Coming to the end of my 11 months of maternity leave made me see that it’s been fantastic to get a break from teaching… in a good way! Teaching is such an all encompassing, all consuming job, that it’s hard to keep on top of lesson planning/marking let alone researching other things that are out there. So in between feeding, cleaning and playing I’ve had the luxury of time to look into all those things I’ve always meant to get around to.
The challenge is how to keep exploring as I return to work. This time has confirmed in my mind the importance of sabbaticals, career breaks and job moves as useful ways to reinvigorate teaching practise, however it must be possible to keep an eye on the wider world without compromising the day to day details. In the end you make time for what you want, so for me I know I’m going to have to be much more disciplined with how I use my time (goodbye Neighbours!).
For now I’m re-charged with ideas and ready to go.
Here are the best things I’ve discovered this year…
- twitter: becoming a tweacher which has led to hours of links and foraging
- alternative CPD: attended and loved my first teachmeet at Strathclyde Uni, discovered some essential blogs (http://literacyadvisCer.wordpress.com/) and podcasts (http://www.insidelearning.net/)
- wikipedia & simple wikipedia: have a new appreciation for this resource and am planning on doing a block of work to explore its awesomeness with my classes.
- class dojo: am super excited about introducing this as a motivational tool, particularly for co-operative learning.
I return to an exciting and busy role of temp principal teacher, co-ordinating the upper department as well as literacy & ICT teacher for P5, P6 and P7. With all these things to juggle, here’s what I want to keep at the forefront
My manifesto for 2012
- inspire a love for words in every child: encourage each pupil to find texts they enjoy reading and to see improvements in their writing.
- be more encouraging: look for more opportunities to praise.
- improve communication in school: in particular help the school website and it’s social media networking become a community.
- stay inspired! Set aside time each week to connect with exciting people and resources.
- start blogging: I think this will be a useful way for me to reflect and keep focused!
On top of this I’m of course aiming to be the perfect wife and mother, hang out with my favourite people, read loads and do a bit of knitting… the big question is can I find the time? Maybe it’s time to start planning for another career break – time for a second child perhaps?! 😉