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Showing posts from May, 2012

Leaders of Learning

Today, a group of Year 9 students from Hodgson Academy, came in to run a 90 minute session with my Year 5 class. They were self-penned "Leaders of Learning". I like that. A lot of schools, mine included, have digital leaders or similar, but in a way, it restricts the good work they can do to one educational avenue - digital/technological based stuff. I think I'm going to steal the Leaders of Learning thing. I like the multi faceted nature of the title, implying that their role is to be a broad and informed tier of leaders - much like schools are trying to implement with management structures. Why not make use of children's abilities in a much more efficient way? I think digital leaders just expanded for me.

Thank You, Mr Maloney, for helping my child to fail.

From the title, I expect you think this post is all negative. That's logical, based on the failure element of it, but it's wrong. This was a magic moment that happened with a parent the other day.

Her child - a bright girl - has done really well with me this year but, as I keep saying, I've not really done that much, it was all her own efforts. Her mother responded by saying something really interesting, in my opinon, which is paraphrased below:

Every year we've been told how well she's doing, how she's brilliant at everything and is top of the class. You've told us how she's all of those things, but also how she can move forward and what we can do and why we should. You've put her in positions where she'll fail, where she can't rely on her academic intelligence and watched her struggle and then explained why it's okay to feel that frustration and how to overcome it. Thank you, Mr Maloney, for helping my child to fail.
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Being a Political Football

I wanted this to be eloquent. I wanted this post to whizz through the ether and bounce onto Michael Gove's desk and for him to smile at the clever turns of phrase and rhetoric. I haven't got the bloody energy. You'll have to make do with this:

I am lucky that I am in a career that I love. That statement is one that many, many thousands of people cannot say. It is, unfortunately, increasingly difficult to believe it anymore. Teaching isn't about just, well, teaching. In the last two weeks I have cleaned cuts, dealt with arguments, healed broken hearts, acted as judge and jury, cajoled, supported, fed (yes, fed), parented, reassured, inspired and taught.

The main problem is that my profession is viewed as a political football. This is historic, I know, and I should state I knew this was the case before training to become a teacher. But most recently, the analogy of a football is defunct.

Teaching is not a political football. It is the tennis ball in the longest and most…