Archive for the ‘Teacher Education’ 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 ►

On your marks …..

It has been six weeks since the high #learnpod13, my discovery of Edcanvas & all my excitement about having a long summer to think and reflect. Plans of blogging these thoughts have clearly not materialised as I have fully embraced  non-workness and thoroughly indulged in  experiencing the beautiful sunshine in the company of my Boisterous Boy.

Although my dreams have been dominated by showing up to my first 16-18 ESOL class with no plan, when my waking thoughts have turned to work I’ve found myself pondering the CELTA. I feel that the course was a little neglected last year as I was so focused on the new Tech for Learning Delivery course. Read more ►

Edcanvas, online quizzes & sunshine

The Teacher Ed department at college have agreed to trial running parts of the induction next year as blended learning, particularly around the use of the social media sites Twitter and Yammer.

Starting with the Twitter Induction, I started looking last week at using the Lesson function within Moodle. On my love-hate relationship spectrum with Moodle I was certainly very very close to the ‘hate’ end. I spent what felt like a good chunk of the afternoon structuring the resources and activities within the Lesson but it didn’t fit right and I was really struggling to get it to work. Granted, I have only ever made two Lessons in Moodle before, and that was over a year ago so it was really back to basics. But it was hard. Read more ►

Digital Literacy Skills Put to the Test

Apple GadgetsAttribution: Image: ‘The Setup

Who would have thought getting videos of an iPad and audio of an iPhone would be so challenging!

In the PTLLS class this week five groups gave presentations summarising legislation and codes of practice and making reference to the relevance to their vocational area and their role as a teacher.

There were three students missing from the group, so as the presentations started the group agreed it would be a good idea to record them. As this was a last minute decision I grabbed what was handy, which was the iPad, and the trainees took it in turns in recording each other. I must have had a Small Inkling that it wouldn’t be that straightforward so I also set the voice memo recording on my iPhone as well.

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Reflection on delivering a CPD session: one

Drafting a blog post this morning is reminding me of why I’ve been struggling with blogging this year. I start with one idea, and then several hundred words later I’ve wandered off on so many tangents I struggle to pull it back into a meaningful post.So here one of what I think will be a series of posts.Background
I am an occasional teacher on the Cambridge DTE(E)LLS course, where over the 18 months I deliver 5 sessions around CPD & reflective practice. On the first course I was given the (slightly tongue in cheek) nickname of Cathy ‘reflection’ Clarkson. I really wanted to give the trainees a good experience of the importance of being a reflective practitioner, something that I didn’t experience myself on the ITT.

This week was the last of these 5 sessions, where we review CPD activities undertaken, reference these back to their action plans and consider possible future CPD activities

Reflection using the Conscious Competencies model Read more ►

DTELLS session on Digital Literacy – a reflection on planning a session



When planning this session I started as ever looking at the session delivered last year. Overall, I felt that the session had gone well and there were only some minor tweeks needed – especially around the fact that I felt that the first and final activities were repetitive. The best activities of the session were the digital histories, (an idea adapted from maths histories on the excellence gateway) and I’m particularly keen to keep this activity as we have such a range of ages and cultures this year, which should provide some interesting discussion points on digital natives vs digital immigrants.  Comparing the print newspaper with the digital newspaper was also really interesting, and my first thought in updating this activity was to include newspaper apps in this comparison as all the trainees have some kind of mobile device.

  Read more ►