Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Back from the MEd

This is my first blog post since February 2014. It's not that I've ran out of things to say or lacked any desire to write about education. No, it's had more to do with (a) the arrival of our second child in January 2014 and (b) the demands of studying for an MEd. The latter has been extremely taxing at times, especially back in May when I was working towards a 6,000 word assignment deadline, marking endless Controlled Assessments, trying to write a best man's speech AS WELL as trying to raise two boys. Anyhow, this post really isn't a 'woe-be-me/ my life is so tough' plea for sympathy. Hardly, I'm very fortunate to have a job that I love (most of the time) and a family I adore including a partner who is always hugely supportive of my ridiculous endeavours. This post is more of a reflection on my first year as an MEd student and what I believe have been the pros and cons..........


(a) Becoming more reflective - holding a mirror up to my practice.

Since beginning the MA I have consciously endeavoured to become an increasingly more reflective practitioner. This, I believe, is important as using reflective practice allows teaching professionals to increase confidence and become more proactive in improving teaching quality. 

(b) Research/ academia

I am not only interested in teaching and learning but I really enjoy researching and reading academic papers on areas of education that I believe can and should be improved, for example, peer-to-peer feedback, critical thinking skills and teacher reflection. 

(c) Collaboration 

Lastly, I have really really valued the opportunity to work with colleagues from different phases and indeed different sectors. For example, there are MEd students from early years, primary, secondary, FE, Adult Learning and the Youth Service. Having the opportunity to discuss ideas and share practice has been been invaluable. 



Overall, I've really really enjoyed studying for the first year of my MEd. However, the only downside is time. You see, if I'm researching/ writing for my MEd assignments then something's got to give. This has admittedly had an impact on my school workload. There have been evenings when I've been 'torn' between marking a set of books or reading academic journals. I suppose my greatest concern is that if the MEd is taking time away from the pupils then how is it really having a positive impact on my development as an educational practitioner. I have, however, come to the conclusion that the long-term benefits will outweigh the short-term losses. 

Also, as I have to attend university for (roughly) one Saturday per month it means that I'm getting to see less of my family - this is especially difficult as my eldest child attends his Rugby Tots class on a Saturday morning and I feel as though I'm missing his first steps towards playing international rugby for Wales :) 

So, it has, admiteddly, been a tough first year studying for my MEd but I'm glad I'm doing it. I feel as though it is having a positive impact on my practice and my development as a practitioner; something that I've been quite obsessed with over the past few years (see here)

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