Monthly Archives: October 2016

Scottish Engineering Special Leaders Award – John Penman⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Small - John PenmanJoin us on Tuesday 1st November at 1.45pm for an opportunity to chat to an engineer who can help you as part of this year’s Scottish Engineering Special Leaders Award.

We are delighted to welcome back John Penman, the Sales and Marketing Director for FiFe Fabrications, based in Fife. John started his career making coal cutters and served his apprenticeship as turner/Mechanical engineer. He then progressed his learning by going to college in the evening and gaining experience in various areas in engineering. He has learnt a lot about the sectors he sells into, these include test and measurement/Defence/oil and gas/Audio visual displays.

Sign up now to take part live – Scottish Engineering Special Leaders Award – John Penman.

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Find more blog posts and information about the – Scottish Engineering Special Leaders Award

A Year in the Life of an Arable Farmer⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

small-arable-farmerJoin RHET on Tuesday 1st November at 10.30am as we follow Peter, a farmer near Linlithgow over the course of the year.

Find out what happens on an arable farm at different times of year and ask us any questions on food and farming you may have.

Sign up and join us live – A Year in the Life of an Arable Farmer

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

A Year in the Life of an Arable Farmer⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

small-arable-farmerJoin RHET on Tuesday 1st November at 10.30am as we follow Peter, a farmer near Linlithgow over the course of the year.

Find out what happens on an arable farm at different times of year and ask us any questions on food and farming you may have.

Sign up and join us live – A Year in the Life of an Arable Farmer

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Right Here, Right Now⤴

from @ Know it, Show it

The clocks changed last night. The Time Lords gave us all an extra hour. What a gift! Sixty extra minutes do to with what we will!

What are you going to do with your extra hour?

You’ve probably spent yours already, haven’t you? Stayed in bed an hour longer? Watched an extra episode of ‘Stranger Things’? Done an extra load of washing?

Yeah, well not me. I’m saving mine.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could bank that hour and use it when we wanted to? Choose when to spend it, and how? Be able to top up the sand in the hourglass of our choice just a little bit and make a moment stretch?

But which moment to choose?

One more kiss?

One more bedtime story?

One more dance?

One more chance to put things right?

One last chance to say goodbye?

An hour is a powerful thing. It is a coiled spring, full of potential energy, humming with what might, what could, what will, what may be.

As teachers, we forever long for extra time. ‘If I just had more time…’ we sigh to each other in the staff room as we look forlornly at our planning folders. ‘If I just had more time…’ we shrug apologetically to our learners as the bell rings before the end of the lesson. We are forever at war with the clock; there never seem to be enough hours in the day to achieve all that we want to.

Some teachers meet this war head on, in full riot gear. They battle with time. Their main and only objective is to defeat time and Get Ahead. If they can just Get Ahead, everything will be ok. Admittedly, this will mean casualties. You’re not going to Get Ahead without losing a few good men; it’s a sad but true fact of war. Work/Life Balance is sure to take a pretty big hit early on. Happiness and Sanity might not be far behind.

The problem is, none of these teachers have ever managed to Get Ahead. They are in endless pursuit of a place they’ve never been to, but imagine is amazing. A place where all the planning is done and the resources are made and there’s lots of free time and empty space to just think about things and do a bit of teaching.

That place doesn’t exist.

It is a mirage; as soon as you see it approach on the horizon, the last thing on your ‘to do’ list tantalisingly close to getting ticked off, Get Ahead will melt away and you will look down in despair to find another ten things just appeared on the bottom of your list.

That’s what life is like in teaching, and you need to make your peace with that.

The good news is, you might never Get Ahead, but you can be Here Now. Being Here Now means that you are doing the best you can with the time you’ve got. It means striking a deal with time; he supplies the seconds, you use them wisely. If you’re Here Now, you know how to get the most out of a limited resource. You say things like:

I should have moved on by now, but they are really engaged with this, let’s see where it goes.

If you are interested in this, what could we do to find out more?

I know it is hard but let’s keep going, we’ll get there together.

I’m stopping now because my family needs me too.

This is what matters; I know it in my head and in my heart.

 

You challenge others who seek to fill your ‘to do’ list with nonsense:

 

How will me doing this help my learners?

Is this the best use of my time?

Could I plan this with my learners? What would that look like?

What if we worked together on this instead?

Come into my classroom and see how we…

And remember, you’ve still got that extra hour in your back pocket. Use it wisely. Don’t waste it trying to Get Ahead. There will always be another lesson to plan, another load of washing to do.

So, here’s this week’s challenge:

Keep your eyes and ears open and look for the moment to use your hour. If you are Here Now, it’ll be easy to spot, because if you are Here Now, you are alive to all the moments that swirl and eddy around you as you wade through your day. Dip your hands in the water and feel those moments- which one could turn into something magical or important? Which moment, if you can just make it last, will mean someone in your class gets it? A colleague feels supported? A parent reassured?

In other words, what the best use of that hour?

 

Because you are the real Time Lord.

You decide how time is spent; the clock is just the ATM that dishes it out.

 


Not only is it good to talk, its essential⤴

from @ School Leadership - A Scottish Perspective

I had a visit this week from one of my Twitter contacts. Dr Rachel Lofthouse from Newcastle University visited one of my schools to talk about professional learning, and how we have been using practitioner enquiry to support this and school development for a number of years now. Having Rachel visit reminded me again of the power and the impact of focused professional dialogue and conversations.

There is no doubt that collaboration and collegiality are cornerstones of school and system development. Such co-operative working and thinking cannot happen in a vacuum and it is through conversation and dialogue that we build relationships and understandings. For such talk to have maximum impact it needs to be open, built on professional trust and focused. Cosy chats about comfortable issues and practices, can deepen these and the thinking around them, but are unlikely to have deep impacts on and move our practice forward. We need challenging conversations, with a common focus or theme, to improve our thinking, deepen our understandings and help us identify how we can move our practice forward. Truely dialogical approaches to professional development.

Focused professional dialogue is key to developing the learning and growth culture within a school. Talking to Rachel, and thinking ahead of and following her visit, re-enforced my view, based on experience and research, that professional development is an ongoing organic process, which needs to become a professional disposition for us all. Sustainable and meaningful professional development happens over time and is the result of initial training, experience, reading, engagement with research, collaboration with colleagues and dialogue around common issues. Over time our thinking and our practice evolves and grows as a result of all these interactions. For me, change and development is continuous and happens bit by bit every day. It is not revolution but evolution that is sustainable and makes the difference. The 'one off' big-hitting events and episodes of professional development can have impact at the time they are happening, but too often their impact dissipates over time. These events can still contribute to our ongoing professional identity change, but we need to recognise them for what they are, a small contribution to that overall professional evolution. The biggest impacts come from collaboration and conversation situated in our own particular context.

For the system too, professional dialogue is key in sharing insights, overcoming challenges and moving systems forward. These interactions need to be multi-dimensional and not one way, or top down, if they are to really improve the system. All have to be recognised as having a place, and a responsibility, within developing and growing the system for the benefit of all. Again, this dialogue needs to be based on values of trust and authenticity. Tokenism and false 'consultations' won't cut it and do more damage than good. True collegiality and collaboration is not about being told what to do, but about agreeing what needs to be done, and is shaped by context.

Obviously, face to face conversations are the most powerful, but these are not always possible. No longer is this a barrier for now we have social media, and especially Twitter. Now we can have 'real time' conversations and dialogue with colleagues across the Globe, whenever we wish. The power of these new ways to connect and collaborate is incredible, but still unknown to most educators. The percentage of teachers, school leaders, system leaders and researchers who use tools like Twitter is still relatively small, but growing. No longer do we have to wait to meet face to face to begin a conversation with colleagues from an ever expanding professional learning network. However, the ways that we can have those powerful face to face conversations have also grown. Now we have TeachMeets, BeerMeets, ResearchEd and other self-organised events happening all over different system as teacher agency has grown and developed. I am sure there many other individual meetings, like the one I had with Rachel and colleagues in Australia over the summer, are happening every week, if not every day. This all makes for a very exciting time for individual, school and system development. No longer is this the preserve of a privileged few, but is a more open and available to anyone who wishes to engage and contribute.

Who are you going to be talking to next?


Not only is it good to talk, its essential⤴

from @ School Leadership - A Scottish Perspective

I had a visit this week from one of my Twitter contacts. Dr Rachel Lofthouse from Newcastle University visited one of my schools to talk about professional learning, and how we have been using practitioner enquiry to support this and school development for a number of years now. Having Rachel visit reminded me again of the power and the impact of focused professional dialogue and conversations.

There is no doubt that collaboration and collegiality are cornerstones of school and system development. Such co-operative working and thinking cannot happen in a vacuum and it is through conversation and dialogue that we build relationships and understandings. For such talk to have maximum impact it needs to be open, built on professional trust and focused. Cosy chats about comfortable issues and practices, can deepen these and the thinking around them, but are unlikely to have deep impacts on and move our practice forward. We need challenging conversations, with a common focus or theme, to improve our thinking, deepen our understandings and help us identify how we can move our practice forward. Truely dialogical approaches to professional development.

Focused professional dialogue is key to developing the learning and growth culture within a school. Talking to Rachel, and thinking ahead of and following her visit, re-enforced my view, based on experience and research, that professional development is an ongoing organic process, which needs to become a professional disposition for us all. Sustainable and meaningful professional development happens over time and is the result of initial training, experience, reading, engagement with research, collaboration with colleagues and dialogue around common issues. Over time our thinking and our practice evolves and grows as a result of all these interactions. For me, change and development is continuous and happens bit by bit every day. It is not revolution but evolution that is sustainable and makes the difference. The 'one off' big-hitting events and episodes of professional development can have impact at the time they are happening, but too often their impact dissipates over time. These events can still contribute to our ongoing professional identity change, but we need to recognise them for what they are, a small contribution to that overall professional evolution. The biggest impacts come from collaboration and conversation situated in our own particular context.

For the system too, professional dialogue is key in sharing insights, overcoming challenges and moving systems forward. These interactions need to be multi-dimensional and not one way, or top down, if they are to really improve the system. All have to be recognised as having a place, and a responsibility, within developing and growing the system for the benefit of all. Again, this dialogue needs to be based on values of trust and authenticity. Tokenism and false 'consultations' won't cut it and do more damage than good. True collegiality and collaboration is not about being told what to do, but about agreeing what needs to be done, and is shaped by context.

Obviously, face to face conversations are the most powerful, but these are not always possible. No longer is this a barrier for now we have social media, and especially Twitter. Now we can have 'real time' conversations and dialogue with colleagues across the Globe, whenever we wish. The power of these new ways to connect and collaborate is incredible, but still unknown to most educators. The percentage of teachers, school leaders, system leaders and researchers who use tools like Twitter is still relatively small, but growing. No longer do we have to wait to meet face to face to begin a conversation with colleagues from an ever expanding professional learning network. However, the ways that we can have those powerful face to face conversations have also grown. Now we have TeachMeets, BeerMeets, ResearchEd and other self-organised events happening all over different system as teacher agency has grown and developed. I am sure there many other individual meetings, like the one I had with Rachel and colleagues in Australia over the summer, are happening every week, if not every day. This all makes for a very exciting time for individual, school and system development. No longer is this the preserve of a privileged few, but is a more open and available to anyone who wishes to engage and contribute.

Who are you going to be talking to next?


#pedagoomuckle -supporting change through the staff room⤴

from @ Pedagoo.org

I was trying to unpick some of the things I do in my practice, things I believe make a difference, and talking with a non-teacher friend, I realised that as a profession we tend to like a nice new shiny concept, approach, package, programme or resource. Now I’m not implying that’s wrong, far from it, […]

Using stories to support numeracy – Collette Collects – a picture book for number bonds…⤴

from @ Pedagoo.org

It is always good to have a bit of a project for the school holidays. My October holiday project probably should have been having a big tidy-up or finding someone to clean the guttering, but instead I decided to finish writing and illustrating a picture book. This was quite a significant project as I am […]

Using stories to support numeracy – Collette Collects – a picture book for number bonds…⤴

from @ Pedagoo.org

It is always good to have a bit of a project for the school holidays. My October holiday project probably should have been having a big tidy-up or finding someone to clean the guttering, but instead I decided to finish writing and illustrating a picture book. This was quite a significant project as I am […]