I have developed a (healthy) obsession with Twitter of late and it has informed so much of my thinking in my current role. I am fortunate to have some brilliant collegaues, one of which (@MsFindlater) helped me expand my Twitter followings and introduced me to the concept of #PedagooFriday.
I have always been a real advocate of sharing good practice (I never know if that should be ‘practice’ or ‘practise’?!) and genuinely believe that as teachers we are our best resource. To be able to access little nuggets of good practice on a weekly basis and on a national scale has been frankly inspirational. It has also made me as a practitioner want to make sure I had something to contribute! So it gave me an idea……….
There is a bit of a geographical barrier to my goal of increasing the cohesiveness and collaboration potential of my team. The Music and Drama teams are in their own seperate block. The Art team are based in temporary classrooms outside of the main building. The PE team are based down in the sportshall. Our staffroom (and in my experience, informal chats in staffrooms tend to be the places where the real golden nuggets get shared) is in a seperate building next to the DT/Graphics classrooms. As a result, people have become a bit isolated and tend to keep themselves to themselves. This presents a challenge when trying to bring people together (especially with limited whole College meeting time). Also, there is a temptation to fall into the trap of thinking that each subject is it’s own seperate entity and has nothing to offer anyone else – I strongly reject that argument! I think that, for example, some of the excellent stuff that happens in Music and Drama can definitely be shared in PE and vice versa. So back to my idea………..
I was doing my regular early evening Twitter check in between episodes of Mike The Knight (I have a 3 year old son!) and it hit me – why not do our very own physical #PedagooFriday?! I went through the usual set of emotions I tend to have when coming up with an idea – 1. This is brilliant, shortly followed by, 2. Everyone will think you’re crazy! Anyway, after seeking the view of the aforementioned @MsFindlater I decided to just go for it (I am getting better at that!). In essence, it is really simple – I have turned the whiteboard in our staffroom that wasn’t being used for anything in particular into a #PedagooFriday board. After emailing out all my teams, I asked my assisstant to hand deliver each person a #PedagooFriday card. Blu tac was at the ready in the corner of the board and I waited with bated breath for the rush of teachers desperate to share all of the wonderful things they had done that week……..and I waited………..and I waited!! It wasn’t the response I had hoped for (despite creme eggs for the first 5 contributions) but it was a start. What really pleased me was that people actually started talking about it, even if it was in “what’s all this” kind of way!
The following week, undeterred, I went for it again and got a better response still. One Art teacher even put some examples of student work up on the board which was a great touch. It was then half term, but I am determined for it to grow as a concept. My latest idea is to have a monthly draw (I am keeping all the #PedagooFriday cards each week) for a bottle of wine? Might encourage people?
Ultimately, my goal is not to get loads of little cards stuck on the board. My idea is that people, like I did, genuinely reflect on the quality of what they are offering students day to day. I have no doubt that some colleagues will have not put anything up on the board because they genuinely can’t think of anything that is worthy of note. On the one hand, that petrifies me! But on the other, if they are engaging in that thought process then it is a step towards change.
I haven’t copyrighted this idea yet so feel free to give it a go! If it works really well and everyone buys in to it then please let me know how you did that, and maybe let me know if there are any jobs going!!
As I said at the beginning of this post, I am really grateful to #PedagooFriday for giving me inspiration with ideas and the challenge to make sure I am always trying to be my best for the young people that turn up every day deserving of the absolute best we can give.