Posted by: markhowell101 | March 10, 2011

Time for some positivity

Looking back over my blogs from the last 2 years I had the awful realisation that lots of them are quite negative towards me and my teaching. I think in many ways this reflects not just me but a great number of teachers that I know. We spend time dwelling on the negative things we do and forget all the positives. Someone recently said to me that if 99 good things happen to me in one day the one bad thing that happens will be the one I remember.

In light of a few events in my life this week I am feeling good about me and my teaching for once and thought I would write down some things that I am proud of so that in the future I can look back on this after not such good days. A few things this week have made me consider the successes of the first 3 years of my career, culminating in a set of y11 controlled assessment and DME results today which blew me away. Whilst much of the credit for these results must be given to them as they have a great attitude towards the subject and are really motivated to do well, some of the success I would like to think can be put down to the hard work I put into getting through the last 12 months with revision classes, podcasts and wiki revision guides (see previous blogs for details). This along with some other events this week (which those close to me will know about) have made me think I am doing something right.

In my first 2 years proper teaching results in geography have been above national average, being the only geography teacher I would like to think I could take some credit for this. All this in a school where previously geography was not taken up at GCSE so there was no culture or previous of good grades. That meant when I came into the school I had to write from scratch SOW for KS4 and plans for the new controlled assessments and these have clearly delivered the content required for students to achieve. Tinkering with the KS3 program of study has also meant that numbers at GCSE are well up now with the school offering 2 groups at GCSE. All this has enabled the school to offer geography at KS5 for the first time and hopefully the summer will yield respectable results in this.

I also think that in 3 years was classroom craft has come a long way. Through 2 varying placements and my current school I have learned to adapt to a number of environments. I think this has put me in a position now where my teaching is consistently good enough that I would be happy for an inspector to be sat at the back of the vast majority of my lessons. Although I blogged to the contrary at the start of the year, I think I have maintained the creativity of my PGCE year and have learned that it is something which comes and goes from time to time. You just need it less often in your 2nd year as you can use the inspiration of the past.

Where I think I have stepped up beyond most 2nd year teachers is outside the classroom. I think that few people in my position have led field trips in multiple schools and a ski trip to Italy all of which have been great successes.

At times over the 3 years of training and teaching I have felt that the hours of commitment I have put in have been for little. But lately I have felt that they are beginning to add up and when I step back I realise that I have done a lot in a little amount of time and in the future I hope opportunities will open up for me as a result of some of the extra mile stuff I do.  This may be starting to happen but time will reveal the extent to which this is the case.

I hope this blog acts as a landmark to me when I feel like the extra hours are not worth it to remind me that this is a long game I am playing and that really my students have benefitted from all I have done for them.

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