Sunday, 16 September 2012

Improving Teacher Programme

It was mentioned to me in passing the week before last, but after a visit from a senior member of staff on Friday, it's all but confirmed that I'll be taking part in the Improving Teachers Programme. It's a six-session course that runs over 6 weeks and is apparently aimed at members of staff who consistently receive satisfactory with elements of good in their observations and aims to develop their skills to deliver consistently 'good' lessons.

I don't like telling people that I consistently get 'satisfactory with elements of good' (sorry, requires improvement, not satisfactory) in my observations. It makes me feel a bit rubbish despite me knowing that I am not, so I always seem to say 'my observations are graded satisfactory, but over a year, I get good results' to make myself feel better. In fairness, I do. A remark of a pupil who came to me with an F on modular with 4 months to go came back as a C on Thursday.
I don't feel like a teacher who 'requires improvement' (of course I do, but I don't think I deserve a title with that negativity), but I am very excited to be involved in the sessions.

The idea is that the four of us from the school who are attending will then roll this out to the rest of the staff in CPD sessions, followed by involvement in the Outstanding Teachers Programme (another programme, aimed at developing 'good' teachers into 'outstanding' teachers).

The sessions run throughout October and November and are based around these headings:
#1: Introduction to Teaching and Learning
#2: Starters and Plenaries
#3: Assessment
#4: Questioning
#5: Differentiation
#6: Final Plenary Session

Each session also has a 'post session task' and require dialogue with a school-based coach/mentor.

I will be posting blogs on the matter as I go, not only as it will be part of my process, but also because I hope that others can gain from this as much as I can.

First session: October 1st. Can't wait.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Finding a better work-life balance..

The overlap between my working situation and my living situation has altered this year. I'm going to need some rigidity to find a happy balance between the two and inspired by this blog post, I have written this manifesto:

1. My working hours run from Sunday, 6:30pm to Friday, 3pm. I will aim to work from 7am to 4pm at work and between 6:30pm and 8pm at home. Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday morning and afternoon is my time off.
2. I will wake at 5:30am every school day, aiming to get to sleep no later than 10:30pm the night before.
3. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday mornings I will run 5km.
4. I will leave work at 4pm wherever possible.
5. I will drink more water, both at work and at home.

On days when I run 5km, it's likely that I'll arrive at work at about 7.30am. On days when I don't it will be 7am. I'm hoping this gives me an extra hour to get some marking done, and will means that I'll spend 45 hours at work in the week, with an extra 7.5 hours at home. If I can work efficiently, then I think this will be more than enough time to mark and plan.

The end of last year was a tired time for me. I'm hoping that a routine will prevent this from happening too soon, with time to relax and unwind and recharge at the weekend. I'm hoping it will make me more efficient, too and allow for a more energised and focused push around exams time.

The weekend off is a BIG 'must do', I think. I have committed to some working weekends (for developing The Mathia), but will earn these back from myself during the holidays, not working on anything, but maybe playing golf.