Tag Archives: PedagooLocal

Everyone has a voice #PedagooLondon

This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting London, not to take photos of architecture, nor to experience the pomp and circumstance of our great British institution. Interestingly, despite the fact that one of the biggest tennis tournaments was taking place in London, I wasn’t anywhere near Wimbledon either. I was a delegate at Pedgaoo London, a TeachMeet organised by Hélène Galdin-O’shea (@hgaldinoshea) that I hadn’t been aware of until quite recently and, honestly, if my ATW (@hayleyearl) hadn’t been presenting there (which now makes her the Most Amazing Teacher Wife!) I wouldn’t have attended nor would I be blogging tonight (sorry Hélène). However, I cannot express my delight in attending and my gratitude towards Hélène for organising the event, supported by Kevin Bartle @kevbartle, to the many speakers and to the delegates also, many of whom I have started to follow and extend my own professional network.

Whilst my ATW was nervous about speaking to her peers, I housed my own anxieties: I would be in a room with delegates with extensive levels of knowledge and experience compared to my 7 years as a TA, Unqualified Teacher and Student, how could I participate in the anticipated discussions? Listening to Phil Stock (@joeybagstock) and then Chris Waugh (@edutronic_net), I was filled with awe; these two guys could hold an audience with musings of wisdom, and evidence of practice that I hope to achieve one day in my career. Maybe I had a right to be nervous, these people were eminently worthy of their podium position at the front of one of the IoE’s classrooms, what could I offer in discussion?

However, these fears were somewhat alleviated when I entered the room and realised that everyone was there for the same reason, to learn, share and develop professionally, a common expectation. What’s more, when I shared opinions, I found I was not alone, nor were they dismissed, people were interested in my thoughts and could relate and, dare I say, agree.

The day was a resounding success for everyone involved, for my ATW with her new-found desire to speak publicly (see www.musingsofateacher.wordpress.com) but selfishly, for me too. I’m lucky enough to have lots of CPD opportunities, formerly as a Schools Direct student, now as an NQT and as a Teacher at a forward thinking, staff investing school. Notwithstanding the existing opportunities, I cannot advocate enough the professional and personal rewards available from attending TeachMeets. The TeachMeets don’t have to be as big as Pedgaoo London or Northern Rocks (which will be in the diary next year!): try to meet locally in cluster schools to discuss progress and experiences. Meeting with colleagues of various levels of seniority, form varying backgrounds (primary and secondary) and with different levels of experience is an invaluable form of CPD. I’d even go as far as saying that I would happily organise PedagooGlos if enough are interested (will book ATW first!)

Finally, from this weekend’s experience, never underestimate the value of your own knowledge too: everyone has an opinion, everyone has experience, everyone deserves a voice.

Education 4-18 #PedagooHampshire

I think it is probably a truism to say that children grow up. They start from birth, entering their specific environment with their embedded genetic code, then begin the process of making sense of the world around them. Indeed, it can be some time before, as parents, we begin to understand the infant “communication”. We put the words into the child’s mouth, long before they can articulate anything for themselves, requiring only a physical acknowledgement. The child’s early education is often unstructured, (hopefully) led by very enthusiastic and encouraging amateurs (parents), opening their eyes and ears to what is around them. Some will have attempted to engender specific areas such as counting and introduction to books. Of course, there will be a significant number who will not have had those advantages.

Education, in its formal sense, can start in pre-school, or certainly from the start of the Early Years Foundation Stage, with more specified routes into learning and the what of content. This journey lasts, now, until the child is 18. There appears to be a logic appearing that every child will progress through the same journey, with many (formal) checks on the way. The language of checking and judgement can have a significant impact on subsequent attitude and effort, both essential to sustained progress.

As part of Pedagoo Local Hampshire, I have offered to run a learning conversation on the issue of education 4-18, seeking to identify potential barriers and explore how they could be overcome. I’ve come up with a few starter questions, but please feel free to add any others.

Are barriers created at transition and transfer points?

Does professional dialogue and understanding support/ease transition?

Is the expectation of “set points” at certain ages helpful to longer term effort and success? Should we have baseline expectations?

Is the same curricular route necessary for every child?

Do we have a clear definition of progress?

Do schools do enough to engage and support parents in the process of their child’s learning?

Does it matter which end of the educational telescope you look through?

I would invite comments from colleagues to help me to think on the subject over the next few months, to better inform the discussion. Please feel free to develop thoughts through the comment thread below, or tweet me on @ChrisChivers2.

Cross-posted from Chris Chivers Thinks

#PedagooLocal TakeOver

What are you doing on Saturday 26th September? Not got any plans? Why not organise a #PedagooLocal for your area?

Earlier this year Ciara approached us with the idea of organising a Pedagoo-style event for her local area of Perth & Kinross. This isn’t something we’ve done for a long time so we’ve resurrected the name #PedagooLocal to make it happen. The idea is that teachers can organise a small-scale Pedagoo style-event for their local area with whatever support from Pedagoo that we can muster up. So, #PedagooPerth is on, and a few others have expressed an interest in organising their own #PedagooLocal event…such as #PedagooFife.

Ciara and her colleagues in Perth have opted to hold their event on Saturday 26th September, but here’s an idea. How about we try and have lots of #PedagooLocal events all over the country on the same date? I’ve floated this idea with the #PedagooFife team and they’re up for it – so the big question is, are you?

How do you organise a #PedagooLocal event?

First of all, you need to check out the small list of conditions we’ve come with for using the name and ensure that you’re happy that your event will work within these. This just involves ensuring that your event:

  • is free to the teachers attending.
  • takes a longer format approach to sharing (i.e. primarily 30/40 minute Learning Conversations/Workshops as opposed to all 7/2 minute presentations – we’ve got nothing against TeachMeets, we’re just trying to add a bit of diversity to the mix).
  • is open to teachers from anywhere, even if primarily aimed at one particular area/local authority.

But what will organising the event actually involve? Firstly, we’re more than happy to sort out stuff like a logo, a webpage and the signup forms as on the #PedagooPerth page.  You can do this stuff yourself if you want, but we’re happy to help with this. You will obviously also need to:

  • Find a venue in your local area that you can have for free. It’ll need to have enough spaces for folk to break up into smaller groups for the learning conversations. Don’t worry too much about A/V facilities, in my opinion some of the best learning conversations occur when there are no A/V facilities and folk are forced to just sit round in a circle and talk to each other. Good places are community centres, libraries or even schools. If you can’t have the space for free you could approach a sponsor (which could even be your Local Authority) to pay for the venue and we’ll pop their logo onto the logo for the event.
  • It’s great if you can have some sort of catering, but you don’t have to have it. As you can see from the Perth event they’re going for a half-day format so they don’t even need to think about lunch.
  • You’ll need to promote the event in your local area. We’ll do shout outs from the Pedagoo social media accounts, but nothing is more effective than directly contacting folk. You’ll need to encourage some teachers you know to lead learning conversations and you’ll need email all the teachers in your local area to let them know about the event. Your Local Authority might be able to help out with this.
  • Once everyone is signed up, you’ll need to prepare the learning conversations. This is the tricky bit, but it’s normally fine for teachers who tend to enjoy organising stuff like this.
  • You’ll need to email everyone in advance of the day to let them know the plans for the day. You’ll also need some way to let folk know which learning conversations they’re in and when.
  • On the day itself, you’ll need to welcome everyone, explain the format, get it going, then relax and enjoy.

See, it’s not so hard. How cool would it be if we had #PedagooLocal events all over the place on the same day…we’d break the internet! If you’re up for #PedagooLocal TakeOver please get in touch using the form on this page: pedagoo.org/local/takeover

EDIT

There’s been a fantastic response to this idea already! I’ve started tracking the possible events on this page: pedagoo.org/local/takeover

#PedagooLocal -Pedagoo in your back garden

Still riding on the wave of the success of #tmslfringe12, a few of us Fifers started a discussion on Twitter yesterday about the possibility of setting up a Fife Pedagoo Group (Jenny Harvey’s idea).  Gemma Sanderson suggested setting up a group somewhere to keep track of all our discussions.  That’s when I had the idea of asking Fearghal if he could create a space for us on the pedagoo website.  However like all good teachers he raised my admin status and told me to do it myself!

As soon as #PedagooFife was born there was a tidal wave of requests as other pedagooers wanted one created for their area too.  It’s been amazing to see the activity on twitter and on pedagoo.org as everyone gets excited to have their own space to share, plan and create.

Any pedagooers out there who would like a PedagooLocal created for them please let me know by leaving a message on the PedagooLocal page.  Also if any PedagooLocals would like their space adapted or pages added in contact me either by twitter or on Pedagoo.