This summer I moved region, house and school: it was a big move and I am still not fully moved in.
Moving house was fine: I have done that before and moving to a region where I didn’t know anyone was a breeze as, thanks to the arbitrary placement policies of Teach First, I had done that before too and it had been fantastic. It was incredibly emotional leaving my previous placement as that is where I learned to teach and, cliche I know, learned to love teaching: thanks in large part to having a mentor in the shape of @ukliteracy who has an incredible passion for pedagogical innovation.
However, for a variety of reasons I had to move to the South West and duly got a job teaching History (brilliant), to students from Year 9 upwards – including 6th form – (excellent), in a boarding school (terrifyingly new and different and not something I ever imagined).
I can honestly say that I love my new post. It is incredibly different in structure to any school I have been a pupil at, or worked in and this makes teaching here utterly fascinating. The culture and ethos of the school allows professional freedom for the staff to focus on the core task of our profession: teaching. Yes, we are monitored but it is not constant and it is not oppressive.
Having had a half term to acclimatise, I now feel like I need to mix up my teaching. All of the new ideas that I developed (or – more accurately – stole from amazing teachers on Twitter) over the past two years of teaching are now regular fixtures in my classroom and I want to keep trialling and experimenting with new ideas.
To aid this, I have a rapidly increasing collection of texts on teaching which have a recurrent theme of ‘100 new ideas’ (see the very useful and most recent book from @TeacherToolkit). I have decided not to let these tomes languish on the shelf and instead am setting myself a challenge: for the next 100 teaching days I will trial 100 new ideas. Whether these are from Twitter, books, TES or my colleagues, hopefully they will increase the effectiveness of my teaching and keep my students engaged and motivated in the subject that I teach.
First up? Joe Kirby’s (@joe__kirby) and his colleagues’ DIRT marking system as described in this blog. I will feedback when I have enacted it and assessed results.
Any and all ideas welcome via the comments on here or on Twitter @annebradshaw88