How many conversations were there this week about doing better this year?
How many conversations were there about HOW things would be done better?
How are teachers meant to know how to do things better if they tried everything last year to make things better?
What does ‘better’ mean?
Based on the assumption that you tried being better last year, what are you going to do differently this year?
If you’re writing a whole school development plan, a department plan or your own development plan, what will you put in the ‘how’ box, if we know that the ‘what’ box is ‘Must do better’?
Suggestions that might make a difference:
- Engage with research. What can research tell us that might change how we do things? Keep it light. Don’t give staff whole research papers. Give them headlines.
- Focus on learning and how we learn. The team of Learning Scientists provide great blogs and resources that are accessible. http://www.learningscientists.org
- Listen to/Ask what others are doing. Within your school/MAT/LA and beyond. Social media such as Twitter is the quickest and easiest way to do this.
- List possibilities and consider which might be useful in your context. My generous Twitter colleague Fiona, @FKRitson has published and shared many ideas for intervention strategies in English.
- Change your use of time. What did you spend time on last year that probably had no/little impact? Leaders need to do this too. Did that meeting have any impact? Did the marking policy make any difference?
- Focus on PPD (personal professional development). What will you as an individual do to tweak or develop a skill or knowledge? As a leader, how will you enable your staff to access personalised PD?
- Ask people around you. Ask ex-students, LSAs, current students, other staff. What might make learning ‘better’ in my classroom? I’m not convinced that students always know what’s best for them but they might suggest something useful or point out something that you didn’t realise.
- Read. For subject knowledge, for pedagogy, for leadership; read something. A book, an article, a blog, a research paper. Ask on social media for advice on what might be good to read for your own PPD.
- Learn how to play the game. Teach the game. If you teach GCSE or A level, the exam game is so important. It would be lovely to ignore it; it’s would be potentially disastrous.