End of year thoughts. #Nurture13/14

My nurture 13/14

 

My children. I have to start with my own children who, along with me, had a pretty rotten first couple of months of 2013. As a team of mother and sons we have become closer, stronger and more loving because of the damage done to us. They are my reason for everything.

My friends and family. They continually provide the most immense support and love to me and increasingly help me develop my self confidence.

My partner. Who loves me despite my occasional stroppiness. Not in education, he nevertheless shows an interest in everything I do and supports my madcap ideas and enthusiasm.

My school. Most of my colleagues have been through my ups and downs with me and throughout this year have seen me at my lowest and then my highest, thanks to them for being grounded for me and for now flying with me on my next course.

The children. My last class 2012/13 proved to be an astonishing bunch of kids, including my own middle son. We had an awesome year and the progress one or two of them made actually made me sob with joy. They put us on the map this year. Top Catholic school in Norfolk, top 5% in Norfolk, top 10 % nationally 🙂

The children. My current class, by no means the enthusiastic learners of last year, nevertheless are determined and joyous. Their humour and personalities are beginning to shine through and they are a pleasure to teach.

Booking my Easter holiday. It was such a great feeling to book a week's holiday to France for this coming Easter with my boys! the extra marking I did to pay for it was worth it to give them our first holiday together.

Friends. A wonderful week up north with my oldest friend in the world. She's not old we've just known each other longer than anyone else. A friend with whom you can pick up wherever you left your friendship and nothing changing is worth their weight in diamonds – and she is. A fantastic sounding board, a truly good person, and a massive inspirational role model to me.

Old friends. The beginning of my fortieth year started with a reunion with my old school hockey team. We hooked up on Facebook, planned a weekend when we could all make it down to Dover, arranged to stay at my Mum's like the old days, and did it! We turned up on an open day and caused a riot, we giggled and laughed as though we were 18 again. We recreated our old hockey photo and got squiffy. Best of all we reconnected, which was awesome.

CPD. Attending my first teachmeet at #teachmeeteast in Norwich, meeting some of my twitter heros and making new friends. Taking part in the E2BN conference in Wyboston and meeting and listening to some great speakers. Being accepted on the Norfolk leadership talent pool course and being part of a great new group of people. SLT Camp. Just an amazing weekend, meeting brilliant people, getting involved and having such a wonderful weekend. Getting back into research and reading.

Being inspired to set up the first Teachmeet in West Norfolk. I have really enjoyed working alongside someone to prepare for our TMWN on National Teachmeet day. I am super excited!

Not getting a job. Yes that's right I said I didn't get it. I knew as soon as I was asked the first question that it wasn't for me, so to not get it was a relief and made me look at why I was trying to get a different job, actually I am pretty happy where I am for now!

My new role. Moving away from special needs has been hard but it is great to get my teeth into something new. Being curriculum leader/manager whatever has forced me to read much more and I am loving the learning. My creative juices are flowing and people like what I am doing which gives me confidence in what I'm doing.

 

 

2014

Get fit, lose weight and feel better about myself physically. I can do it, I've done it before and I will do it again.

Keep building the relationship with my kids so that we are a force to be reckoned with!

Enjoy my fortieth year, squeeze every single bit of fun out of this year that I can, starting now and especially in February!!

Calm down! I have a tendency to be over emotional, excitable and enthusiastic, I need to calm down!

Have a wonderful holiday with my precious boys at Easter.

Have a successful teachmeet which inspires others to enjoy what they do in class even more.

Inspire my current class to reach heights they don't imagine they will or can.

Continue to read. But not only educational books, books my friends and children lend me too!

Complete a successful piece of action research and share what I've learnt about marking and feedback.

Continue to blog, or should I say blog more. I need to find the time to make it a weekly pleasurable task, because it does help me reflect.

Produce a brilliant, inspiring working whole school curriculum that is easy and effective to use.

Attend more teachmeets including especially SLTCAMP 14. Cannot wait!

Complete my leadership course and allow myself feel able to take on the next step, when I want to, not when I feel ready!

Have the best year yet, after all life begins at 40!

 

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Picking up the DIRTy gauntlet

ImageI have done it, I have signed and sealed my fate. I have met my internship Head (acting but no matter) and we have made a deal. I go in for three days next term, do a bit of action research about DIRT marking and feedback and the impact it has/doesn’t have on pupil progress, and learning behaviour; do a report and Bob’s your uncle.

I am lucky. I have met someone who is lovely. First impressions count don’t they? She is interested, and excited and supportive. I will be working in a federation of three schools across Year 6. I plan to focus on two children from the same ability group in each school, interview and prep them, have the teacher do DIRT marking for one for two weeks, and verbal feedback for the other and then come back and do another book scrutiny and interview, then swap. 

What will be interesting is whether or not the verbal feedback is actually more effective for the LAP children, and whether the marking is differentiated for the different abilities anyway. http://redorgreenpen.wordpress.com/ comments here about whether DIRT works in Maths, specifically commenting on LAPs.

I imagine that there will be more robust conversation with the HAPs, who will also need a further challenge, whereas the LAPs may need some sort of questioning to check understanding and the MAPs a question that asks them to explain in another way, consolidating.

I am fired up about this and am interested to hear other bloggers’ opinions. I have enjoyed particularly Tim’s  http://www.imaginative-inquiry.co.uk/2013/12/marking-1-marking-in-a-primary-school-setting/and David’s http://www.learningspy.co.uk/assessment/marking-act-love/blogs on the subject and would be really appreciative of any other direction.

I am researching different books too including John Hattie, Ron Berger and Mick Woods (my gift from SLTcamp!)

My first job is to come up with a questionnaire for parents and a plan of action for my first visit in January. I would be really grateful and interested in ideas and comments people may have. I believe this will be an interesting exercise in how DIRT works further down the school too.