This year has been populated with visits to very many inspiring schools, to spend some quality time with very committed staff, who were very keen to share their school in detail. In doing so, and by triangulating developing themes, they enabled developmental conversations, which allowed them insights into their own next steps. I suppose it was a form of coaching. As I was there to do an assessment, they could have only shown what they wanted. That is a real privilege; to be able to have such open and honest conversations with caring professionals, whose mission is to make their schools the best that they can be.
I got asked, by Rachel Jones, , to contribute some ideas on Inclusion to “Don’t Change the Light Bulbs”, which I felt was a tremendous honour, which then allowed the privilege of meeting fellow contributors at a book launch. That, in itself, felt grand and I left with a hard copy of a book with my name in it! I’m a child at heart!
Rachel then asked me to present at a Pedagoo event in Bristol. Nerves abounded for ages before, but, when I started speaking, albeit to a smallish group, it was an amazing experience.
Of course, then you get the bug and I’ve since presented at a couple of Teachmeets.
The later part of the year saw me pull away from Inclusion Quality Mark. I had been the blogger and website and product developer on a freelance and ad hoc basis, on a small retainer, for a couple of years. Perhaps I wanted to see my ideas attributed to me? So I started my own blog site in the middle of October. To date (two months) the site has had 10,000 visits with a significant number of pages visited.
From that point, when some it became clear that I was more of a free agent, I have had a number of interesting offers of work, which, as I am, being older, and in the fortunate position of doing projects for interest, I can consider with care.
On the family front, one stepdaughter got married in the summer and another has just passed a Masters in Spanish with distinction, so is now looking for the substantive job (She has an interest in teaching). My daughter should be having her third child by the New Year. Everyone else is fit, well, healthy and happy, so to use the immortal phrase, “mustn’t grumble”… except with politicians who know nothing about education… and I have five, soon to be six, grandchildren in education…
I’ve mentioned that I’m getting older, and will sometime need to consider retirement, but not quite yet. So I’ll…
Keep reading education books, articles and blogs, to keep abreast of the constant changes being enacted. I’ve got my collection of Simenon books to work through too, for light relief.
Keep blogging; there are so many ideas to be explored and with an election coming up, will provide much food for thought. If you think we have had the substantive change being envisaged, be wary. Money will be the next topic; cutting costs will cause human hurt and emotional harm.
Keep tweeting; a chance to share and explore ideas with a wider group of colleagues.
Present and share ideas when asked.
Support colleagues who ask for auditing guidance to help with unpicking school needs. Coaching is a powerful development tool, at an institution and a personal level.
Look, and argue, for a balanced approach to teaching and learning, because there is no one right way to do it.
Get my paints and camera out more, to find a little more time for me.
Walk and cycle more.
Support colleagues, especially @MartynReah, developing the idea of #teacher5aday, looking out for teacher well-being.
Did I mention that I am freelance? ….
Be well and happy and look forward with hope…