As the end of this academic year is fast approaching, I personally find this develops into a period of sustained self-reflection as the pressures of examination classes and the associated accountability measures attached to them diminish. Although I always encourage open and honest reflection for all our teachers, with myself very much included in this, we all know that the intensity of our ever evolving education system can sometimes override this essential component of teaching and learning. As a school and as a leader of teaching and learning, instigating the move to ungraded observations was by far the most refreshing thing to happen to empower all our teachers, you can read more about that in my previous blog: I was observed today and I loved it!…Teaching outside the box it’s all about the dialogue following the observation, with an explicit focus not only on your personal areas of strength and how this can be shared across the school to improve pedagogical practice, but also the one big thing that will move your teaching forward. There may be other aspects to consider, however, but having one explicit focus that will have maximum impact is surely far more beneficial to concentrate on leading to a sustained development in your day-to-day practice, and of course the impact this will have on all your learners and the progress they make.
The one big thing that I feel will move my teaching forwards in the new academic year is to extend the depth of dedicated improvement and reflection time (DiRT) in my lessons to underpin challenge for all of my students. I will be driving my own professional development through observing colleagues, reading around the subject and conducting my own action research, collecting feedback through student voice and asking colleagues to observe me, where I will seek developmental feedback constantly.
So I ask you; what is the ONE BIG thing that you’ll be focusing on to move your teaching forward in the new academic year?