Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Ambitions for 2016-17

Inspired by a photo someone posted earlier (although I must now admit that I can't actually find it again) I jotted down my ambitions for the new school year. This year is different to previous ones I think because I'm at a different stage in my teaching

2013-14 --> Get through ITT
2014-15 --> Complete NQT
2015-16 --> Manage on full timetable, settle into new school, finish MA.

So what does 2016-17 bring? The first thing I have to do is finish my MA, the dissertation is due in on 1st October so that doesn't really count as a huge part of my year (unless it fails of course...) so there are other things for me to think about this year. I reckon that this year is going to be more about (and excuse how cheesy this is going to sound) finding who I am as a teacher.

What I mean by that is that ITT was about ticking boxes, learning all things that you need for the PGCE, NQT was about learning what parts of the ITT training were worth keeping and what was mumbo-jumbo to be ignored and then getting used to things. I suppose last year could've been about me, if I hadn't taken on an MA and moved schools, so last year was still about the academic and getting used to things. This year is, as I've said before, a bit different. Or at least I intend it to be.

This year I intend to vary my teaching a bit more, step out of some of the safe teaching I've let myself get into. I'm hoping this is something the new GCSE specification will help me to do, I'm also introducing something to my department to help us with this that I'll explain later. I intend to set myself a marking timetable and stick to it properly as well as making sure I'm setting more worthwhile homework. I want to make the most of form time, with a year 12-13 group I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do that yet, but I'll find something... I want to work on all the exciting plans I've talked about with my head of department for raising the profile of languages in school. I hope to be a good NQT mentor, a slightly scary responsibility that I hope I will be able to do well in, I'm really looking forward to it. I can't wait to get blogging again, although what form this will take I'm still not sure, I enjoy the space blogging gives me for reflecting on things but the opportunities aren't quite so frequent as they were in ITT/NQT so maybe I need a new focus. Finally, I want to take part in #teacher5aday again, I started a couple of times and failed, I think this may be my chance, but I'll need a push to do it.

Going back to what I'm introducing with my department to vary teaching - I'm taking the idea of Teaching and Learning Missions from @MrsHumanities and adapting it. I have been compiling a list of 'missions' or challenges that members of the department could complete that week (it's not compulsory). The challenges will be linked to varying our teaching and coming up with new ideas to fulfill the requirements of the new specification for GCSE and A Level and transferring this down to KS3. Each week I'll send out a mission, at the end of the week I will ask for feedback and will share what I get with the department. Hopefully it will be good for us not only as individuals but for sharing best practice across the department.

The exciting plans I mentioned are ongoing, with the aim of raising the profile of MFL within the school. We're looking at a range of extra curricular activities to motivate students to study MFL (the subject of my dissertation, which is why I'm so keen to get on and do it!). We've talked about our use of display boards in corridors, the way we praise and reward students, the activities we do in class, the activities we provide at lunch times and the way we are going to celebrate European Day of Languages. There is so much buzzing around that I can't blog about it yet, I will do once we get things going!

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