And 2014 has taught me…?

Well, clearly far too much to fit into a single blog post – that is the joy of teaching, you are learning all the time! But 2014 has seen a lot of firsts for me in my professional life and there are some things that stand out.

Anyone can start a blog!

I did! As it turns out, people don’t always read it. But that’s not really a problem, is it? Until today I went two months without a post, so it is probably as well I don’t have thousands of fans to disappoint. But when I have found the time to write something it has been an enjoyable and rewarding process. I feel more connected to a world of bloggers sharing their own ideas and experiences, and the self-reflection involved is great personalised CPD!

Target for 2015: NOT go another 2 months before posting again.

Twitter took over my Newsletter!

Twitter took over my Newsletter!

It’s a small world with Twitter

This year, thanks to Twitter, I have:

  • Connected with teachers and educationalists all over the world
  • Had views of my blog from the Republic of Korea, Brasil, Canada and even… the UK!
  • Discovered some fantastic blogs on teaching and learning and school improvement
  • Come to a new understanding of what CPD is (especially the “C”)
  • Discovered great resources that I have used in my own teaching and shared with colleagues

Target for 2015: reach 100 followers. Not just for the sake of it, but as a sign that I am in touch with more people and getting stuck in, really.

Teachmeet Sheffield was awesome.

Teachmeet Sheffield was awesome.

Sharing is caring – Teachmeets!

Went to my first one in late November. Brilliant! Great atmosphere because everyone has chosen to be there (on a Monday night, no less) and full of positive energy because people are there to share. Reminded me of the groom’s speech at a wedding reception – everyone is rooting for the presenter. I wasn’t a sharer, just a sharee… hence

Target for 2015: present at a Teachmeet

Teachers got golden in December

Teachers got golden in December

Whole school is cool

I love teaching Maths and working with my brilliant department to try to do things better. But this year for the first time I have picked up a small whole-school responsibility, for Teaching and Learning. (NB T&L is not small, just my responsibility for it!). And this is cool. I have already learnt so much in a few months from my colleagues in other departments, and discovered a positivity and willingness to share that I somehow managed to overlook before. Over the years I have come across so many great ideas which I felt just wouldn’t work in Maths teaching… now I have an excuse to engage with these ideas and think more deeply about the bigger issues in teaching and learning.

Target for 2015: Elicit at least 5 new first time contributors to the school T&L Newsletter and try out a 15 minute forum (thanks @shaun_allison).

Can everyone line up on the left, please?

Can everyone line up on the left, please?

Growth/fixed mindset

Warning: personal/private life crossover. I went for a run today for the first time this century. I’ve had a chronic back problem since the late nineties and over the years had settled comfortably into a paradigm entitled “I can’t run”. I do other physical activities, principally cycling, but have always run scared, as it were, of running. I realised I was not practising what I preach. I had a fixed mindset, on this issue at least. Well, through facebook (I’m in my mid-thirties, so approaching the right demographic for FB now) I found someone willing to lend me an old pair of fell running shoes. So today I had no more excuses! Result? 3.7km in the snow and mud. A light jog, by most people’s standards, but for me it’s a start!

Enough digression: in my teaching and my whole-school outlook, Fixed vs Growth mindset is probably the no. 1 thing on my agenda. There have been a number of great blogs on this topic this year and my target for 2015 is to explore this further, try something in the classroom, and blog about it.

Quality, not quantity

This sub-heading is just a pre-text/excuse for me ending the post here. There is tons more I could include, but would you read it? Also, this way I can post it now then get on with hoovering ready for tonight’s NYE party (it’s the kiddy/family kind… I’m so rock and roll).

Hope your 2015 is awesome.


2 thoughts on “And 2014 has taught me…?

  1. How did the running go? No untoward aftereffects I hope? Stick to the trails; not roads and definitely not the fells!

    A little push-back though if I may? “…so many great ideas which I felt just wouldn’t work in Maths teaching.” Fixed mindset by any chance?


    • Not bad thanks – in that I could still walk the next day! Deliberately took it easy as my muscles encountered the entirely unfamiliar!

      Yes, you may have a point. To some things it definitely applies – no point trying to get students to submit Maths HW through google docs (whereas this is awesome for essay-style work). But there may be things I have dismissed too easily. My world of T&L is opening up more quickly now than it has since I was an NQT! I think growth/fixed mindset is not a universal thing – I could approach the different aspects of my life with completely different mindsets!

      Good job I DO have a growth CPD mindset, otherwise I might take your comments the wrong way!

      Liked by 1 person

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