One year on

May 10, 2012

A year has passed since I completed my Degree and gained QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). I often come back to this blog and look back through the posts fondly, and reflect on what a delightful whirlwind the whole experience was. This year, I have just been a teacher completing the NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) program. I use the word ‘just’ as I do feel that it is quite a step down from the pressures and progress made last year. None the less, teaching is not easy, and when thrust into the absolute thick of it with no other distractions, it is rather daunting! Anyway, all is well and I continuously reflect back to last year and think I will always see it as being one of my life’s greatest achievements.



July 19, 2011

I have to confess, as much as I enjoyed my degree and all that I gained from it, there was always a greater goal. A three year journey now comes to a complete close with the above certificate. I never shared the fact that I was doing my GTP (Graduate Teacher Program) with my fellow cohort for fear of counting my chickens before they had hatched. I undertook my GTP in January of this year once I was as close enough to a graduate within the academic year and embarked on six months of absolute epic amounts of work and stress from holding a full time teaching position (as I had done all throughout my degree), undertaking my GTP training (2x 3000 assignments, three school placements, three hours of lectures a week, collection of 100 pieces of evidence against the 33 QTS standards and 20 formal lesson observations) and of course finishing my degree (10,000 word dissertation and 6,000 word supplementary module).

Now at the end of it, I am a qualified ICT teacher, something I have aimed for every single day for the last three years. Any school in the country (and in fact most of the world) is now available to me and I have already had two job offers. I will be staying put for now, but never loosing my drive throughout this process, the next mile stone is not that far away.

WBMP word cloud

April 26, 2011

The Work Based Major Project is coming along and is almost complete. I daren’t post it here in full until it is marked and when it is, you will be able to see it here.

What I can do though is to pass it through Wordle and the result is above. Looks like the themes of the project are clear from this simple analysis! (Click the image for a better look)

Trotting along

February 24, 2011

Woah, almost let February slip by without posting here!

So where am I now? I have successfully (I think) completed my Action Inquiry for my Work Based Major Project and I am now going through my Dissemination schedule. Not quite as it was planned exactly, but expect to see the on-line stage of that dissemination on here soon.

There are a whole 68 days to go and although that seems a fair way off, past experiences have shown that it creeps round fast! Left to do is basically write the whole thing up in a way that makes sense and demonstrates that all important graduate skill. There is a supplementary module going on at the moment named ‘Impact Review and Career Progression’ This offers a great opportunity to look at the next steps after graduation, and although I am sitting pretty with a permanent contract, it never hurts to think of other possibilities and of course the next steps…

SWOT analysis

January 6, 2011

I write this post as a bit of an ‘off-topic’ exercise driven by demand. The analytics system of this site shows me how people get here and what they typed into their search enging to find it. For about the past six months I have noticed there has been a recurring theme of people looking for information on SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis.

Stats from this site

To please the masses I thought I would post a few bits about SWOT analysis to satisfy reader demand 😉

I have not used SWOT analysis for a while within my studies, but it is something I have indeed found value in. You can see SWOT analysis used across the business, education, healthcare and nursing spectrum and that should show you just how valuable it can be. It’s basic principle is that it is a model for thinking about an objective. It guides thinking to consider the Strengths and Weaknesses of an aim or idea coupled with Opportunities and Threats posed to the aim or idea by the environment.

To link this idea to my own context, below is an extract from an earlier assignment of mine that used SWOT analysis to think about my ideas fot the module.

This allowed me to access the SWOT of a past module and was essentially used as a reflection exercise.

So there you go, a few brief bits on SWOT, nothing in great detail, I know, but with any luck it will prove to be at least some use to someone.

Looking back on alternative media

November 1, 2010

An excerpt from an alternative media assignment

Throughout my previous study, I have learnt many skills that I do not have the space here to list. One specific I want to unpack here is the concept of using alternative media to present assignments. University is all too often associated with 3,000 word essays and the like, but it really does not have to be that way.

I have made use of a variety of media to present my assignments and I am lucky that I work with a University / Faculty that embraces this medium. I have used everything from Poetry to Animation. As long as the medium accurately meets the outcomes required of the assignment, what’s the problem? I would even go to say that my faculty would prefer to see a 5 minute animation than a 1,500 essay! Some examples I have used in past study:

  1. Poetry – depicting a critical incident of a trip to China with Students, learning valuable lessons of pastoral care.
  2. Vlog – talking freely, prompted by notes, about an event. Feedback on this is that it promotes deeper reflection. I have to agree.
  3. Animated presentations – presentations done in Apple Keynote that allow the user to interact with the presentation and advance at their own pace.
  4. Emails to a hypothetical freiend – encourages persuasive techniques around an academic subject.

These are just a few examples of how I have utilised alternative media in my studies, I look forward to a time where assignment submission in these media is common place in all levels of education, because lets be real here, when do you write essays in ‘the real world’?

An introduction to Reflective Practice through Google

April 21, 2010

For anyone starting out, looking at Reflective Practice is a tricky topic to get your head around. Below is a video I made with Google Search Stories to illustrate my journey through:

This is a retrospective journey, mind. I by no way consider myself an expert on the subject of Reflective Practice, but my assignment on the subject is quite popular on YouTube 🙂