Archive for the ‘teaching’ category

Going Meta

Going Meta


I attended the new tutor training at the university this week. It was a great opportunity to meet with others new to the Cert Ed/ PGCE and there were some useful opportunities to share and discuss ideas. However, as much as I usually like the hands on aspect of attending training/conferences/workshops, the section of the day that I took most away from was a presentation on what it means to be a teacher trainer, and how this differs to what it means to be a teacher.

I found the presentation stimulating, informative and most of all reassuring. It made me think about how I view myself as a teacher trainer on the CELTA course and what it is that excites me about teaching on the Cert Ed/PGCE – the idea of working with those new to teaching and supporting them to become professional teachers. Read more ►

Motivation and me: the challenges

motivationI was recently asked ‘Why do you do what you do? Why do you get out of bed every morning?’

Big Questions! But something teachers should continually ask themselves.

The IFL’s final survey of teachers found that

“More than anything, it seems that the central motivation for teachers in FE and skills is the successful achievement and progression of learners.”

I recently did a ranking activity on skills and attributes of a teacher. The list was referenced to such places as The Sutton Trust Toolkit, OFSTED and the Education and Training Foundation, and contained words such as enthusiasm, inspiring, passion, high expectations & knowledgeable. It was a great discussion activity and an opportunity to have the time and space to think about such BIG QUESTIONS. Read more ►

Getting Back on the Horse

Hello Blog. It’s been a while.

I did the ‘reflection’ class yesterday. In the introduction to the lesson I talked about the struggles that many tutors have with reflective practice. Tutors that say ‘I reflect all the time’ while rolling their eyes at the term. The post-PGCE-ers who bemoan the ‘reflecting on reflecting on my reflections’.

I told them how hearing these issues resonate with me, because I remember doing it. The memory of my PGCE was writing a reflective journal, all in one sitting, just to have something the ‘hand in’. I remember being at specialist conference having a box to fill in to reflect on the day and rolling my eyes. I remember Schon and not really understanding what he meant by ‘reflecting-in-action’ and ‘reflecting-on-action’. Read more ►

A new academic year, a new course & new skills

I’m teaching on the year one Cert Ed/PGCE for the first time this year, & very excited I am. While parts of the curriculum are fairly new to me having delivered the level 4 PTLLS & undertaken observations before what I am really excited about how I can enthuse new teachers into the benefits of technology & demonstrate how they can embed technology into their own practice – both as teachers and as teacher-as-learner.

Today there have been many firsts. First observation of the year. First time using the new paperwork. First time using Notability to write the observation report. First time to receive the lesson plan from the trainee via Yammer. Read more ►

A Day of Planning

I’ve had A Day today.

I’ve considered different possible assessment tasks. I’ve ditched all of those and decided to use some already designed tasks. I had a Small Panic that this was ‘cheating’. I had a timely call from a fabulous colleague who Set Me Straight.

I’ve thought about a lot of different possible tasks to support those assessment tasks. I just about discarded most of the ideas and reduced the activities down into something more realistic that fits into the time scale & the assessment brief.

I’ve printed stuff. I stuck post-its on these print outs with notes reminding me what I want to do this them. There is a lot of copy & cut instructions. I like matching activities! Read more ►

Journals: week in the life of ……

I’ve had two journals drop through my post in the past two weeks.

InTuition: the journal for professional teachers and trainers in the further education and skills section. (what a title!!) and
Language Issues: the journal of NATECLA.

InTuition has visited a few table tops in my house. It sat for a while by the front door. Then it lounged lazily on the kitchen table. It had a brief trip to coffee table before heading back to the kitchen table. Read more ►

iPads: student explorations 2

Feeling inspired from last week’s lesson, I was glad that I had a week to think about how to follow up. The biggest challenge I found in thinking of something was the level of my students and what language they would need to review their apps. It took me a while to think about how I could simplify this enough & give them the language they would need.

Another chance corridor encounter meant that I was peer observed during this lesson too, & I know following this that this tutor has now used the iPads with her students too so I’m looking forward to chatting more about this & seeing what we can learn together.

Here’s an outline of the class: Read more ►

iPads apps: student explorations

I was (am) still feeling a little overawed with the class set of iPads. I am still taking the eight iPads into class every Monday, and most weeks they get used. But I have really focused on letting the students self-direct with using Google translate or images to check any new words or I have continued to experiment with using the app Ask3. Beyond this I was feeling a little stuck for inspiration and a Bit Daunted by the huge amount of apps available.

A chance corridor conversation gave me the nudge I needed I needed. My colleague has been using the iPads with her maths students. She told me she had initially introduced the iPads and spent some time letting the students explore the wide variety of maths-specific apps available. Now in class, she plans a 15-20 slot where students can self-direct their studies and she’s getting an informal idea of which apps they like by which ones they return to. (She also told me she had an evening student that was considering moving to the daytime class, but when she found out the iPads were not available in the daytime she decided to stay in the evening!!) Read more ►

a dash of differentiation & a huge helping of peer support

I had a thoroughly enjoyable 16-18 class this week. Gasp, shock, horror I hear you cry. It’s been such a long time since I posted about my bemusement of the younger age group it’s hard to figure out where the time has gone.

So what exactly have I been grappling with? Moody teenagers – check. An unknown curriculum – check. Trialling some new technologies – check. No wonder I’ve had No Brain to write!

I think I finally have a grasp of the (dreadful) PSD portfolio-building assessment & the iPads have taken on a routine-usage. As for the moods – just gotta swing with those. Read more ►

iPads and Course Books

At the last regional NATECLA conference I spent some time with the lovely Julia, who was staffing the OUP stand. She demo-ed the wonders of iHeadway and talked a good talk about the benefits of a course book.

On the whole, as an ESOL teacher in the UK, course books have played a pretty minor part of my repertoire, they always seemed to take so much adapting it was hardly worth it. Read more ►