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Mid year review

July 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Right at the end of January I wrote this piece reflecting on 2013 and looking forward to 2014. There were a lot of others doing the same and it was nice to read all the reflection going on and to see people’s hopes for the year ahead.

A week or so ago Jill Berry (@jillberry102) tweeted to say shed enjoyed those pz
osts and would love to hear,some mid year progress updates. Again, many others have done this and I’ve enjoyed reading them so I thought I would jot a few things down here.

A review of those plans

Family

I have continued to watch my daughter grow, my partner and I have both enjoyed the education we are receiving and I do feel it is positively impacting my classroom practice, so they’re all ticked. We have also finally set a date and my daughter is looking forward to being a flowergirl.

Educational Events

I have been to more teachers, I did attend northern rocks and I also went to the ResearchEd York conference. All of which have been great and have helped. As you can see, I have continued this blog and I feel that us helpful too.

Reading and Maths

I have managed more reading and to investigate more areas of maths, but not as much as I would have liked, I guess this is still a target!

Education Policy

I’m fairly pleased with the new Maths GCSE Curriculum, it’s more rigorous and challenging than the previous one. I’m also pretty stoked about the proposed Progress 8 measure which I hope will take us away from the threshold pass. Now that Gove has gone all bets are off! I’m worried about the new Education Secretary, but am prepared to wait before making a judgement. It’s too early to tell if the new ITT systems will help retention, but 2014 hasn’t yet seen the amount of teachers I know leave the profession as previous years, so that at least is positive.

What else?

When I wrote that blog in December I had no idea that I’d be sat here today having spent my last day at the school I was at. It’s a crazy feeling. It all happened so fast, and although I’m majorly excited about the new challenge that waits at my new school I’m also pretty say about leaving too.

I wrote briefly about leaving here, but even then I didn’t quite realise what it would feel like when it finally came.

Saying goodbye

Saying goodbye was hard. It was really hard to say goodbye to year 13, the yeargroup included some of the most amazing people I’ve ever known, but at least this was inevitable. I would still have had to make those goodbyes, with my other classes it felt like a premature goodbye.

My year 12 class have spent the time since I told them I was going guilt tripping me, to great effect I might add, and it was incredibly hard saying goodbye to them.

My year 11 class was another particularly hard goodbye. It’s a strange one this, it’s one that in one teaching years has felt a natural goodbye, but this year the vast majority of them are staying on at sixth form and around three quarters of the class have provisionally chosen maths Alevel, so it did feel premature. Two of them called into see me on Thursday and that was really nice.

All my other classes were hard too, but particularly my coaching group. I’ve been their coach since they started the school in year 7 and I’ve seen them all grow from timid little children into confident young adults. I feel really guilty that I’m leaving before they have finished year 11, and I know they were all upset, but I think they understand.

Then there is the staff, over the years I had been there I have build many great friendships, and I will miss seeing those friends on a daily basis. And I will miss the afterschool joint planning and chatting sessions that happened on an almost daily basis too.

The last day was emotional, especially the last coaching session and the speech my friend and (now former) colleague gave about my leaving that had me both in hysterics and on the verge of tears. I think I need the holidays to recover.

Looking ahead

Looking forward I see excitement. I’m starting a new role. The school seems like a good fit for me, the role us definitely a good fit and I think the team I’m working in will be too.

I’ve got more responsibility, and a brilliant timetable. I’m already excited about some potential conferences and I’m really looking forward to the second year of my masters course.

But that starts in autumn, the summer is about recharging the batteries, spending time with the family and making sure I’m ready (with a couple if trips into the old school for results days if course!)

Moving on

July 4, 2014 2 comments

Three years ago today I started my job, and life as a qualified teacher, two years ago yesterday I wrote my first post on this blog while waiting for a staff meeting to start, it was my daughters due date (she didn’t come for another two weeks!) One year ago yesterday I wrote this post reflecting on the blog and my year. Today I’ve been in to my new school, ahead of a start in September. It seems like a good time to reflect on a few things.

The three years I’ve spent in my current role have been great. I’ve worked with some amazing people, both colleagues and the students I’ve taught. I’ve been amazed time and time again by the students.

The school takes from a deprived area, and has a much higher than average number of “pupil premium” pupils. That doesn’t deter them. This week I have seen a phenomenal production of “Return to the forbidden planet“, which was put on by the foundation school (years 7&8). I was blown away by the talent and confidence they showed and can only imagine how brilliant they will be by the time they reach year 11!

Yesterday I attended North Leeds Schools vs South Leeds Schools rugby league challenge. Where the top 40 players in the city from the U13s (Y8) and the U14s (Y9) fight it out for the PIMS Trophy. We had six representatives in Y8 and three in Y9, and they all played brilliantly well.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a six form production of “For love and glory”, a play penned by two colleagues of mine. Again I was blown away. It’s been quite an emotional ride these last few months, First saying goodbye to Y13 and Y11, both of whom I will miss immensely. To be honest, I already do. Then I had to say goodbye to departing colleagues who I have loved working with. Now I have two weeks left, over which I will be saying goodbye to the rest of my classes and the rest of my colleagues. I’ve loved working here, and am sad to be going.

I’m also excited. Excited at the prospect of a new challenge. My new school is also in a challenging area, and the role is one that is perfect for me and fits to my strengths, giving me responsibility for KS5 and Gifted Mathematicians.

As for the blog, each month the number of views increases, and I have found it (and twitter) a great place to reflect, share ideas, find other blogs and discuss education. If you are a teacher reading this and you are thinking of writing one, I would say go for it. It’s helpful in itself, and has led to me attending events like ResearchEd York and Northern Rocks. It’s helped me improve my teaching, and helped me with my studies towards my MA.

The blog itself has grown, it still focuses on the four strands of writing mentioned last year, Pedagogy, Resources, Education Policy and Commentary, but now includes a number of blogs based around puzzles! (And, of course, plenty of mentions to triangles!)

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