@TeacherToolkit progress…

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Just a quick update on my professional progress (and more) since I announced this in January 2013.

Reflections:

I have been thoroughly enjoying my own job at Greig City Academy this year. (Did you know, GCA was Tony Blair’s first ever academy?) I think most of us would agree, that in any new role, the second year is often more productive that the first; because you simply have the knowledge and understanding of the workings of the school. The first year is often a journey of gathering information, reflecting on practice; regarding what worked; what didn’t; what could work; conversations with staff and so on. This is often derived from ever-changing school needs and priorities individually and collectively.

“… I have the freedom to ‘get on with it!’…”

On arrival in November 2011, my Principal first told me, that there are 3 key phases that any new job brings:

  1. Developing
  2. Embedding
  3. Reviewing

With regards to my own role, I have developed systems – of course, some that were slow to work; but others that have rolled on – regardless of me – and I now feel that most are at the embedding and reviewing stage process. Each week when my Principal and I meet, I continue to be inspired and challenged. Most importantly, I have the freedom to ‘get on with it!’

Scotland update:

Regarding my application for the GTCS; well, this has been marred with bureaucracy to say the least. I’m currently having to provide evidence of my degree specification from 1993 in order to be registered against list A or B of the subject criteria listed here for Technological Education. Over the past 4 months, my application has been batted to and fro, and I now await a final panel decision which, could possibly call for my presence in person. I await the news next month…

To say the least, our plans to move North are on hold and my job-hunting exploits have been fruitless; although not entirely. On a positive note, exclaiming my intentions online, has opened up many doors and contacts, which has made me much, much, wiser in my approach. I encourage you all to consider it.

Grass roots hand

As a direct result, the @MyEdHunt campaign goes from strength to strength, now reaching 580 followers in a short space of time. This has attracted interest from the TES and has also led to various negotiations between a few key parties. You can read about the purpose of MyEdHunt here.

Awards:

I’m sure most of you who follow this blog will be aware that I have been shortlisted for the ‘TES Resource Contributor of the Year Award 2013‘. Totally unexpected! The award and my humble post online did cause a little controversy from a few, who have clearly misread several post updates that I have shared over the past year.

Capture

Just to be clear, the nomination is for 27 resources I have shared online (and not just The 5 Minute Lesson Plan – which is over 5 years old in my world!); which have collectively received 225,000 downloads, in 140 countries across the world! I will find out the result at the awards ceremony on 5th July 2013.

Even though it wasn’t for an award, attending the BELMAS event at the House of Commons on 7th May 2013 felt like an awards ceremony. It was a fantastic networking event and an inspiring venue. You can read what happened when a Twitter-Troll attacked me, here.

Other projects:

After 5 years of toying around with IRIS Connect, we have finally purchased the software and camera equipment. This has already been snapped up by 7 or 8 teachers in my school and we will be looking to roll out equipment use with another small group of teachers this coming half-term. It has already made an impact on new teacher induction and staff who are working on our CPD: Requires Improvement programme.

I already have a personal bank of 7 or 8 recorded lessons that I’ve filmed, now available online to review. I look forward to future possibilities of linking up the footage to my blog, or perhaps as a component to @MyEdHunt. More to follow…

Recently, I’ve been using School Stickers as a reward system in 2 or 3 classes I teach and have found this software and simple resource to be very beneficial to learning in my classroom. I will be posting my research and evidence online at the start of next week.

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TeachMeets I’ve organised, go from strength to strength and in the name of high-quality CPD, I’ve been gathering a huge amount of evidence from people who attend them in order to raise standards of best practice. Although each event on the whole is incredibly successful, what I would ask people to bear in mind, is that a) these events are free and b) are organised entirely in my own free time and at the goodwill of others who provide a venue; want to help; offer prizes and volunteer to present. I am tempted to change the content and the format of TMLondon and SLTeachMeet to a specific focus, and perhaps consider an incredibly smaller audience.

I would encourage you to organise your own and let me know about it.

Exciting news:

As a direct result of sharing information via tweets and my own blog, after a 2nd book offer, I have finally signed a contract to write a book. This is due for publication in the Autumn term and I am currently at 3,750th / 25,000 words count. A long way to go…

So, this half-term is dedicated to getting the content back on track, so that I can spend the rest of the summer term completing the last 1/5th of the book and enjoying the marketing campaign.

I won’t be announcing any ideas regarding the content of the book, nor who the book will be published by, until a later date. (So, please do not ask.)

The summer ahead:

As for the summer term and summer holidays ahead, I look towards embedding and reviewing school projects; jetting north on a trip to Edinburgh for the BELMAS annual conference in July; as well as enjoying a little ray of sunshine here and there with my family to celebrate my son’s 2nd birthday.

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of being most influential in the field of education. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing resources and ideas online as @TeacherToolkit, he has built this website (c2008) which has been described as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the UK Blog Awards (2018). Read more...

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