Tag Archives: tmslfringe12

Challenge and reward + making homework work #pedagooreview

The words challenge and reward are oft applied and sometimes over used in the attempt to sum up the experience of us teachers.  Despite them being well worn, they’re two words that continue to mean a lot to me and they sum up a lot of what I have to say in reviewing my teaching year.

It has been a year of immense challenge, not least in striving to meet the high expectation of delivering consistently engaging, relevant and meaningful learning experiences that I, my school and the Scottish curriculum sets for teachers.  There have been many moments of reward too – encouraging observations from students on their own learning or on their experience in my classroom, enthusiasm from other colleagues for the work we’re doing to develop our practice, seeing progress being made and knowing that my teaching has played some part in this being achieved.  This year I’ve had the particular privilege of witnessing a couple of students reach a turning point in their own self-perception – realising that they are people of real skill, with the ability to work on and apply these skills and the power to make themselves successful if they so choose.   These moments have confirmed for me that teaching is worthwhile.

There have been may strands to my teaching year: pushing to really embed co-operative learning in my classroom; connecting with more teachers in my own school and beyond to share and build on practice; not just believing in the growth mindset but teaching it to my kids; deepening my understanding of what assessment that really progresses learning looks like; learning John Hattie’s mantra of ‘know thy impact’ and continually trying to keep at the front of my teaching mind.  The question of ‘is what I’m doing progressing my students’ learning?’ is now ever present, as is questioning what to do differently when it’s not.   All these things have added challenge to my year but are things I’d recommend any teacher to try – with each there have been tangible rewards.

All of these strands have woven themselves together in a change I’m making to how I use homework with my classes.  The change was inspired by Neil Winton’s (@nwinton) session at the Pedagoo Teachmeet in Glasgow (to go http://nwinton.wordpress.com/ for an overview) .  He shared with us the work he was doing to free up how students can show their learning.  It was pushed further by reading about Tait Coles’ work to develop Punk Learning (see http://taitcoles.wordpress.com/  or follow @totallywired77 for more).  This was something I found out about thanks to the world of teachers on Twitter and was serendipitously picked up on at a similar time by a colleague of mine in science: a fact that we realized not by speaking to each other in school but again through the platform of Twitter.

All of this in itself sums up the way that my own professional development has changed (I hope irrevocably) this year thanks to Pedagoo and the general enthusiasm of teachers who love to teach.  The momentum created by these folks setting up their own structures through which to share pedagogical ideas and approaches (teachmeets, #pedagoofriday, blogging…), circumventing more traditional models of how to share teaching knowledge and expertise, has given me so many new perspectives to use in my own teaching and delivered them in such a way that I have the energy and brain space to put them into practice.

And what is my new bit of practice?  I’ve experimented with setting open questions or tasks for homework, linked to the key idea of recent learning and challenging students to respond to these in anyway they so choose.  So, after my S1 class had been developing their research skills, while learning about the growth mindset, they were set the task of creating a resource that would help other 12 year olds to learn about their learning (bearing in mind that a lot of the sources we’d been using in our own research were geared more towards adults).  My S3 class finished reading Frankenstein and then had two weeks to create a response to the question ‘what makes us human?’

From both classes they were responses worth waiting for.  Students came back with videos they’d made, going out and sharing their learning with other friends and family, with animations created on websites I’d never heard of, with pieces of creative and non-fiction writing that spoke with their own voice and with models and posters.  The minute the homework responses arrived I realised that first time round I hadn’t planned properly how to give the work the audience that it deserved.  It needed to be seen by more folk than just me.  It was also homework that I was genuinely excited to mark, not least because my students where sharing with me what they really thought and felt about what were learning, rather than simply parroting back set, pre-planned responses.  It was also homework which let my learners show how they liked to learn and show me where the limits of their learning were – taking ideas as far as they could in the medium that they felt most comfortable in rather than producing a limited response to an overly structured task.  It was fascinating.

This is not to say that it was all reward and no challenge.  As already mentioned, I realised instantly that I needed to do more to integrate homework like this into the wider class experience.  This is needed to recognise, celebrate and hopefully deepen the effort and learning that goes into students’ responses.  Also, although many students really engaged with their task and produced something that was authentic and interesting, I felt a few used the open structure to do the least they could rather than show the most that they could and some continued to find it hard to hand in anything at all.  So, I’m continuing to think about how do to things differently to broaden out the enthusiasm, care and deep learning that a lot of my students have already shown as I move forward with this. Having launched two individual approaches in English and science, in the new year I’ll be embarking on a more collaborative approach with my colleague.

I know that I’m not there yet with getting the best learning that I can from this approach but I’m excited to be part of it.  Also, through deciding to give this new idea, picked up in a 30min session, a bash I feel that I’ve inadvertently set myself off on a new path, exploring what my learners are learning and how my learners are learning.  Further, it’s challenging me to think carefully about how I lead their learning to make sure that they’re learning for themselves and have the enthusiasm, energy and opportunities to push themselves to their very limits, maybe even beyond (to use some more well worn words).

I have found the challenges of this year hard.  Pausing to think through my experiences though, has made clear to me that as challenge is what I want for my learners it’s what I need to embrace for myself too.  Further, I teach in the hope that the progress that comes from embracing perpetual challenge is reward enough.


Having fun in Glasgow!

I was part of the Uphall Contingent who presented at Teachmeet Scottish Learning Fringe yesterday and would like to share our fab experiences from the day.

The Venue. Citizen M was an amazing place full of fantastic artifacts, seating and spaces. Our office space for working in was perfect. There was a blackboard wall on one side, a whiteboard wall on the other side and our young presenters soon got cracking annotating the walls. Whilst venue is not everything, being in such a fantastic place seemed to give everyone a lift and I’m sure helped lead to such a successful day.

The organisation. This too was wonderful. Nice and relaxed but really well organised. It put our contingent at ease straight away.

The presentations. Our presentation was about the blogging journey in our school. We discussed the reasons behind our blogging – raising self-esteem and aspiration, and how blogging helped us achieve these aims.

We discussed how we set up our blogs and the add-ins and widgets we used, the permission levels we used and how we promoted our blogs via twitter.

Finally – and this as the best bit in our opinion, we had two of our star bloggers guiding our audience through the school blog. The children who came with us (really we came with them!) were amazing. They explained the blog brilliantly.

Below is a summary of what we discussed on the day. If you’d like any more details , drop us an email or a tweet!



We were delighted to be presenting at the Pedagoo organised SLF Fringe in September and we had a great time and got some fantastic feedback from the people who came to see us.

If you were unable to visit our workshop, or if you are interested in why your school should blog, this blog post should give you a flavour of blogging at Uphall.

Why Blog?

It is fair to say that in the past schools have felt the need to have a web presence ‘because other schools have’.

Blogging is as far removed from that philosophy as you can get. Blogging is about raising attainment by providing real audience, motivation and self-esteem with our young writers.
Blogging also provides evidence of progression in writing when done regularly as well as creating strong community links, both local, national and international.
Ultimately blogging is about having the child at the centre of a web presence, whether at pupil, class or school level. There are many example of the impact of blogging around the internet have a look at the results of a google search.

Since starting our blogging journey at Uphall, we have seen an increase in pupil motivation and interaction with each other’s work, we have seen our commenting skills develop and we have seen children begin writing for our blog ‘unprompted’ at home and in school.

We have had to date over 58000 visitors from over 20 countries and have used our blog to share our learning, set questions for our pupils to answer, supplement children’s work, live blog in lesssons (great for class discussions) and help peer assess work.

Aspects of our blog.

Our blog has a landing page from where you can navigate to our class blogs (each class has it’s own blog, as does nursery and our learning support teacher. We also have pages for our achievements in the community (which we encourage our parents to help us contribute to), pupil voice page where our pupil council, eco-committee and health committee post as well as an open pupil suggestions page. We post photographs of our Pupils of the Week and Headteacher’s award winners on their own pages and the Headteacher has her own blog. Finally, our most popular page is the Well Done Page. This is a record of children who are sent to our headteacher @fiona_macphail have their work photographed or recorded. It is immensely popular with our children and their parents and has lead to raised expectations of work, motivation and self-esteem. It has had 27,000 visits to date!

One of the most popular aspects of our class blogs is the quadblogging projects we have done. Quadblogging is an idea from @deputymitchell and is explained brilliantly on his site along with how to sign up your class for a quad.


Teachmeet Scottish Learning Festival Fringe – Reflection Group 2

Teachmeet Scottish Learning Festival Fringe – Reflection Group 2

Once again, thank you very much to everyone at Pedagoo for organising such a fantastic event on Saturday.  I made this (very pretty) mindmap for Reflection Group 2.  We had a great view of all the drama going on outside.  Someone had parked their car up the hill but failed to put on the handbrake meaning that said car rolled right on down the hill and into the side of the hotel.  Nevertheless we had a very productive discussion and our responses to the three questions are represented above.

Unfortunately I couldn’t put any of my pledges in action on Monday (still on holiday).  However, today has been interesting.  Already I have recorded 7 “Show Me s” based on key passages from The Great Gatsby – Thank you very much Kenny for showing me “Show Me” !  On top of that I have been thinking solo taxonomy all day.  I’m looking forward to taking a bit of time to put this into action in my classroom.  Lisa Jane Ashes workshop was so interesting and has got me really inspired.  Finally, just before lunch, I encountered a fixed mindset in my S2 – I started work on that one immediately.  We’ll see how it goes…

Saturday was great: great surroundings, strong coffee, inspiring lovely teachers.  I am very much looking forward to the next event.

Helen (@Rosalita18)

Through The Camera Eye — TMSLFringe 2012

Cross posted to “If You Don’t Like Change…

The first Pedagoo organised Scottish Learning Fringe TeachMeet has ended, but I for one hope that it will have a widespread impact. Judging by the immediate feedback, that’s not such a daft hope.

I was up at the crack of dawn last Saturday morning to travel down to Glasgow for the #TMSLFringe. This first attempt at a Pedagoo un-conference was something I had long been looking forward to… with equal measures of excitement (at meeting people and sharing ideas) and nervousness (what if no-one comes and it’s a disaster). As it turned out, I had no need to be nervous!

The venue was SocietyM and was — quite simply — magnificent. Idiosyncratic and welcoming, and more than one person there was heard to ask: what if a classroom was like this? What I wouldn’t give to take a class (or two) down there for a day and see what we could produce in a modern and funky environment. (If anyone fancies sponsoring me to do this, my email is scottishteacher@gmail.com!).

Having arrived a little before 9, I had a chance to catch up with Ian, Fearghal, and Kenny for a few minutes before the participants began to filter in. I think it fair to say that we were more than a little apprehensive with regards the day… what if no-one came? What if it was a disaster? What if…

Once people began arriving en masse, the venue came into its own. Lots of space, lots of interesting artefacts on the walls, lots of conversation starters…

I managed to snatch a quick chat with Joe Wilson who, for the day, was most definitely not from the SQA! As ever, I was struck by just how switched on and enthusiastic he is… and this set the tone for the rest of the day. Without exception, this was a day for the enthusiasts… as someone said to me later, Pedagoo is like a staffroom for the optimists… how true!

At pretty close to the scheduled 10am, Fearghal started us off by thanking ELT Consultants and Wesleyan who were responsible for finding and funding the venue. Then it was over to the Real David Cameron to set the scene. I wish I could remember all he said, but I was panicking at the reality of having to present about how I’m approaching the E&Os and apart from the memorable references to his leather jacket, will need to leave it to others to report his words. 😉

My three sessions appear to have been well received, and I’ll write up what I was saying next!

Lunch was fine, though the space age coffee machine managed to tax the abilities of many… put it down as a new Experience and Outcome!

The afternoon was given over to reflection on the day, and what we could do next. Our discussion was shaped by the following questions:

  • What have you learned today that you could use on Monday?
  • What have you learned today that you could use a year from now?
  • What can we (Pedagoo) to to support this?

There are plenty of other posts about this and rather than rehash them here, I suggest you go and read Claire’s “Learning How To Learn“, Ann’s “Workshop 9 — Thoughts“, Kenny’s “Workshop 8 — Feedback” or Ruth’s brilliant “Pedagoo — Inception” moment!

There are also write ups of the various sessions from the presenters to be read on the Pedagoo site itself… which leads me to my final point: if you like what you see on Pedagoo, join in! The real strength of the day was not the fact that it happened, it was the realisation that we are a community of educators who learn better together, who improve through speaking and sharing with others, and who care deeply and passionately that we need to do the best we can for those we are privileged to teach. A personal highlight came when, after 5 hours of the most extraordinary CPD imaginable, David Cameron drew us back together and charged us with continuing to spread the word and to continue building what we have begun…

Saturday was the first Pedagoo Fringe meeting… I think it fair to say, it won’t be the last. I hope to see you at the next one! 😉

Learning how to learn…(aka another reflection on #tmslfFringe)

This phrase came up time and again during the discussions I was part of at the Pedagoo TeachMeet and it’s the phrase that best sums up the experience for me – most importantly because the day reinforced strongly for me how I learn and, in my opinion at least, how we as profession should be learning to learn.  Give me a one off twilight course or in-service input and I’ll engage at the time but it’s hit and miss as to whether I’ll manage to draw the great ideas into my classroom or if they’ll just stay filed in my CPD folder for a less busy time.  Give me some educational research or reading and I’ll be challenged and inspired, understanding what I could do better but at the same time I’ll often feel overwhelmed by how to get the great ideas off the page and into practice by myself.  Give me a group of other teachers sharing what’s happening in their own classrooms and enthusiastically opening up the floor for others to discuss, share experiences and work out what it could all mean for them and I feel energised and determined to improve and develop my teaching.

This is not to say that I (or others) don’t learn from one off courses or professional reading or indeed to argue that we don’t need them.  Both have been important in introducing me to AiFL strategies, the growth mindset, co-operative learning…so many ideas which make me excited to be a teacher.  However, just as we aspire for our learners to be able to collaborate, share, root new concepts in their own experiences and prior understanding and be able to take ownership of their learning, I think we as teachers need to make sure that we do the same.  My time at the Pedagoo TeachMeet allowed me to bring my own teaching experiences and ideas to the day, link them into the work being done in other classrooms and engage critically in discussions with other teachers to work out how I can change what I’m doing for the better.

Best of all I left a day of interesting, challenging, inspiring conversations confident that through #pedagoofriday, the pedagoo blog, the online community of teachers I’m tentatively joining and hopefully plenty more teachmeets to come, these conversations will continue.  After Saturday I’m confident that I’ll be able to keep learning from my peers, keep learning by taking risks and keep learning new ways to get my learners learning.

So, when we were asked in our final session to identify what we’d be able to use from this day on Monday my first answer was to talk more to the people I teach with everyday about their learning and teaching so that I can keep learning from what’s happening in other people’s classrooms in my own school.  I’m also going to be changing my S3’s upcoming end of unit homework task thanks to Neil Winton’s workshop, drawing on more resources and ideas to encourage a growth mindset in my learners thanks to Jenni Ewan and, in the longer term, trying out SOLO taxonomy as a way to help my young people how to progress their learning thanks to Lisa Jane Ashes’s clear explanation of how it all works.  The content of the day was fabulous but it was the process that mattered most to me.

I want my department  and my school (and maybe even my local authority) to learn from Pedagoo.  I truly believe that we teachers, as learners, need to learn through dialogue, sharing and collaboration and Pedagoo is making this happen – in style.

Pedagoo Fringe Reflection on SOLO Workshop 8

Cross-posted from Reflections of a Learning Geek

What is SOLO?

How is SOLO different to Bloom’s?

How can SOLO be used to support learning progression?

As the sun rose on Glasgow’s Easy Hotel (recommended) this Sunday, my enthusiasm for my profession was as high as it has ever been and I remain full of excitement today! What a wonderful first ever Pedagoo Fringe! The atmosphere was amazing, the venue was amazing but above all the people who both organised and attended the event were and are amazing! In our reflection session we agreed to go forward and infect others with our enthusiasm and I certainly intend to do just that.

How could you not be inspired by this space?

Here is a brief overview of the discussion in the SOLO workshop and how we went about answering the above questions. We began by looking at what Bloom’sTaxonomy looks like in practice. As pupils gather knowledge and comprehension, much like the uni and multi levels of SOLO, they are gathering ideas on a topic (illustrated in the Macbeth example below). Application is using the ideas you have gathered in a task such as writing an essay on the topic. However, once you began to move on to analysis, you were once again gathering knowledge and then returning to applying that knowledge while synthesising.

The verbs and structure of Bloom’s Taxonomy are useful and can be organised into effective learning outcomes and effective questions by teachers (explained on the day in another workshop help by @GarethSurgey. Fantastic for us but not so easy for pupils to grasp.

Very Basically Bloom

SOLO is different as the steps are a far clearer path of progression for pupils. A number of people asked if pupils were put off by the terminology which, upon first hearing, appears to be a little space age. In my experience, pupils appear proud to be using the terms rather than put off. SOLO is to them something a little different but something they quickly get used to using. It creates a common learning language.

Anyone had this? I haven’t!!

One group discussed how the terminology is not important. It is the clear progression path that pupils can follow and understand that is the key to using SOLO successfully. Some people said they wouldn’t use the terms but would use the hand signals and symbols (particularly in primary schools). Others suggested allowing pupils to make up their own words for the symbols to give pupils ownership over using them.

Each level in a very basic nutshell

After sharing how my classes used SOLO in differentiated tasks and to become independent in their progression (found here) the worry over how much extra time would be spent planning using SOLO was expressed. Because the symbols can say so much:

Moving on up

Marking time is significantly reduced without removing any of the quality in the feedback. I can read the work and apply the symbol that best describes their current position – they do the rest. Also, once you have your head around each of the levels, it just becomes part of what you do and therefore time spent planning is just the same as before.

I also shared some generic examples of how this might really look and sound. Here is just one of these examples:

Example of SOLO in Generic Lesson

Pupils have been asked to create a presentation all about shoes. The teacher has asked for feedback and receives varied responses. Have a look at how the teacher uses SOLO to help each pupil to make more progress in this lesson.


As this means the pupil has missed the point there are no action verbs to accompany this stage

A PUPIL MIGHT SAY: “I know nothing about the topic; I have never heard of it before.“

AN EXAMPLE RESPONSE MIGHT LOOK LIKE: Shoes are worn on your hands.

TO MOVE ON: The pupil must begin to gather basic information on what a shoe is.


Follow simple procedure

A PUPIL MIGHT SAY: “I know a little about the topic but I have not done much research.”

AN EXAMPLE RESPONSE MIGHT LOOK LIKE: Shoes are worn on your feet.

TO MOVE ON: To become more multistructural in their response, the student must conduct research into types of shoes and their different purposes.


A TEACHER MAY ASK FOR THE OUTCOME Combine, Enumerate, Describe, List

A PUPIL MIGHT SAY: “I know lots of different brands of shoes, types of shoes and their different purposes.”

AN EXAMPLE RESPONSE MIGHT LOOK LIKE: Shoes can be worn to exercise, to dance, for comfort, for style. Different types of shoes include, stilettoes, trainers, pumps, wedges. Different shoes were popular at different times.

TO MOVE ON: The pupil must begin to make links between the information they have found about different types of shoes, their purposes and when they were popular.


Apply, Justify,
Argue, Relate, Compare/contrast, Explain causes A PUPIL MIGHT SAY “I have an excellent understanding of shoes and their purposes; I can see how modern shoes have evolved from a range of styles throughout the ages.” AN EXAMPLE RESPONSE MIGHT LOOK LIKE: Trainers are the most effective shoe to wear for exercise. This is a direct result of using a softer sole and adjustable straps to aid foot support. In contrast to this, a modern platform is more often used for style, having evolved somewhat since its first introduction to the high fashion scene in 1960… TO MOVE ON: The pupil must begin to question further their findings. They should use their expert knowledge to create interesting and individual ideas about the future of shoes.


A TEACHER MAY ASK FOR THE OUTCOME Create, Formulate, Generate, Hypothesise, Reflect, Theorise

A PUPIL MIGHT SAY: “I am very confident in my exploration of shoes. I can use my expert knowledge about their evolution to theorise about the possible future of shoes and their uses.“

AN EXAMPLE RESPONSE MIGHT LOOK LIKE: The platform rose to the height of fashion in 1960 and evolved over time to become far more sleek in its appearance. Similarly, the humble trainer began as rather a crude creation with the simple idea of comfort at its heart. Indeed, over time shoes continue to evolve and adapt to become sleeker, more appealing and above all far more ergonomically designed. Could the future hold a pair of stilettoes that actually shape your arches instead of destroying them? Let us look to the history of stilettoes to investigate this idea further…

TO MOVE ON: The pupil should never see their work as done and should always seek out new ways to apply their learning.

A powerful idea that was born from the discussion that followed was that pupils need to have a mirror held up to them to allow them to understand the learning processes that we all go through as human beings. SOLO helps this to happen as the pupils can see how one stage is necessary before another begins. Learning should not be “done” to anyone; that includes teachers! CPD should not be “done” to teachers…a thought I am taking back home to England!

To reflect on the initial three questions, we used the superb meeting room space and wrote all over the walls with our thoughts:

I would love to hear how everyone takes SOLO forward and cannot thank the Pedagoo team enough for inviting me to such an awesome event.

Han(dy) SOLO Stuff

Once an English Teacher, always an English teacher: my apologies for the title…

Totally Pun-tastic.

Thanks to the amazing @lisajaneashes,  we definitely had our appetites whetted to find out more about #SOLO in our group at #tmSLFringe12

Afterwards in the bar, @neilwinton and @kennypieper ‘volunteered’ me to write about my #solo adventures with my Higher English class,(thanks, guys) –  but while I’m getting on with that, I thought I’d send the link to my Pinterest page with lots of links to follow for those of you keen to find out more about it…

So here you go – enjoy! It’s definitely the kind of thing that the more you read about the more exciting it becomes

– Or maybe I’m just a geek!

Anyway thanks to @totallywired77 and @lisajaneashes for setting me off on this journey.


I promise –  Neil & Kenny –  that the #EngSolo post is imminent 🙂

Workshop number 9 – thoughts

First of all, thank you to Pedagoo and Feargal for arranging Saturday’s teachmeet.
When I first signed up to host a workshop I was really unsure of what it would be like. Would I feel like a “blue group” child among all of these intelligent people? Would anyone want to listen to what I had to say? Would they think I was merely telling them what hey already know? I need not have worried. The lovely people who were there made me feel so welcome and it was great to see Tweeters I had been conversing with for a while.
My workshop was on Reading Workshops in which I have great faith. Giving children a choice of what to read and what activities to do as follow up work seems such an obvious way to engage hem in their learning. I feel it removes the competitive element of ability grouping both for the child and the parents and encourages reading for pleasure.
The teachers who attended the workshops were very supportive and encouraging when I got flummoxed and nervous! (Supplying chocolate may have helped!). The feedback on the day and through twitter was positive. I was given food for thought about how the concept would work in P1 and 2 and together we discussed and found ways to adapt for the early stages. I hope I have encouraged some to try out the idea.
Thank you all.
Ann / misiesd.

Workshop Number 8 – #tmslFringe 2012 Feedback

There was real feeling that before a change in practice must come a change in Mindsets of all involved. It was clear that this day showed that greater teacher collaboration is possible and the enthusiasm felt by all will be taken into school and we will try to share that excitement for learning.

On Monday we should go into our schools and email the pedagoo and pedagoofriday links to all of our colleagues to let them know that we are out there and great things are happening.

We wanted to try out edmodo and solo taxonomy and blogging and glogster and so  much more.  We should listen to people who want to share collaboratively and eventually trickle into schools by hook or by crook. Let us keep positive amidst a sea of naysayers by listening and learning from others who are engaged, positive and forward looking. We now know that this pedagoo community is there for that reason.

In a year’s time some of us are promising to return to next year’s event to share amazing ideas by presenting workshops.

We need to help raise the profile of Pedagoo by direct contact with directors of education, ILAs, Hts etc.

As teachers we must organize and support local Teachmeet/ pedagoo events.

Perhaps in a year’s time all of our CPD will be delivered by teachers for teachers. In a year’s time, our classrooms will be places where everyone – teachers and students –  leaves having learned something,

We need to remember that life long learning does not just happen. We should hold a mirror up to our own learning so that others can see the process. We should inject other teachers with positivity.

To finish, it was nice to hear the individual enthusiasm for Pedagoo and what we are trying to achieve. We need to bottle that enthusiasm and explode it, like champagne, when we get back to schools. Unfortunately, no, we can’t get into teacher training – might be a bit of a closed shop there – but we will continue to keep on keeping on.

This weekend was amazing but will count for nothing if we don’t go back to our schools and prepare for a better future.

Sign up to pedagoo.org. Organise a teachmeet or become a pedaguru.

Let’s make it happen, people!

Pedagoo Inception

Today is a local holiday in my local authority. One more day until I can get back in the classroom and start putting into practice the many ideas that have been buzzing around my brain since Saturday.

I must admit on the run up to tmSLFringe, I was getting worried. Worried I would be surrounded by experienced and innovative educators who would immediately identify me as a fraud. I am relatively new to teaching (in my third year as a primary teacher – including probation) and generally feel more confident in front of a room of children than with a group of my peers. Of course, I needn’t have worried. Yes, the wonderfully decorated meeting space of Citizen M was full of experienced and innovative people. They were clearly passionate and motivated about making the educational experience the best it can possibly be, and as that realisation dawned on me, I realised that was me too.

Each workshop left my brain swimming with ideas and a warm, fuzzy feeling that generally comes when watching a feelgood movie with an inspirational ending. This was it. This was the sort of dialogue and sharing of experiences and ideas that inspires each and every one of us to push our teaching and learning further. To try new things, to benefit from others, to realise we are all in this together. It is all too easy to get caught up in the negatives; when a lesson doesn’t go well, when a learning experience you have planned beautifully falls flat or when your to-do list seems neverending, and that is why pedagoo is so important.

Saturday has well and truly reached into my subconcious and given it a good shake. Last night I had a dream about using SOLO taxonomy in a lesson. Pedagoo inception is real and it can happen to you (if it hasn’t already).