All my life I have been aiming to make life easier. Sometimes that means taking on a challenge, increasing resilience each time we overcome a hurdle and subsequently basking in the joy (even if time is short before the next challenge) of success.
I know many of us are mid piles of paperwork, lesson plans, reflection and Teaching Standards !!! All of these areas are very important and so is a little rest and recuperation. Time is limited so I thought I’d blog a couple of ideas that I developed and others have found useful. If you’re doing them already, ‘Great minds think alike’ and if not you may find them helpful:
- When you have a piece of evidence that you may want to use for Teaching Standards, just pencil on the back or use a post it (love the variety of colours and shapes), the date produced, Standard number, Substandard and a quick note (highlighted) to say why you’re using it as evidence, if this is not obvious.
- Use plastic fixed plastic wallet folders to keep evidence safe and current tasks in. You can write on the front and wallets in sharpie pens for a quick easily accessible filing system. They are light to carry and great to keep potential evidence separated in until checking them against standards and marking up as in 1 (and no I don’t have a vested interest in any company!)
- This is my favourite and latest idea to make life easier. Each time I prepare a lesson, I gather information, ideas and resources in the form of a PowerPoint. I can then develop these slides from the lesson plan into a presentation, use some or all of them in the lesson (remember, nothing is set in stone so skipping a slide is still an option). Now for the time saver; at the end of the lesson, feeling chuffed, elated, thoughtful, okay or disappointed, I add a ‘Reflective’ slide. Quickly typing in reflections seems just easier than pen on paper as I can adjust and add content and add colours to highlight different areas. Thoughts are typed, along with any feedback given from (ST) or (M) and changes I want to make to the lesson/Powerpoint.
Later I add the appropriate Standard to each reflection (usually with a cup of tea and biscuit, yes just the one!). I add this one slide to a Reflection powerpoint. Now I have a record of my thoughts, action I can take to improve, ideas I’ve had and importantly evidence for and record of Standards that I can use now or find easily later if a Standard is lacking evidence.
All the above take just a few minutes, help keep you organised, learn the standards and most importantly can be done while relaxing with a cuppa, the obligatory treat and if lucky, with your feet up.
Liane, Maths Trainee Teacher, The Sandon School