Eventually, I decided that, as we've just finished the school year, it's a good time for both reflection and looking forward. I read a particularly great post along these lines today from Andy Tharby (@atharby), and I'm planning to write a similar one at some point, but I can't quite decide what my "three" are. For the time being, I thought I'd stick with a self-assessment format I'm happier with...
What Went Well...
- I started using my Twitter account properly. According to my profile, I signed up in September 2012, but my account went pretty much unused until early this year. This was mostly because I didn't have a clue what I was doing on there, and was too shy to dive in to people's conversations... which brings me on to another point.
- In February, I took a day out of my weekend (which seemed like madness at the time) to attend the Celebration of Maths event run by our Maths Hub. As a few colleagues went with me, it didn't seem too daunting, and I had a really enjoyable day. I didn't regret "losing" my Saturday for a moment, and when I saw an advert on Twitter for LaSalle's Maths Conference in March, I nabbed myself a ticket and went down to Birmingham.
- Due to meeting people at the conference, I got a lot more involved in the Twittersphere, and begun to understand why people say that's it's some of the best CPD you can get. Getting over my initial shyness and just starting conversations really opened it up for me, and I really look forward to weekly doses of #mathsTLP and #mathschat - I'm going to miss them over the holidays!
- The first year using the Mastery Pathway with KS3 has been very challenging, and created lots of extra work. However, I've loved getting my teeth into curriculum design and planning, and we now have the essentials of a system that is working well with staff and pupils. I did a pupil voice survey last week, and the results made me very happy indeed. Lots more posts on this topic to come, as I know that Mastery / mastery is a contentious issue!
- I rekindled my love of teaching. I'm not sure if it's because I had a crippling ear infection that made teaching really difficult from October up until Christmas, or because winter seemed to arrive at the start of September and last until May, but I was pretty much fed up for quite a bit of the start of this year. I'm not sure what flipped it round again, but I'm pleased to say that I'm enjoying my job more now than I've ever done.
- I had a lovely (bittersweet) time celebrating my Year 11 form leaving school, with a great leavers' assembly and prom. I'd been their tutor since Year 8, and I felt so proud of each and every one of them when I saw how grown-up they all looked at prom - ready for the challenges of the real world!
Even Better If...
- I really need to keep my classroom tidy. This is one of my personal targets every single year, and I never quite manage it. However, having spent about three days straight at the end of term throwing things away and finding things that I should have handed in months ago, I'm going to have to get slightly better at it next year!
- I need to get better at staying on top of my marking. I'm improving year on year, and the RAG123 trial I did with Year 10 seemed to work quite well in terms of workload management and meaningful feedback. However, I need to think about a marking schedule and stick to it, rather than end up with whole evenings marking a huge tower of books. I quite like marking in small amounts, so I don't know why I torture myself by leaving it till the last minute and doing it all in one go.
- I need to think carefully about the balance between curriculum delivery and enrichment. I've been a little too concerned about following the scheme this year, and kind of forgot to do all the nice, non-curricular bits that I normally do, like my Fermat lesson. I need to remember to put a bit of this back into my everyday teaching.
- I need to reteach myself Further Maths over the summer - this isn't really an "Even Better If" as I haven't been teaching it this year, but I will be next year, and I feel slightly rusty at the moment!