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Back to blogging: Reflecting on a year rebooting my teaching

So my intention to write a review post about last year remained stubbornly undelivered as a new terms worth of stuff descended. I will almost certainly go back and reflect some more on last year, and do so in greater depth, but for now, a summary

I felt that my teaching needed a kick up the backside. It wasn’t developing in the way that I wanted, my lessons felt stale and increasingly distant from the kind of experiences I wanted to be providing my students

I spent one afternoon a fortnight from Jan – July 2012 helping out in a year 6 class of one of our feeder Primaries with the inspirational and generous Bron Jones. I also discovered project based learning and Bianca Hewes

I started back in Sept 2012 determined to reboot my teaching. In particular…

  • I would head as far as I could towards project based learning, within the confines of time and what was required of me by the school and my departments
  • As much as possible I would get out of the way and let my students learn and show their learning. Work would be more negotiated, with as much opportunity for student choice as I could find

Some things worked.

  • Key Stage 3 projects in History, including presenting personal investigations and working towards building a series of museum exhibitions about life in particular period worked particularly well
  • Online collaboration, especially using Google Docs provided an excellent vehicle for some of the work
  • I found that my ‘normal’ lessons were becoming less driven by me, and I was trusting my students more

Some things didn’t work so well

  • In particular some of the projects needed better planning and more relevant driving questions
  • I think I let go too soon with my year 12 students and had to do some work to fill in the blanks they had been unable to fill themselves

This year 

We’re working towards offering a greater choice in year 7 ICT, hopefully trialling online badges as a way of accrediting student work

I’ve rebuilt my yr 12 course, with a longer immersion phase at the front, and some ‘flipped’ learning of the basics of each part as we go through

I hope to be able to deploy some of the projects as units of work across the department and encourage others to try out the approach

Hopefully I’ll be blogging as I go!

Dave Stacey

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