UKedchat Session 1st September 2011

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I was lucky to be asked by Bill Lord  (@joga5) if I would cover his UKedchat session this week which meant that I effectively topped and tailed the UK school holidays with UKedchat discussions having done one back in July. The topic was: ‘How do you build (or mould) a new team at the start of a new academic year?’ There was certainly no shortage of top-notch contributions from some wise and experienced educators as the discussion moved through some interesting phases. the best online casino for mac usa

Early contributions tended to focus on initial tips for those first days back at school together as a team, often without the children and devoted to INSET. Headteacher Rachel Orr described in a flurry of tweets how important it is to enjoy laughter and happiness in fun team-bonding games. Rachel wasn’t the only one identifying the importance of happiness and well-being amongst colleagues as key factors in successful teams. Also important at the beginning of the school year is the sharing of school/department vision and clear/effective channels of communication are key to this, as are inspiring and supportive leaders. These leaders recognize the importance of everyone’s contribution and promote and value the views of all team members.

Another key theme that emerged was around team meetings. Many people recognised the importance of focused, meaningful meetings with the needs of learners very much at their heart. Useful suggestions included rotating the chair of meetings as well holding meetings in a different classroom each week.

Discussion also turned to strategies for turning around difficult teams and dealing with negative/blocking colleagues (although ‘passive’ or nodding non-implementers were seen by some as more of a challenge). On the whole, it seems that many would ensure that conflicting views or intransigent people needed to have their views heard and aired (possibly pre-emptively in advance) so that they could be discussed and challenged.

Finally, we should never underestimate the power of food, most notably, cake!

Please make a point of visiting the full summary/archive as it is rich in excellent contributions too numerous to include here.

Here are some of the more notable tweets:
@RachelOrr so……….. one task was to create a set of clothes for the man using only newspaper and cellotape.
@ristuart Friendly, supportive & collaborative ethos moulded me: very sociable office, always chatting, swapping ideas, advice & reassurance
: Cake, encouragement, setting expectations and setting a good example…. note, cake was first
the absolute priority is to make clear to the team, the department vision, your vision & the expectations of each pp This works!
Happiness is very important! Happy staff glow like readybreak! The children start to glow too!!
Also important to develop a culture where everyone is happy to observe and be observed
It is vital that EVERY staff member feels part of a shared vision with the children at the centre. Communication is vital
eat together
Treat your pupils the same as your staff – respect them, praise when they do well, tackle them when they don’t!
Recognise that all team members, old/new, in/experienced, loud/quiet all have a unique perspective to bring to the table. Listen!
A happy team/staffroom comes from the HT. They are pivotal to creating a pleasant atmosphere at school.
Start sentences with I’m really happy that or I’m so pleased that and remember to use the word we a lot
each teacher shares good practice at start of each staff meet – been amazing how FS prac can convert to KS2 prac and vice versa
Turning round a team needs honesty. To each other, about each other. Including management. Share the problems, own the solutions
we have staff meetings in each other’s classrooms – time to celebrate children’s work and teachers’ efforts too
quickly learn individuals strong points and promote encourage praise and recognise their impact in the team
Don’t always meet weekly – cancel a few meetings and save up the time to have longer together and really thrash out some ideas
I like to prewarn blockers or ask them to help me with something before main meeting so they on board already
having staff meet in diff classrooms can create good opps to praise other’s efforts, displays etc #ukedchat – v positive
My rule of thumb is NEVER ask a member of your team to do something you couldn’t / wouldn’t do yourself…
Negative Brainstorming grt technique; list actions 2 make things worse, then plan 2do the opposite – harness blockers negativity!!

Tweet of the week
For the sheer volume of retweets that it received if nothing else:
Never use the phrase ‘We need to do this in case Ofsted come in’; either do it because its worth doing, or don’t bother??

 Highlighted links
131 tips for new teachers
Thoughts form @johnsayers
Maintaining staff well-being under pressure:
Email charter: winpalace casino instant play

Image by elkit on Flickr

Ukedchat end of year roundup 21st July 2011

For those that don’t know, I am an occasional moderator for the weekly Twitter discussion, UKedcchat.  Early in the week, I was asked by Ian Addison if I would stand in for him and run the last session of the academic year. Ian had found himself indisposed due to an end-of-term commitment but had set things up nicely via his blog. virtual roulette wheel download

I attempted to structure the hour-long session into four broad sections: uk casinos accepting us players

  • Sharing successes and highlights of the previous year
  • Sharing lessons that had been learned
  • Challenges and lowlights
  • Looking forward to next year

I was staggered by the shear quantity and quality of contributions from ukedchat old-timers and first-timers. As I was preparing this summary and reading all the tweets from Thursday, I initially intended to pick out a few select tweets that seemed to sum up the mood or that were particularly reflective or useful. It soon became clear, however, that just about every tweet that wasn’t ‘conversation’ or retweeting was pretty much worthy of sharing and celebrating in the summary.
I therefore make no apology for what seems like a lengthy roundup but I’d rather let the tweets speak for themselves this week. Apologies if I’ve missed anyone in the maelstrom of tweets this week.

It never ceases to amaze me how inspiring, reflective and benevolent the educators on Twitter are. Just look at the tweets below and let your heart sing along with mine. top 10 casino canada

Some selected Tweets sharing past successes, highlights and ideas:
@KnikiDavies The blog has been my biggest success this year. Great engagement from children & parents.
@learningspy I’ll kick off – I started English GCSE course with a scheme focussing on PLTS mindsets and dispositions. Fantastic
@knikidavies Drama has also been great for enhancing writing.
@philwheeler1 It’s been a busy yr, but I’ve learnt how to motivate the quiet one at the back in new subject I’ve not taught before
@chrisleach78 ok, my y6 cd cover design project worked really well, shame run out of time. Summer term stuff
@gsussex  Yr 5 & 6 Young Enterprise days went well, but likely to run in house next yr so pace better for our pupils
@bevevans22 Had a really good session  – Y6 lit. ALN pupils had dictionary work comparing real & online dictionaries – they loved it!
@john_at_muuua this year has been all about simplifying our curriculum and making it transparent. Polished everything
@bucharesttutor Meeting and sharing new ideas and resources in Twitter has helped me grow immensely in my career
@misshbond Like @cherrylkd I also joined Twitter but was cynical. Turns out it’s better for CPD than I could ever have imagined.
@mrsprentice11 the blog for my English set, gave them huge confidence in their writing & great research for my MA
@benrogersOVA Hard to summarise this year. We opened as a new academy and it’s been transformational. A once in a career experience. Amazing.
@clivesir I taught Sri Lankan teachers about internet and email – now they are global!
@stephen_logan Training someone else. It has really made me think about my teaching and learning
@bobtoms100 My summer EFL learners have loved online 100 word creative writing challenge (w/ peer feedback) + correcting own written mistakes
@GaryAveryICT I learnt that my lower ability English set can create amazing movies…
@john_at_muuua biggest success has been learning that even the most technophobic teacher can use ICT if mentored appropriately
@ICTmagic First time teaching Year Six and a huge learning curve. I have Y5&6 next year again and feeling ready for it this time.
@mattharding007 A simplified School Improvement Plan worked well – no more than 3 focuses for whole year. Can achieve something then!
@chrisrat Jumping in as a non teacher, but my highlight of the last year was definitely the UK Blog Awards. So inspirational
@garyaveryict biggest success is in getting the fun back into learning… water rockets, string telephones, tin foil switches… many smiles
@karliva89 we’ve introduced skype to our students also had a batch of ipod touches complete with evernote to help with assessment
@janhs I’ve also found that comments on my blogs have been so useful (thanks)
@gsussex highs joining Twitter, Teachmeets and starting my first website/blog Lows paperwork, people with unrealistic expectations
@jackieschneider seeing young students taking part in democratic protests against student fees cheered me no end
@stephen_logan Taking business students to canary wharf and a big enterprise activity at Hull Guildhall definitely highlights
@mrg_ict I’ve learned this year that talking quietly when telling a child off is surprisingly more effective than shouting….
@knikidavies School went solo with our own design of creative curriculum. Very successful!
@rebeccagcole whole school writing on Transition Day inspired by mysterious giant eggs discovered in nature garden. Web idea… Kids loved it!
@ADSH_11 Reception class blog started from nothing this year, was greatly appreciated and well received by parents, everyone blogging nxt y
@teach_it_so Collective CPD on teaching and learning. Run by staff for staff, and programmed incrementally for the year. Support and buy-in.
@shelibb Collaborating with other schools through Comenius project and a separate etwinning project has been amazing this year
@chrisleach78 This year I’ve learnt that using blogs, Twitter etc to give kids real audience can really motivate and engage
@dmchugh675 highlight was using paragraph burgers to scaffold extended writing skils in Y8. It actually worked!
@helenmew As a #governor doing my tiny bit to help our gov body & school move forward – highlight us casinos 18

Tweets sharing what has been learned:
@john_at_muuua What I learnt this year: teachers need to work outside politics that changes with the weather
@misshbond I’ve learnt that parents love having chn email them from a class account and chn love sharing what they’ve learnt. Both sides win
@kimorganix I learned that a good mentor can bring about a quantum leap in your practice.
@bucharesttutor I have learnt the most important word out there and that is SHARE
@deerwood This year I’ve learnt that ebooks are a lot harder to produce than you’d think
@natty08 I also learnt working in a team is hard and I’m a control freak
@deerwood I’ve also learned that online teaching can be both fun and frustrating
@mrsprentice11 I’ve learnt teaching in a school that’s closing is emotionally challenging
@mattbuxton10 I’ve learnt this yr that despite what people say, there IS a difference between Lab & Con; at least on Education!!!!
@creativeedu I’ve learnt in the last 24 hours not to be scared of crowdsourcing, it’s easy and FABULOUS
@teach_it_so Also learned to watch out for e-vangelists, those who believe that any new tech is better than no tech!
@misshbond Being an #NQT I learnt that it’s ok to challenge ideas and that sometimes that can change things for the better
@anhalf I’ve learnt that I have a LOT still to learn about technology and how to maximise its impact in the classroom
@deerwood I’ve also learnt that there’s some damn fine people with inspirational education ideas … Pity none in government though
@missmclachlan learnt never to underestimate pupils ict skills, often amazing…but same time never overestimate. Not all savvy ict superstars!
@anhalf I’ve learnt that most schemes arent worth the money!
@gillpenny The importance of stopping once in a while to acknowledge & celebrate  whats been a success Too easy to focus on next challenge.
@shelibb Going to my first ever teachmeet was pretty good- learned loads
@gsussex moving forward is dependent on vision, leadership, teamwork and commitment from whole staff team
@strictteacher99  learnt to be a bit more circumspect about what I let others know..gossip in school is rife!!
@Nic5harrison I’ve learned that after teaching for 15 yrs there are still so many new strategies/resources to explore, don’t get stuck in a rut #ukedchat
@TJ2904 learnt that working with an NQT I learnt as much from them as they did from me
@gillpenny I’ve learned that time for reflection is essential and not a luxury.  Teachers trying new things need to know they have support. real money casino app for iphone

Tweets sharing challenges and lowlights:
@bevevans22 Something I’ve found tricky is getting some people to take responsibility for their own ICT/use of tech. It’s been slow process
@gsussex a minus, when people assure you they are doing something they may not be . . . Evidence is always the safest route
@deerwood (online) things don’t work as well as you think. What goes well in class does not always work online. Need almost a new approach #ukedchat
@bryanharrison31 Not so successful = SATs result.
@stephen_logan Many challenges this year  with changes to careers information advice and guidance Aim higher funding cuts
@xpunzx trying to do too much at once, or fight all battles on all fronts. one step at a time!
@john_at_muuua I’ve learnt that the gulf of knowledge between those who make the tech and those who use it is the problem.
@dexnott still not always managing the work/life balance but if you put others first! Can reflect on some neglect of family responsibility
@costa_man1  less successful persuading SLT that new technology is good for learning – progress is slower than I want
@jackieschneider seeing kids from low income families decide university isnt for the likes of them – serious lowlight 🙁
@john_at_muuua too often teachers are forced to used tech that was made by a genius with only a theory of teaching
@sian_rowland This year’s low: losing my job because of gov cuts
@littlejessw  lowlight would be my HoD at placement school being told by management that A level languages weren’t being offered next year.
@miss_kitch Lowlight having to tackle difficult issues across the school – managed it successfully but not enjoyable at the time
@teach_it_so Huge challenge: shifting the emphasis of some of my team from transmitting facts to developing understanding
@mrAcolley My form blog didn’t fly at all. Maybe lack of class timer to focus did for it wsj virtual casino

Tweets looking ahead:
@jackieschneider  Next year I plan to defend comprehensive education from nasty vicious attacks from Dfe
@gsussex next yr – blogging, more outdoor ed, review assessments, promote collegiality/build teamwork more as a number of new staff
@Costa_man1 next year will use edmodo with Cornish and American students to replay 1776 and see if revolution still happens
@learningspy Next year I want to get a job in leadership
@bucharesttutor From my end, I will try and reach out to all my UK educators and friends in Twitter #ukedchat sounds a very achievable plan 🙂
@mattbuxton I will start every one of my curriculum team meetings with the words “This meeting will help learning by….”; real money virtual games


Links Learning loops via @learningspy
A summary of PISA via @briankotts
Polyphonic kids via @Chrisleach78
Creative writing examples by pupils at Winchester House School via @chrisleach78
Google Apps via @ianaddison
An excellent roundup via @bevevans22
ICT Policy via @ianaddison
Digital Leaders via @ianaddison
100 word challenge via @ianaddison
Under ten minutes via @ianaddison
BBC Click via @ianaddison
End of year reflections blogpost via @lauwailap1
Teachmeets in Hants via @ianaddison
Ode to OFSTED – an end of term message via @ideas_factory
Class pet holidays via @ianaddison
School Apps via @ianaddison
The backdrop to ‘Night at the Musicals’ via @ICTmagic
How to blog with your children via @ianaddison

Image by disgustipado

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