Wednesday, 29 September 2010

CPD in Critical Times

I have been very busy thinking hard about how to put together my first presentation for our Head of MFL conference here in rural SW England. It's sort of - flattered to be asked, scared to be doing it!! I've warmed to my theme and here is my presentation - I really have learned so much over the last two years about ways of keeping up with latest technology and using Web2 tools for teaching. I am also a very convinced Twitter user and love Google reader.
I have given useful links on last page of presentation and hope that any one from our conference who finds their way here, will find the ppt useful, practical and not too geeky. Many thanks to Twitter friends and FM friends for assistance and my 2 delightful sons, who are a constant source of patient advice for me and a fount of knowledge.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Here we go again!

Maybe I will manage better this year - as a Head of Department, I constantly go over what else we can do, should do, could manage to do, to improve learning and teaching - that's my job along with all the other admin bits and pieces which often hold me back from focusing properly on that teaching and learning. Heads of Dept will know exactly what I mean.
Followed a great thread on TES forum about time management and people's ideas about how to manage better. I even took the time to make a list. I am particularly liking the use of an old kitchen timer for 25 minute bursts, with a 5 min gap to do whatever you like in, before resetting the timer if you need to. I can cope with 25 mins but not the thought of 11/2 hours of marking at one go. The system fools me into sensible chunking. So far, so good.

I might manage better this year too as I have some very major things behind me - the OF**** word, - they hit in May - we did well. I did my Leading from the Middle course last year too. It was pretty good, I am quite reflective already, so it maybe wasn't as revealing to me as to some others, but time spent with other Middle Leaders was very enjoyable - glad to see this kind of support is now available (but it may disappear??) Read Alex Blagona's interesting post on his experience of Leadership attempts!

One of our lovely successes last year too was a big joint project with our Partner primary schools. We all did story-telling - can you guess our story?!- and drama and then our year 7s went to visit a Primary school with an MFL teacher - result is that we all performed what work we were each doing, all our team got a chance to go to a Primary school and our Year 7s loved going back to yr 6. What is more, all the teachers are still friends and we understand what we are all doing or trying to do. I call that a result! In the face of so much change at Secondary level, the project with our Primaries was great fun, even if someone reversed the school minibus into a police van on the day of a visit... ooops! No injuries - phew!

So I look forward to a productive but slightly less hectic year and trying to keep my sanity will be a priority!