2012 has been an eventful year resulting in a lot of learning, achieving and frustrations. Although I’m ending the year in less than ideal circumstances with a long period of absence from work for medical reasons, it is inspiring to reflect on all of the great things that have occurred this year.
The growth of Pedagoo has been simply phenomenal this year. Involvement in the blog and #PedagooFriday has been spectacular, and our events have gone down a storm. We really seem to be reaching a critical mass of participation thanks to lots of support from many fantastic people – far too many to mention here (you know who you are 🙂 ). It’s great to see all the thought and effort paying off in terms of impact on colleagues, and ultimately learners.
I’ve also been lucky to have a had a great year in school. My classes have all been fantastic and their increasing desire to take ownership over their own learning and success has been heartwarming. This ranges from my S3/4 classes which have become increasingly confident in making use of the chromebooks we have access to as a tool to revolutionise the way we learn together, to our remarkable S6 students who took the PLWebLearn course I constructed to a whole new level which I’d never envisaged. It’s also been fab to see the use of the chromebooks and Google Apps spread across my department and school.
Obviously one of the highlights of my year has to be completing and passing my MEd. This is a very personal achievement of which I am, of course, proud. But, there’s a much more important outcome from my MEd which I would identify as my true highlight of the year. For the final phase of the course I had to lead a collaborative professional enquiry with colleagues from my school. I had to recruit this team on my arrival at the school due to the timings involved, and what a team they have turned out to be. Although I wrote up and handed in the dissertation in February of 2012, this team of highly positive professionals have continued to astound me with their willingness to try new things and share. Since completing our first enquiry, we’ve shared it with our colleagues in the school, to members of ACTS in Stirling and, most amazingly, to a packed room at the Scottish Learning Festival in Glasgow.
But that’s not all! Not only are they enthusiastically participating in a new enquiry this year, now with the support of Stirling University, but they are also now leading other school staff in two new collaborative enquiries of their own – something by their own admission they wouldn’t have even contemplated this time last year. All of this is ultimately to the benefit of a huge number of learners in our school as the teachers involved feel that they are now involved in deep and meaningful professional learning which is directly responding to the needs of their pupils by thoughtfully and collaboratively changing practice.
Which leads me to my bittersweet highlight…as although I’m frustrated that I’ve been stuck at home for the last month, I’m still delighted to see the emails coming through showing that all of the enquiries are continuing happily in my absence. Amazing! Well done team 🙂