1) Started a new term of teaching with some great students, who are full of life and energy. Some were only a few marks off getting a C in GCSE English at school so aren’t too bad really. The C this year was harder to get than the year before in my opinion, due to the increased weighting of the final exam.
2) Started my PGCE on a part-time evening course to be completed over two years. This has been a hugely uplifting wave to surf into the new academic year on. It’s giving me a lot of food for thought already.
3) Followed some large class teaching advice and experimented with class teams from the off (Team Shakespeare, Team Steinbeck, Team Owen, Team Tennyson, and Team Cole). I’m finding it helps with classroom management tremendously. You can use it to get students entering and leaving the room in an orderly fashion as well (“Team Steinbeck in first,” etc).
4) I’m enjoying the benefits of implementing a low-confrontational student lateness management tool – something encouraged by @stuartallen14. It’s great because suddenly I don’t have to challenge students as to why they are late to class, the class isn’t disturbed, and the threat of consequences such as a letter going home after five lates in Term 1 or 3 in Term 2 is having a massive impact already. I feel it adds some maturity to the level of interaction with students and relationship dynamics don’t have to be affected by punctuality problems. It’s just a form that any late students fill in as they enter the room. But then the contents go on the electronic ILP system.
5) My SPaG / English placemats will hopefully be ready for use in next week’s classes on. I’ve put a high res A3 two sided copy in a drop box available for download from: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hbhc5yj3juryspe/AACpVLgZuvF2MpVzZlp3Dlbda?dl=0 feel free to download and use. Thanks to Twitter for many of the images on the there, but quite a few don’t have a credit on them unfortunately.
6) Looking forward to catching up with some of the Edu Twitter gang in Manchester this weekend at @EmmaAnnHardy ‘s #TristramsList gathering in a bid to influence the future of British educational policy in anticipation of a change of parliament in the near future.
7) We’ve sold a few more tickets for the FHA Charity Calendar launch party to be held in Manchester on 28th November, but still need to sell more to make sure it goes ahead. Find out more info and book your ticket from a link at https://carolslearningcurve.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/you-are-invited-nov-28th-sweet-dreams-charity-diary-launch-party/
8) I booked a place on the SLT Camp North that’s happening on the weekend of 14-16 November in North Yorkshire and being run by Andy Day and a Penny Leach. Hoping that goes ahead too but I’ve heard a whisper they need a few more people on board to make sure it isn’t cancelled. Check it out and see if it’s up your street: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sltcamp-2014-tickets-10473790389
9) Bought a very good DVD of a BBC produced series of short dramas based on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. James Nesbit, Denis Waterman and Billie Piper were fab in The Miller’s Tale. Can’t wait to watch the rest, especially The Wife of Bath.
10) I’m enjoying dipping into my newly arrived Michael Rosen book, ‘Good ideas: How to be your child’s best teacher’. Haven’t read much yet but lots in there, as you’d expect. It’s a reminder that what seems like common sense to most, might be sadly missing for many. Eg on page 196 Rosen recommends using plaques, memorials, statues and cenotaphs as conversation starters for recounting history and general knowledge with kids and stimulating their curiosity to find out more. I got mine from Amazon: Good Ideas: How to be Your Child’s (and Your Own) Best Teacher https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1444796429/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_rIghub1NGN618
Anyway, those are my top ten highlights of this week. What were yours? 🙂