Archive for the ‘reflections’ category

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 ►

Finding My Voice #TDreflex14

I think this has been a timely post for me, as I have been thinking more and more recently about my online identity and how this relates to my professionalism, who ‘owns’ this identity and what it says about me. This post is in response to the ‘uncourse’ that is currently running at Northern College – here is the week one synopsis.

People have said to me they don’t like the idea of writing in a public space & there is certainly a Fear Factor about committing word to screen. As we move from a world of digital footprints to digital tattoos, the idea that everything we publish remains. Forever.
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 ►

#corpusMOOC week 3 a warmer task & a farewell

The warm up activity for week three of the corpus linguistics MOOC is:

‘Go to an online news website or get a copy of a newspaper you are familiar with.

Browse through it to find an article in which refugees, migrants or asylum seekers are mentioned. Read the article making notes about how the refugees, migrants or asylum seekers are talked about. You may undertake whatever analysis on the article that you see fit. Spend no more than about 15 minutes looking at the data, however. Then watch the lecture.’Comment_is_free___The_Guardian

I resisted the temptation to head straight for The Daily Mail/ Express, who are both so well known for their love of ‘foreigners’ and decided to stick to the letter of the task and choose a paper I am familiar with. So, woolly liberal lefty that I am, I found this article on The Guardian within about two mins. 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 ►

Digital Distractions or Necessary Networking #corpusMOOC

week 2 progress

week 2 progress

As I previously said, I’m learning that watching video lectures is problematic for me – so this morning I have skimmed through all the transcripts of lectures for week 2, while simultaneously completing the quiz. Not surprisingly, I got 100% on my first attempt! Although, I will admit that some of the questions were tricky and it took some unpicking of the terminology to figure out which could be the correct answer. Read more ►

#corpusMOOC and me

Here we go again. I have succumbed to my fourth MOOC – the Corpus linguistics: method, analysis,… MOOC run by Lancaster University. The furthest I have ever got so far on a MOOC was in my first one, #fslt12, was about half way. I not quite so well with my second, #OCtel, and the third one – a MOOC on philosophy run by Edinburgh University I think I didn’t get past the first week.

Starting the Corpus linguistics MOOC in week 2 I am getting some insight into how I like to participate in such event. The overload of video is troublesome for me – and skipping week 1 and heading straight for week 2 I straight way see a string of videos to consume.

After the first one, I skip through the rest to the quiz at the end. I then start to do a little research to find the answers – which has involved some Google search and some scan reading through the transcripts of the videos.

And then I get distracted and start to write this post ………..

The fog lifts

Attribution: Image: ‘White sunset’ Found on

I may actually be starting to get my head around my new 16-18 ESOL group. I definitely spent the first two weeks in a kind of fog where I felt every thought I had led down the dark alley  of cluelessness.

The first week was a pretty traditional ESOL-y first lesson, with getting to know you activities and a college induction and class rules. So far so predictable. Except it wasn’t predictable. I wasn’t at all sure how the lesson would go at all – as it turns out the much over planned college tour using QR Codes and iPods was a Big Flop while the ‘draw a good student/a bad students/a good teacher’ went fairly well. Read more ►

I’ve done it. A lesson with iPads

September 23, 2013ESOL, reflections, teaching

I was so incredibly nervous at the start of lesson. I knew this week I had plenty of tasks to keep the pesky ‘wizz though everything fast’ 16-18s so it wasn’t that. I think I had the groups pretty well sorted out so it wasn’t that. I have to put my hands up and say it was the tech. I know I was nervous at the beginning of the Tech for Learning course, but after the first couple of weeks this soon went & I wasn’t ever bothered by the ‘tech’ issue.

So it’s probably been good for me to be reminded of what that feels like. To have butterflies about trying something new, with technology. I’m pretty sure this is a lot of teacher’s default positions. Read more ►