne has really been there, and as a fellow teacher understands my ridiculous tears and tantrums! But has remained a great strength, whom I turn to A LOT! THANK YOU.
> I need to ensure that I show my appreciation to the staff who have been my support and strength, friends and family. Like I said, not sure they realize how much they help (including @anaustra)
2. Twitter – without this I would not be half the teacher I am today. I always worked hard, but twitter has been a new world of connections and collaboration. Thanks to all you #tweachers out there who have encouraged me to blog (and even read what I write!) And a huge thanks to the support you give. There are so many of you to mention but particularly @rlj1981 (who has also introduced me to googlehangout) @kerrypulleyn @teachertoolkit @andyknill and many many more! The help given through shared resources and ideas has been incredible in times of need!
> Looking forward to attending some TeachMeets. Haven’t been able to this year as they’ve been midweek and too far for me to get to in time! Can’t wait for #pedagooLondon and #NorthernRocks2014 (I get to meet the amazing #tweachers)
3. I never wanted to read another ‘critical’ education book (or whatever) again after my PGCE (which I failed by 1 mark – I got QTS but I was hopeless at the writing/academic element. I’m not one to shy away from that. In all honesty – my work was absolute rubbish, no matter how hard I worked or how hard I cried!) However, with the aid of twitter I’ve rekindled my love for reading a few critical books etc which is great as it’s helped me to move on as a teacher and realize i’m not as ‘thick’ as I think I am…perhaps…
>looking forward to making use of my #101ideas @teachertoolkit book, amongst others on Solo Taxonomy and Leadership skills. I may try to read some books for fun too! Got a few ready to read before I head back in the new year.
4. Attending a Kagan Day 1 and 2 course. This was brilliant! Mind blowing and just fabulous – right up my street. I love to be an interactive teacher and have my classroom so. I taught like this before I went on the course and the students developed not just with their academic progress (Level 3 to 5 or Level 5 to 7!) But the classroom atmosphere and respect rose too. The students are ‘real’ friends. When they feel safe, and they’re having fun, and we experiment together as a class they grow, their relationships develop.
>This then lead to T&L asking me to deliver a Kagan morning of CPD on the first day back in September 2013. This was fantastic! I couldn’t wait. I just love ‘teaching’ and sharing ‘my’ discoveries and experiences. I simply want others to ‘see’ what I see. It also lead to my school having their own in-house #TeachMeet and I delivered a 3 minute presentation on #SoloTaxonomy. The feedback from some staff for both CPD sessions was good. Just hope it is of real benefit. I intend on doing more CPD sessions and developing my own personal professional skills and helping others to (if the school feels that’s the right approach) I also need to ensure that I continue to develop my skills as a practitioner – as this is the most important part of my job. I want to be a good teacher.
5. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed teaching KS3 – I feel this is my ‘area’ I’ve quick to adapt and be flexible in this area – I feel like I’m really getting to understand how to make it engaging yet academic and building students knowledge/understanding as well as preparing them for KS4 and onwards. I love setting the challenges through the use of cross curricular, solo taxonomy and kagan. (not sure this one makes sense!)
> I would love to develop my role in KS3, either at my current school or another. I’d also like the opportunity to develop my skills in Literacy (I’ve been working on this just before christmas – mind is buzzing with ideas!)
6. Having 5 of my year 11 students (of boys who aren’t interested in books, English or education) attend a theatre performance of An Inspector Calls. “Their behaviour was impeccable,” said another member of staff – I beamed!! Then I asked them for their views on the performance – they LOVED it! They were engaged, talked about it on the journey home and again to me the next day! Their achievement in the past year is brilliant. They’ve worked so hard to achieve a C. Nothing like the boisterous, rebellious, reluctant class I met back in 2012 (as year 10) Now they have dreams, ambition and ideas for their future. YES! That’s success in my eyes!
> I now need to continue with this engagement! Last hurdle for these guys, which I fear is going to be a big one!! I aim to encourage their reading too. Still a work in progress as there is very little they want to pick up. But I will persevere!
7. To my delight before the Christmas term I had a year 9 student ask me about taking AS English! We deliver AS English to year 10s. So I discussed this with this particular student who also said another 5 in my class were already considering it! I was gobsmacked and thrilled! They said they’re loving English now and feel like their skills are always developing to a high standard (and they are!) I’ve worked hard with this class – pushing them to their limits and a little further. To ensure they’re leaving my classroom not just a Level 6 or 7, but a person who understands.
> Looking forward to developing this love for English with this class further! I’ve started giving them ‘recommended reads’ which seems really positive so far! Students have been really engaged and keen to read the texts I suggest. I am also hoping we will be able to arrange more enrichment and trips that is suitable for them.
8. Teaching a resit class is difficult! As they don’t want to be there, and I understand that. I love them but they don’t see that. However, I feel some of them are starting to understand how much I care! Some of them have actually been revising and practicing. Shock, Horror… Some of them in the weeks before Christmas really started to turn things around and I’m so happy they’ve stepped it up a notch (their exam is in Jan!) They had a mock before Christmas and some of them did so well, I did a little dance! I pray this will be the same scenario in January!
> Need to think about engaging the girls now and giving them one last push before the exam. Otherwise they’re stuck with me until June exam…
9. As an RQT I’ve started to manage my time a little better. Pushing on through schemes of work etc and getting things done much closer to the deadlines! Not always easy when there are trips and enrichment days…but I’ve done pretty well last term.
> Use my diary more and highlight like crazy and use sticky notes. I didn’t do this in the first half term (Sept -Oct) and lost track of a few things, but started to do it again before Christmas. And it’s the way I work – so I’m gona stick to it!
10. I’ve been pushing for students to have pride in their work (school policy to get students to present their work better). This has been ‘easy’ when it comes to homework tasks, as I set them project work/display projects which they take pride in as they go on show/present to the class. Works well! phew! Most students do work well in their books, however I do have some that are still messy! Drives me around the bend!
> Taking time in class to let students lay work out neatly (examples on board). It sounds basic but I need to go back to it as some work has got sloppy again!
11. I was really excited and nervous about starting my blog. But once I got going I loved it (thanks to the encouragement from @rlj1981) But I’ve been busy and not blogged as much as I could/should have…
> I need to blog more for 2014! I’ve a bit of catching up to do for some of my lessons from 2013 too.. eek. I best get to it! I will share more of my joyful experiences 🙂
12. My fitness…at last I’ve taken action. In June of 2013 I got fed up. I decided to stop whinging and DO something. So I started running…then I’ve bought my own exercise tools etc at home and I’ve got myself back into shape and at a good fitness – it makes me feel good, and proud! I’ve not done too much before Christmas (naughty!) But I’m back on it now.
> I will continue with my fitness and ‘clean’ eating. And I like spreading the word too as my colleagues will know haha @tracysharpe71 Healthy brownies, muffins etc they’re so yum…happy to share recipes with my #tweacherfriends
oof I’m almost there – didn’t think I’d have 13.
13. Driving – I guess I better mention this. I passed my test just in time for starting my NQT year but at the time I lived 10 minutes from my place of work. But then I moved back ‘home’ and now travel 45-50min up and down the motorway. My driving instructors words were “You’ll be like my older sister, she’s 70. You will only go from A-B and will NEVER be able to use a motorway.” I’ve been to a few places – Bronte Parsonage for one.
> I will continue to travel around in my lovely little cute car. My aim is to travel far and wide! So watch out world (especially the UK) ’cause here I come…
> I will continue to be bright and bubbly! I can be grumpy teacher sometimes..But I do my best to smile and have energy. My mission is to continue to do this and continue to spread this among staff and students!
Another achievement, which I forget on most days, is how well I did during ofsted. I try my best to ensure students enjoy the topics and texts we study. During the ofsted visit, and during other observations, i did really well (gaining outstanding). And as an NQT this was an indescribable feeling. The feedback was terrific. And made me realize that I can teach and I do know what I am doing. My aim for 2014 is to believe in me! When I forget I must think back to my feedback I’ve gained over the past year.
A few other things I’ve taken on board last term as well as the teaching&learning (and that I’m looking forward too in 2014) is looking at the development and implementation of gifted and talented T&L, CPD and enrichment.. Mission accepted…
Well, hope that’s what I should have written about. I didn’t quite talk about the transition from NQT to RQT ah well…
All the best #tweachers for 2014