As half term approaches and the usual stresses and strains appear in the school; planning, marking, assessment, targets, tracking, intervention … as well as the normal day to day pastoral issues, which never cease to amaze me, the vast range of things which could fall under this umbrella. I have had a very reflective week.
Mid-way through this week was CPD, a brilliant training session from The Applied and Behavioral Training Institute, which made me giggle a little inside at how similar my role in school is to what the trainer in front of us, talking about behaviour management, was trying to tell us.
It was all about strategies, which most of us have been taught during teacher training year, but the refresher and some new tips were helpful in such a busy week. As it is our role to support our students and to endeavour to keep trying, stay strong when learned habits from individual students continue to return.
So why was this funny? Across the year I deliver CPD, have drop-in sessions for staff and try my best to support them in new technologies, new technologies which I hope will help ease the strains of their role. I am positive that the digital elements we embed in our curriculum are always meaningful and well used. But when we first begin to use them, just like behaviour management strategies, we find it hard, we find elements difficult and we are impelled to believe that the best way, is the way we did it before. Just like behaviour management is hard to keep doing, it can be hard to do new things when there feels like there already is such a lot to do.
Technology has, and always will create things to make our lives easier. That is one of the wonderful things about it. But, perseverance is key, just like the student in your class who shouts out or needs a little more attention for whatever reason, with continued practice, we can support them to be the best they can be. Just like with continued use, we can use the right technologies to support our working balance, enhancing engagement of our 21st-century learners whilst utilizing programs and software which take the strain of a job which can be relentless. Let us not switch off because it feels too complicated or hard.
I found a brilliant quote today which said,
“I am yet to have a student tell me they can’t use technology in class because they haven’t had professional development on it”
Teachers are lifelong learners, a trait we should instill in all the students we teach.
Nearpod is brilliant for not only engaging learners but also for creating tests which mark themselves. Using the ‘Quiz’ function you can make an exam or multiple choice test which learners can complete at their own pace.
Showbie, an online paperless classroom. Being a teacher of a digital subject it is so helpful to be able to collate the work of all of my KS2 classes. They upload work, images and reflect, from there I am able to give individual feedback to students, personalising their learning. Breaking down lessons into curriculum strands, WALT and WILF’s are there and can be accessed by pupils at any time. Pre-planning my lessons options is really helpful as well, allowing me to hide elements from classes until they need them.