Sunday, 8 July 2018

Feels like I've never been away

Strange isn't it being away from something - it soon feels a distant memory.  I left my previous role as a work based trainer and assessor in November after a year away from the classroom and it now feels years ago.

Looking back, I do miss the people I worked with and I'll always look back with fond memories, but I'm so happy to be back in the classroom.

Learning Curve

You wouldn't think that being away from the classroom for little over a year would change much, but blimey things do move on.  I suppose I felt that the most as it was a completely new school I joined with their own beliefs and I wasn't part of that journey from the beginning.  I am now though.  I firmly believe.

I'd got the year three post and couldn't be happier with it.  The hardest part of my new role was learning how to work in a team of three - three form intake.  We have a big school and this was something I hadn't really thought about much until I was breathing it.  I do remember my head asking me about this during my interview, but it didn't really resonant with me until I started back. 

We had to ensure consistency across year three.  I know this sounds simple, but coming from a single intake school and managing everything in my class felt strange to 'receive' planning to tweak and adapt instead of writing it from scratch.

I'm currently planning English and Science and loving every minute of having the time to plan in detail the adventures we'll have each week.  It felt hard to let go, but I'm now seeing the advantage of this week in week out.

My work life balance has improved drastically from my last job and this way of shared planning has been a revelation to me.  Maybe I was a control freak - aren't we all as teachers?

Ofsted; surely not? It's December!

Who'd have thought it?!  I'd just spent a week preparing for my Pupil Progress Meetings for the Autumn term, after only being there a few weeks, when the unthinkable happened.  It had been a whirlwind of a first few weeks back - hitting the ground running was an understatement!  The team around me was wonderful though and as I left that progress meeting feeling wonderful, daring to dream of a full two weeks with my family over Christmas.... the call came.

We were two weeks away from the end of the Autumn term and thinking about concerts and all the other things that happen at Christmas in primary schools when the call came.  Action stations! I won't wax lyrical about the whole inspection, but our SLT and staff worked tirelessly to gain the recognition our school deserved.  

A true, welcome back to teaching moment there.  Four weeks back into teaching with little knowledge of the journey the school had been on and I had Ofsted inspectors in my classroom.  

Continued Professional Development

During my last role I received so much training and achieved some certificates that I'm very proud of - Level 4 IQA qualification and a Level 3 Diploma in IT.  CPD is something that I have always enjoyed and grabbed with both hands.  My school has exactly the same values.

The highlight of the year is receiving Talk for Writing training during an INSET at the start of the Spring Term.  It felt right.  It ticked so many of the approaches to teaching writing that I believe in and it's had a dramatic impact already.  The children know stories, can retell them, use more adventurous language and write with much more confidence.  

It has also helped the less able and EAL children in my class, as they have had opportunities to TALK so much about what they are going to write about during the lesson.  There language has developed well and they are structuring sentences much better.

I'm looking forward to our final training of the current year - a mathematics INSET on the final day of the school year.  It'll be great to have that and be able to prepare over the summer to use the new skills with my new class in September.

Memories

It's been a strange year this year coming into my new class in November and I feel like I've been robbed of a couple of crucial months with them.  I don't think I'll make that time up in the summer holidays though!  

We've learned songs, created stories, produced beautiful art, built forest dens, challenged ourselves, laughed and learned so much from each other.  If you remember in my last post I talked about missing exactly this - mission accomplished!

I sat down to write my weekly class blog this morning and found a post to approve:

I think this speaks volumes.  I'm back where I belong.  

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