I had a very surprising conversation with my head yesterday that stunned me completely. It was my performance management session and he was congratulating me on being an outstanding teacher. We are on Ofsted alert as well and he said he would certainly try to point them in my direction. I argued this as I always do. I do not think that I am an outstanding teacher. I read lesson plans and activites designed by other teachers and I think that they exceed what I do by miles. I’m not desperately creative although I have the odd spark of inspiration and I don’t differentiate work anywhere near as much as I should.
However he was ready for this argument (we’ve had it before) and produced some figures. Apparently my children make more progress in English and Maths than any other teacher in the school and have done for the past 4 years. He had exact figures for reading, writing and maths to prove it.
I know that my results are good but as I work in an outstanding school, I always assumed that so were most other people’s so this took me completely by surprise.
It makes me wonder as well. I am probably a fairly traditional class teacher and like things to be safe and orderly so I don’t experiment too much. I don'[t think that I do outstanding lessons but I do think that I am a good teacher and that it is possible to be a good teacher from week to week.
Maybe there is more than one way to be outstanding . Lessons with bells and whistles and excitement for the children tick all the boxes for Ofsted but if my path of trying to do what I can as well as possible generates good results then maybe that’s a different route.
After nearly 20 years in this job, I think I am finally beginning to feel that what I am doing is right. Not to the extent that I am going to shut my mind to anyone else’s ideas because I’ve always been interested in moving forward but maybe feeling a bit more confident in myself.
Life obviously begins at 50!
I’ve just realised that it’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted anything on here. It certainly doesn’t mean that I haven’t done any teaching or thinking about maths for a month! The past four weeks seem to have been hectic with very little time to sit and reflect about what I have been doing.
The most urgent thing at the moment is to get my second assignment written. This has so far taken hours of thought and brain wracking. Not to mention the idea of not bothering at all and just giving the course up which is very tempting and almost happened earlier today!
I love the course and really feel that it has made me think a lot more about how I teach and why I do things in a certain way. However the written part of the course is very stressful and I am struggling to get this assignment going.
One of the main problems is the same as for the first assignment. A requirement to read research and use that in the assignment. The university library system doesn’t seem to throw up anything useful despite hours of searching. Google scholar is useful but only to a limited degree. Too often the articles that come up have to be purchased which isn’t really feasible when it isn’t at all certain that it will be helpful.
My main problem though is that the whole thing is very vague. I’m not sure what the focus of the assignment is supposed to be. Is it on the collaboration between my colleague and myself or is it on the improvement in children’s learning that hopefully arises out of the collaboration? Or both???
The isolation is hard as well. Our network group meet occasionally but none of us is any more sure of how to proceed than I am. We have met our assignment tutor once and there are differing opinions about how much help we are supposed to have.
I am currently working on the principle of asking questions by email and if I go too far, then she will presumably say so.
This all sounds very depressing which reflects how I feel about this side of the course. Not sure what I would recommend to anyone starting it this year. Hopefully things may be a bit clearer for the second cohort as we sometimes get the feeling that no one is entirely sure what is supposed to be happening.
I think that my main advice would be to keep in touch with the other people in your group and try to meet outside of the organised meetings so that you can share ideas and problems.
So back to the assignment. It’s due in 3 weeks time so I haven’t got a huge amount of time to sort my ideas out.