Sunday, 23 August 2015

#happyNQT100 2015 Launch (#HappyTeacher100)

After so many people joined in with #happyNQT100 this year I have decided to keep promoting it, despite the fact that I'll no longer be an NQT myself.  For anyone that has not heard about #happyNQT100 yet, fear not, I am about to explain all.

During the Easter holidays this year I decided to start the #100happydays challenge, something I had done during university and never completed.  The #100happydays challenge is about finding something that has made you happy every day.  I took this idea and came up with #happyNQT100.  This project allowed NQTs on twitter to not only share the high points from every day but to support each other through the harder times. I blogged here at the end of the summer term to showcase a selection of tweets from 2014/15 participants.

Who is #happyNQT100 relevant to?
#happyNQT100 is of course aimed at NQTs but there is no reason that teachers from all levels shouldn't join in.  May I suggest #HappyTeacher100 ?

Why should I join in?
Last year participants remarked that taking part in #happyNQT100 made them look much more positively on their day and felt better as a result.  It also gave them a great chance to build a network of both new and experienced teachers for support.

How do I join in?
Follow @HappyNQT so we can retweet your comments and pictures and get tweeting with the tag #happyNQT100 or for non-NQTs #happyteacher100.
No need to spend too much time on your tweets and photos - just show everyone something that has made you happy that day.  The aim is 100 days, but can you do longer?

I'll be dropping in to host #NQTChat and #UKEdchat at the start of the year and returning to #NQTChat during the year to check in on how things are going.

Please, pass on the word, bring some NQTs to twitter and let's see if we can have 100 happy days (or longer) together.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Books, books, books.

For some reason I decided it was a good idea to pick up all my education books from their various shelves and put them on the floor.  I think it was in the name of organisation (failed)... or finding a book I wanted for my essay?  I'm not totally sure if I'm honest, but either way they're still right there on the floor where I put them a few days ago.

Looking at them has made me think about how the books I have bought have changed since the start of my PGCE, through my NQT until now the start of my MA.  The books I have could probably be grouped into four or five categories, and that is how I am going to talk about them.

Books from my PGCE reading list

1) Learning and Teaching in Secondary Schools - Viv Ellis
2) Issues in Modern Foreign Languages Teaching - Ed. Kit Field
3) Teaching Modern Foreign Languages at Advanced Level- Ed. Norbert Pachler
4) Learning to Teach in the Secondary School - Capel, Leask and Turner
5) Learning to Teach Modern Foreign Languages in the Secondary School

Did I read all of these?  Not a chance!  As far as I remember I read number 1, glanced at 2 and 3 once or twice and used 4 and 5 for my assignments.  Worth buying?  Nope, I'm not adding up what I paid for them...

Books I was given

1) Successful Induction for New Teachers - Bubb
2) The Dyslexia Friendly Teachers' Toolkit - Pavey, Meehan and Davis
3)Reflective Practice for Teachers - Sellars.

I was sent these three by Sage before I started my NQT year and asked to review number 1.  I did that and I had the intention of reading the other two but I never did.  I think at the end of my PGCE I was fed up of the word reflection anyway!

Books I bought during my PGCE and early in my NQT

1) Getting the Buggers into Languages - Amanda Barton
2) 100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers, Outstanding Lessons - Ross Morrison McGill
3) 100+ Ideas for Teaching Languages - Nia Griffith
4) Getting the Buggers to Behave - Sue Cowley
5) 100 Things Awesome Teachers Do - William Emeny
6) How to Survive your First Year in Teaching - Sue Cowley
7) How to Teach - Phil Beadle

These books were good references for ideas, suggestions and that boost from time to time when I felt like I didn't know what I was doing or why I was doing it!  One or two of them I'd consider useful to refer to again but they're not the sort of thing I see filling my shelves in the future.  I get most of this sort of support from twitter these days.

Books I am buying now

1) Teacher Geek - Rachel Jones
2) Don't Change the Lightbulbs - Rachel Jones
3) Teacher Proof - Tom Bennett
4) Why Don't Students Like School - Daniel Willingham
5) What if everything you knew about education was wrong - David Didau

I will admit that I haven't got round to finishing all of these yet, 4 I have had a glance at and then things got in the way and 5 I bought just as I needed to start my MA reading so all I have managed is the foreword!  These are much more like the sort of thing I am reading now, especially the latter three.  More critical, really thinking about teaching and education as opposed to just my classroom practice.  That said I needed a refresher and so have really enjoyed the first two books on the list.

Books recommended for MA lectures or for my assignment:

1) Seven Myths About Education - Daisy Christodoulou
2) The Expert Learner - Gordon Stobart
3) Knowledge and the Future School - Michael Young and David Lambert

Number one on the list could easily be in the previous category, I've been wanting it for a while and the fact that it was required reading for a lecture was just a great excuse!  The other two are by lecturers at IoE and being used towards my essay - which I don't intend to talk about until it's done.  All I will say is the module is called 'What is Education?' broad enough for a title?!

Then until now....

The picture somewhat gives the impression that I'm moving towards the light...