Sunday, 29 March 2015

Teaching Mojo

John Hattie in "Visible Learning for Teachers" talks about inspired teaching and teachers and quotes Steele who said, "These teachers are firmly convinced that they are responsible for student learning and consistently bend their efforts toward doing a better job every day." This really struck a chord with me as I reflected on a past professional challenge which had nearly zapped all my teaching mojo out of me. Looking back I think the main thing I need to take from it, if I am ever in the same situation, is that you have to continue to believe your actions can still make a positive difference. 

My checklist for teachers struggling with their teaching mojo is:
1. Always believe that you can be an agent for positive change, and act accordingly.
2. Take time to look after yourself, physically and mentally.
3. Make time to get outside and look up at the sky (Thanks to Lottie for this advice.)
4. Find people who you can trust to talk to about things, preferably from outside your work environment as it might help you to put things in perspective. 
5. Try out new things in your leisure time, especially to remind yourself that teaching does not define you.
6. If you are feeling overwhelmed, focus on one small positive step at a time.
7. Exercise is really important: you'll reset your stress hormone levels and sleep better.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Bloom's Taxonomy and Pupil Generated Questions

Pupils created their own questions using Blooms about the Declaration of Arbroath
  I started by using a simple PowerPoint of the different levels and examples of questions and asked my P5 pupils to work in pairs to come up with their own questions about a subject in their topic work. This was quite tricky the first time but much easier the second time round. A good example was when we were looking at the Wars of Independence and we discussed the declaration of Arbroath. The children talked about how they had found it easier to create questions for most types except for analysis and evaluation, so I decided to focus on those in our next lessons. 
Our version of the Declaration of Arbroath!