Interim reports

Education Learning Log

holidayitis

It’s exciting before the winter holidays….. Our children are itching for Christmas to come. The teachers are itching for their break, and I’m itching for a decent sleep!

This session has been a bit tricky for us as we have welcomed a lot of new staff to the school. It’s fantastic to have these newly qualified and fairly newly qualified staff who are keen to learn and make a difference. They sook up advice and are clearly self reflective. For those of us who have been here longer it’s a chance to explain how things are done here (without that getting in the way of new ideas). We sometimes forget that new people don’t learn be telepathy though! I’ve been really lucky throughout my career to have fantastic mentors who have helped me improve. We’re discovering that little things are the most important to explain thoroughly. Just as classroom organisation is the first key to getting to grips with learning and teaching, so too the little “our school” details are really important.

I remember being perturbed when I started teaching at being given a lesson in how to put up millskin and a border round it on a pinboard. It didn’t seem very important at that point….But I still do it pretty well now! But that nice backdrop to displaying children’s work shows that we value what they do and that we are proud of the children, their achievements and our school.

So what are we finding we need to concentrate on just now? Re-inforcement of how jotters should be presented, talking about how to set out sums, how to teach basic processes such as decomposition after the concepts are grasped, talking about how to work on learning of number bonds etc. What we are really doing though through this is talking about learning and teaching! Talking about collective knowledge within an experienced staff . I think there is probably a nugget of thought in here about environment/ethos and how we keep that going by looking at little things in our school, like graffiti on jotter covers just not being allowed. Just as there’s a train of thought that suggests fixing broken windows, cleaning up graffiti etc affects crime in a neighbourhood so too I think there’s something important in there about how schools run. How we keep things going when there is huge staff turnaround, how expectations of something like jotter layout can affect much bigger things like behaviour throughout a school. I am going to have to think about this a bit more, but there’s a thought fermenting in there somewhere!

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December 5, 2007 Posted by | Nonsense | , | Leave a comment

Balancing

A busy few weeks are ahead. As I mentioned previously we are just completing our HMIe2 process. The report is written by EA and we are just waiting to see if HMIe will pop in or not for a moderation visit. We also have a quick HMIe visit next week to discuss impact of Teaching Profession for 21st century. It’s sad but true that no matter what reason for an HMIe visit the tummy still churns a bit in trepidation!

Here’s my wee worry today. A sort of active learning dilemma…. There is a tension between active learning and the resulting quantity and quality of written work in jotters! I have a bee in my bonnet today about jotter presentation, and I’ve been having a good old moan, but also a general panic that I am not seeing enough written evidence. However this helps remind me of the fear that teachers in class have about fully engaging with a more active approach… As with everything it is about balance…

Yes a move to active learning is needed however we need to remember that the skill of an excellent teacher is one of moving between different teaching approaches for different purposes.

November 14, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment