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The way forward
Jan 25th, 2010 by H-Blog

So, shamed into action by Alan Hamilton and his bright shiny new blog (and this post in particular) I thought I would have a bit of blog reflection myself.

Whilst I have to confess that it all seems a bit of a whirlwind now, 2009 was a big year for me professionally. I finished the Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Support from Strathclyde University and began the Postgraduate Diploma. My confidence in class had grown with my first year in the sector under my belt, and I felt I was just starting to get a handle on my class when it was time to move class again! This time I found myself in our ‘integration unit’ at the local high school, with the older pupils from our school who can handle that kind of an environment. This meant more SQA Access 1, 2 and Core Skills units, more college days or the pupils, and more organisational challenges for me. The addition of the ASDAN Transition Challenge to our repertoire was also to provide challenges. I contributed in a small way to organising at least 3 TeachMeets (and a very successful BeerMeet) and also presented at 2 TeachMeets, one virtual and one actual. I also managed to find myself on the school ICT Quality Team, tagged as the school Glow expert and on some Glow training. Phew.

Nevertheless……

I managed to write 13 blog posts last year – in reverse chronological order:

Multitouch mayhem – finding our way around a SMART Table
SLF09 Post 2: TeachMeet – is there a time to break the the rules?
SLF09 Post 1 – Presenting on the SMART Table
Building Glow Communities – Social Studies
Overprotected?
Catch Up Post – Part 2 – #weather_me
Catch Up Post – Part 1 – Teachmeet Student Edition
And now, in a break from your scheduled programming….
Smart Table Activity Toolkit – Hot Spotting!
Introducing our Smart Table
TeachMeet hits the Borders
The Impact of Academia
New Year’s Resolution

While that’s an average of more than one a month, in reality there were months with nothing doing on the blog. Plus, there was a lot of good stuff that never made it to the blog either. Put that together with long blog posts, and it might just be a recipe for disaster.

So this year it’s going to be different. Answering Alan’s challenge, this post was to outline my ambitions for the year ahead.

1) Write a post on this blog at the very least once a month. I’m also going to embrace shorter, snappier posts for the issues which don’t need to be too indepth, and try and widen out what I post about.
2) Related to the above, I am going to try and publish a ‘phlog’/podcast/audioboo on the EDUTalk website at least once a month as part of the EDUTalk365 project. I already have one for January under my belt, and have spoken to David Noble about theming this round my adoption of the ASDAN programme into our practice, and linking it with ACfe.
3) Continue to get actively involved in real, quality CPD. As a TeachMeet and Twitter evangelist, I am hugely excited about the amount of opportunities they continue to offer me through the network of contacts I have built, and the support and help they offer each other.
4) Not really education related, but if I put it up here then I’ll have to stick to it or live with the shame. Now the sciataca is gone and the tendons are back in shape, build my fitness back up with the first two targets being a Sport Relief mile and a 5k. The “Couch to 5k” iPhone app and BMF should help with this.
5) Complete and pass the Diploma in Educational Support. A great opportunity that has been given to me, I am determined to pass it, despite the difficulties it can cause with regards to free time, etc. My first module is complete and the essay in (although I fear a resubmission may be on the cards :-s ) the second one is proving even more challenging, but I’m learning so much too.

That’ll probably do for just now – I’ll maybe look back after 3 months and see how I’m getting on.

The Impact of Academia
Jan 28th, 2009 by H-Blog

So, as of Monday this week, I have completed 2 out of 4 – that’s exactly 50% folks – of the assignments for the PGCE I am sitting this year as part of my CPD. Although it has been hard graft – studying at the same time as working as a teacher is waaaaaaay different from studying at the same time as working in a shop or behind a bar! – I think on the whole it has been a worthwhile and beneficial experience. It has allowed me to take a bit of a step back from the coalface to analyze and reflect on what I am doing, which has turned out to be a pretty satisfying experience.

Another experience, which turned out to be equally enlightening, was when I took part in a final year student’s research project. Whilst it was interesting on many levels to be a participant in someone else’s research, the real surprise came at the end of it all, when I was lucky enough to read the final draft of the dissertation (which was, I must say, remarkably good!). I was interviewed as part of the project, as were a number of my colleagues, and I was surprised to read a fair amount of what I had said in the dissertation. I was even more pleasantly surprised by how open, honest and positive what I had to say was. Sometimes in the midst of the daily maelstrom that is education we forget exactly why we do what we do. It’s nice to be reminded from time to time. J.X. – thank you!

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