So I logged onto my WordPress Reader for the first time since the Christmas holidays started (really wanted to have a proper week off with my family, despite having now planned the first week back but hey ho) and saw a lot of posts for ‘#Nurture 14/15’. I couldn’t help wondering what I was missing out on! What is Nurture 14/15?? Having done a bit of research I get it now and wanted to throw in my bit! It has been a very interesting 2014 career wise – simply because my career began! This time last year I was having a much more relaxed 3 week Christmas holiday, I had just completed my final placement and was working on one 3,000 word assignment. How time changes! Now I have one extra child in my family (now 2 months old), am working as an NQT as a Year 6 teacher, and have started up an educational blog which on average is generating at the very least 5 views a day (which I’m sure sounds very little to most but when I first started I wouldn’t get any views). At the commencement of my NQT Year I set myself some goals so I figure this Nurture time would be an effective time to review those goals, recommit or adjust if they are going well.
1. Keep my home-work life balanced So, as stated in my goals, my wife and I have had another addition to our little family, a beautiful baby girl. Of course, this has meant a big challenge to balance home and work in a way that all are happy. This has not been easy, particularly when our baby daughter ended up in hospital for a week. However, things have started to get better now – I will be keeping this as a goal, one which I will be keeping first and foremost to keep.
2. Keep on top of marking – ACHIEVED! This goal has been a great success! Read my post on the technique I am now using (and trying to perfect) here. With this method of assessment for learning in use, it allows time for me to engage in other assessment and learning tools (such as blogging, more verbal feedback and more effective formal assessments). As such, I don’t think it’s necessary to keep this goal as a focus as it can be considered as accomplished. As such, I’ll now aim to:
2. Keep on top of display boards The walls of my classroom have to be the bane of my life. On top of effective lessons, outstanding teaching, meaningful feedback and reflective evaluation, creating a display is not very high on my to do list. I’m even extremely fortunate to have a teaching assistant almost full time and even then neither of us just seem to be able to get around to it! However, I am aware of the need to create an engaging, relevant learning environment for the children. So that will certainly be a good goal to have, because something needs to change with that!
3. Don’t get TOO involved I’ve done well with this. Again, as stated previously, I don’t intend to be awkward about this but my school are very good about making sure I don’t have too much on my plate as an NQT. What has been great is that I am still feeling more and more part of the staff group. It’s actually a great feeling of strength compared to the vibes I felt in general as a supply teacher in the summer. Thus, I feel it’s been the perfect balance so far. Therefore, I will need a new goal for 2015:
3. Be more proactive on Twitter – with everything that goes on at home, in the classroom and other areas of my life, my initial enthusiasm with using Twitter as a teacher has been stifled somewhat. When I have the spare moments that I am not working, I am spending that time with family or responsibilities I have in my local Church. All this means since I started on 1st September I have only dipped into Twitter conversations and research here and there. As such, if I am to keep as up to date as I was before I actually started work as a teacher, I need to improve in this area.
4. Keep up my blog, professional and class Again, I’ve not been doing so well on this one. I am aiming to post once a week still on my blog and (hopefully) keep up my Teacher Voice Weekly Polls but I’ll see how that goes. If you get the chance take a look and vote, I’d really appreciate it. I find it so important for teachers to share their views and ideas with each other on their blogs but I haven’t been walking the walk recently – you could argue recent life events have justifiably made that so but (once we have moved into our new home on 3rd January) I’m hoping life settles into a constant routine…or as constant as a routine can be with a 2 year old and a newborn!!
5. Have Fun! I said this when I first made the goal in 2014 –
“I am in this for the long haul. I do not want to become a burnt out, fatigued teacher but a vibrant, inspirational educator. It will not be easy, I know. Just because I have got through my first few weeks as an NQT unscathed and, honestly, feeling confident does not mean it will be all smooth sailing. I have my first lesson observation on Thursday…feeling a bit nervous! However, as I remember to enjoy the career, hopefully I’ll be able to accomplish this resolution!”
I am pleased to say that I have indeed kept the spirit of fun alive in my teaching. I still look at a lesson I need to plan and think “How can I make this really come alive for my learners?” This first half term we are going to look at Suspense Texts and are using the premise of ‘Temple Run’ as a basis for a Mayas-based suspense story (basically, what happens before the guy is chased out of the Maya Temple by a giant demon). I’m hoping it works out well! I think I will keep this goal as if I keep this as a habit then it can only be a good thing.
Bring on 2015!
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/edonahue/5338785518/”>creepyed</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>