I have read many recent blogs, regarding what the Ofsted handbook says; I have even written one myself. I’ve read others concerning leadership of teaching and learning; lesson judgements; the national curriculum; examinations and early entries.
As such, with ever changing goalposts and a myriad of opinions on Twitter, here is my small contribution to opinion and nonchalance. In this post, you will find a short video which is my own contribution for the first ever @SLTCamp on 15-17th November, 2013. I discuss the following:
- What is SLTCamp?
- Footage and thoughts from the weekend.
- The context for sharing such a video.
- My own video contribution.
1. What is @SLTCamp?
“… a super weekend residential of participant-driven and participant lead CPD, aimed specifically at SLT and aspiring SLT. It will be an unconference to top all unconferences, and conferences for that matter! Senior leaders will be able to connect with like-minded individuals, collaborate on ideas, listen to talks, take part in workshops, be part of group discussions and form solutions. There will be time to embed and discuss those workshops experienced, talks listened to, activities taken part in… All sessions will be focused on encouraging change and furthering our ability to be the best senior leaders we can be.” (Source)
2. Welcome campers!
Despite the lack of (network) signal to the outside world at @SLTCamp, it is clear through Twitter messages, that the impact of this event has already made a deep and meaningful impact for the leaders that attended. Never underestimate the importance of collective-reflection and meeting together with colleagues. A time away from a formal working environment and a chance to allow creative thoughts to flow, is incredibly powerful.
I know, I need one myself and I’m gutted I missed last weekend…
You can read more here about what campers are saying about the weekend; plus a small sample of photographs that have since been posted online, are captured below. SLT Campers are listed here.
3. My involvement:
Before watching my video contribution, you may wish to read the short context for this film.
Guilty Teacher: I recently blogged about the guilty sensation we all encounter as teachers. Even the resolute have to accept, that sometimes teaching is just a job. Health and well-being is far more important than school events and meetings; publications; examinations and important visitors. We are all replaceable and schools ‘do survive’ for a day (and more) without you and I. That’s a fact! When we are seriously ill, we just need to remember, that you need to take well-needed time off to recuperate and do what is right for yourself. Read more here.
Failure: In this post, I express how and where I have failed throughout my teaching career. For once, a noble article that is not intended to stir publicity or controversy. Just promote, simple honesty. I discuss where I’ve let my students down, as well as the students I have not taught directly. Read more here.
Teaching and Learning leadership: Opinions on Twitter are just that. An opinion. Just because your tweet is ‘retweeted’, or one other person quotes your blog as a source on their own blog, does not make anything entirely validated. I am victim of this myself. I have also succumbed to ‘ego’ as a result of blogging. There is absolutely no doubt about it, that blogging here (on this site) gives me a voice; but I am entirely conscious, that this is just a single opinion.
It is of course useful if others do feedback and use what you have written to support an argument. But, I personally see professional blogging as a chance to share, reflect and seek feedback in order to improve my own professional practice. Of course, this is just ‘my opinion’.
The quote below is an example of blogger-feedback (to me) and discusses various issues on blogging, school leadership and my own work with teaching and learning leadership:
“… Most articles are a ‘neat combination of received and regurgitated wisdom leavened with a healthy dose of semantics centred around the blindingly obvious!‘
Start with a very common sense approach, which is that anything that is overly based on a doctrine or a single philosophy will not be right! We have discussed the failure of formal lesson observations on many occasions. We have also talked about the need to make some kind of an accurate judgement/assessment in order to help teachers identify how they might improve their own teaching. There are very real skills in observing and not everybody has them!
If, people say we should sack poor teachers, as people often do on blogs, they are often extremely light on the exact, transparent, fair and robust mechanism that we should employ to achieve that outcome…” (Source: undisclosed)
4. GoalPostShifters video:
With the 3 sources of context for my video quoted above, and with those in mind, this is my take (video) on what I’ve coined, ‘#GoalPostShifters by @TeacherToolkit’ for @SLTCamp. @MrLockyer and @MsFindlater asked me to produce a short video – a secret mission – for those attending the inaugural #SLTCamp in Dorking, Surrey.
So, here it is! #GoalPostShifters and a message for every single teacher
Well done Stephen and Sarah. Bravo!
- 5 #GrimReaper facts about #Ofsted for the teacher by @TeacherToolkit (teachertoolkit.me)