I’ve been told several times that your third year of teaching is when things “click” and I’m wondering if that will be true.
I know that there are several things that seem more achievable this coming year, like classroom management for example. I’ve now worked out how I want my room organised to suit my way of working and how I want the seats arranged to suit my pupils’ behaviour! I feel like my room will be my room this year.
Researching my new courses has been fun. Year 13 English Language is proving fascinating. The new GCSE spec seems interesting: next week I’m tackling the prep for the Shakespeare and linked poetry assignment. And somehow, planning and prep seems to be getting easier… It’s a third year thing perhaps?
One thing that is definitely going to make a difference this year is my own proactivity in terms of my CPD. I’ve recently found Twitter and participate in the weekly educator’s discussion #ukedchat (Thursday 8-9pm) I’ve attended my first TeachMeet and intend to attend more next year. The power of the PLN is huge… I am actively engaged in my own professional development and it has made me feel completely invigorated and positive. Now if I can only transfer this sense of possibility to the rest of the department then we might be getting somewhere!
My next project is Moodle… and that will need a whole new post!
“Have you read all these books then, Miss?” asked an enquiring Year 8 pupil, as she helped me take some texts back to our Aladdin’s Cave of a stock cupboard.
Regretfully – but probably not surprisingly – I had to say no. I’m lucky to work in a school with a long tradition of success in English Literature. That makes for a well-stocked text cupboard. As I looked round I was aware of the many gaps in my reading knowledge. Perhaps worryingly, this didn’t seem to surprise the Year 8 pupil, who nodded sagely at my answer.
“To be fair Miss, if you had read them all then you’d not really have much of a life, would you?”
Try as I might on the walk back to the classroom, I don’t think I convinced her that actually reading more would be a great thing to do. Shame I couldn’t instantly recall these wise words:
“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”
Whilst I couldn’t convince her to give one of the classics a go, before we left the room I persuaded her to take a copy of Neil Gamain’s Coraline. All reading is good reading in my book!
I’m starting to get excited about the next academic year. Is this normal?
I just can’t help being enthused by the thought of fresh starts, new classes, new modules to teach, new pupils and new challenges. I love that I get to have this new year buzz in the middle of the calendar year too; it’s so much easier to be positive & optimistic when the sun is shining than in mid-winter!
So, I am starting myself a to do list for next year, so I can keep track of all my proposed good intentions. Here goes:
- Fully integrate Moodle into my own working practice & then encourage full department participation
- Research Masters courses for 2011
- Make my SmartBoard my new best friend – get to grips with the software upgrade & use it! (Not long had it fully operational so have got out of habit of using it.)
- Go to the annual NATE conference & any regional events where possible
- Build up my PLN – attend TeachMeets, participate fully in #ukedchat on Twitter, learn lots generally from networking with other teachers
- Build on the Kagan training I attended this year
- Launch the ESB qualification
- Start up the A Level Book Club
- Make it a habit to share web-based ideas/innovations with rest of my dept at our meetings
I was thinking I’d keep this in draft form and add to it until complete, however I think there is more of an incentive in publishing it and then adding to it.
So, my new academic year’s resolutions. I cannot wait to get started!