Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A day in the life

One of the things I worry about is dividing my time properly and effectively between my role as a classroom teacher and PT Development. My job is one where you can have intensely busy periods, followed by lulls. During the busy periods, it's finding time for the former that's important. Work experience, for instance, places a big demand on my time during (and sometimes after) the working day. At other times, although it seems quiet, it's important that I use my time to plan ahead and tie up loose ends. I decided to think yesterday about what I do in a day to see if I'm achieving that goal, as I'm probably between big events:

Monday Morning

I wanted to catch up on some of the work I've been doing with the learning and teaching group in the school around literacy. I have recently been working closely with our librarian, who has a fantastic enthusiasm for what we are trying to do as a group. We discussed the outcome of a previous literacy working group that I was part of 4 years ago. Looking at the returns, I wondered how many staff were aware that they existed. All of the strategies are still relevant, so we decided to publish the summary findings to the staff shared area and make individual departments aware of their previous input. I will memo departments about this during the week. Donna has also set up a wiki page with useful links to CfE and other relevant literacy documents, as well as creating space for departments to fill over time. I noticed that I have been promoted to PT of English too as she informed me that my recent presentation was his!

Later in the morning, I caught up with the DHT who is my line manager. I wanted to confirm that our enterprise group had the OK to go ahead with sourcing and selling hooded sweatshirts as an extension of the PE kit. This is something that they had presented to him before Christmas and he had then taken to the senior management team. He also has responsibility for IT matters, and this allowed me to ask about a fledgling link with a school in Singapore which a member of the Computing department has established. We discussed the use of Skype and alternatives, should IT support not allow its installation. I am still not sure if there would be anyway for the classes to meet through Glow and how that would work at the other end, something I'll need to find out. Finally, I wanted to ask about a possible fundraising activity using the upcoming winter olympics as a stimulus for a Wii tournament. I thought this would help the enterprise group raise some capital, and I intended to raise it at their meeting later in the day. My DHT also asked aboot progress with editing the radio show and I have arranged to meet the group leader period 4 tomorrow for what is hopefully a final edit.

Finally, I caught up with the colleague who is setting up the Singapore links and brought him up to date with the Skype request and afterwards, helped him set up a pbworks wiki to provide a working space for ten children from each class. We just had time for the basics as both of us were teaching the next period and plan to create a structure for the pages over the coming days and weeks.

Lunch (12.20 to 13.00)

Monday Afternoon

As I teach all three periods in the afternoon on a Monday, most of my other work goes on after school. This is usually the time for my Environmental and Life Sciences meeting, but I have been fortunate enough to be able to juggle meetings so that I can attend the Enterprise group most weeks. A PE colleague came to the meeting to speak about the hooded tops and present an alternative supplier. The group discussed the idea, but seem keen on the original supplier for quality and their ability to keep control over sale of the product. We discussed 'gifting' the sales to future Enterprise groups, making the group sustainable in the long term and giving them start up funds for whatever ventures they wished to pursue. There was a brief review of group finances and I suggested my fundraising idea (not sure it was that well recieved, so I might take it to the ASDAN group instead and see if they want to do it for charitable causes). We also had a really good input from the PT of business studies, who sometimes stays in on the meetings too. Finshed up here and left school about 4.30, 4.40pm

Monday Evening

As well as planning my lessons for Tuesday, I am a bit of a twitter addict. It can sometimes be an almighty distraction, but I have also been involved in some great professional discussions which started here. Tony Cassidy had created a resource which challenged students to come up with an iphone app idea which might have been relevant in the recent cold snap. I thought that there was a lot of potential in this for enterprise-what if a student had an idea which they could then see developed through to the app store? I made a few enquiries on twitter and found app developers, some great advice about low cost ways to do this and a brilliant suggestion from a contact in the USA to promote a school/college partnership to develop it. This is very much just an idea at the minute, but it's encouraging to note that the reality is not so impossible to achieve.I then had the opportunity to put my tuppence worth into a discussion about Glow via the SQA. Glow sometimes gets a hard press as it is not very user friendly, but I think it will definitely evolve over time, and would hope that the creases can be ironed out to see through its potential. Earlier in the evening, I had collected a variety of examples of ways in which schools are using twitter as a news feed, as I think this has definite appeal for parents and benefits the school in promoting that partnership. I would hope to be able to take this to my head teacher or DHT at some point in the coming week to hear their thoughts

Late O'Clock

Football highlights, Mario Kart and bed. I can't go to sleep straight after work, so I always have to unwind a bit. Unfortunately, my lust for gadgets has seen me comandeering my sons Nintendo DS too often. Overall, when I look back on the day, I probably do more than I think I'm doing, but also see where there are some areas I need to develop. I am a sucker for a big idea and don't always see the difficulties that I might face in realising them. For instance, the iphone app is a great idea, but how will I react if, for example, colleges don't want to know? I also see instances where I could have followed something through to the finish e.g. Why not memo about the literacy document in the shared area while I'm doing it? I am satisfied though that, in a whole school role, I managed to work with such a wide range of staff and students. Anyway, where's that D.S.?

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