Sunday, 10 February 2013

Five Easy Pieces (or steps to becoming a better educator)

When I was a teenager I had somewhat of an obsession with Jack Nicholson films. I made it my goal to collect and watch all of his films and acquire a Mastermind-esque knowledge of JC's cinematic history. Why? Well, i suppose it can be partly attributed to my family's predisposition for OCD and partly to the fact that he was, and still is, an amazing actor. Anyhow, since the Nicholson phase I have gone through various obsessions, trying as I did to fulfil an insatiable appetite for learning. For the past couple of years I have become increasingly obsessed with becoming the best educator I can possibly be within the boundaries of my own capabilities. To that end I have devised my own five easy pieces...or five six easy steps to becoming a better educator:

  1. Engage. With your peers. I ensure, where possible, that I contribute to at least one PLN each week. We have a weekly T&L meeting in school (TeachEat). I also contribute to most weekly #addcym meetings on Twitter. It is all about learning from my peers, sharing ideas and becoming a better educator
  2. Create. At least one brand new spanking lesson each week. I'm forever tweaking my lessons but I also ensure that at least one lesson a week is something completely new. This is not a case of baby-out-with-the-bathwater but rather keeping myself fresh and becoming a better educator
  3. Share. At least one lesson per week. I borrow many many ideas from other teachers, it is only right that I give something back.  Also, I think long and hard about the resources I am going to share (usually on TES) and adapt them accordingly. Hopefully, with this, I am becoming a better educator
  4. Blog. I try and write one new blog post per week. If I'm writing then I am reflecting. If I am reflecting than hopefully I am becoming a better educator
  5. Consume. I make sure that I read, continuously, about education. I tend to have two or three books on the go at any given time, dipping in and out of them as time allows. I also read lots of brilliant blogs by educators who really inspire me to becoming a better educator.  
  6. Listen. Especially to your pupils. I am constantly getting feedback on lessons or SoL. I use this feedback to inform my planning and shape future learning. This, again, is helping me to become a better educator and thus improve the learning experiences of the pupils which I teach. 
Finally, if you've not had the pleasure of watching Five Easy Pieces, then you should, it might not improve you as an educator but it is rather brilliant.......

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