On the night before work starts I won’t begin 2018 with a resolution blog, instead, I’m going to start 2018 with a reflection of my personal highlights from 2017. I think it is equally important to acknowledge the journey so far in order to prepare for the year ahead, reminding myself of all the great events, conversations and people from the last twelve months. So, here are my personal highlights from 2017.
In reality, there were too many to mention but if I were to distil them down to five they would be:
Moving On Ed
Attending, and hosting a Twitter chat (my first), for Moving On Ed in Exeter. The event was organised and run by Mark Anderson, Kate Jones and Gary King. With keynotes from Mary Myatt, Stephen Tierney and Steve Wheeler. I was also lucky enough, amongst others, to meet both Paul Moss and Jade Booth, both of whom I had brilliant conversations with regarding teaching, learning and education in general. I was blown away by the organisation, structure and quality of conversation from everyone, from top to bottom, along with how important it was to all present that they make a positive impact within their own spheres of influence. The conference had the most incredible array of keynote speakers, all with wonderful messages. The three organisers were equally impressive and also delivered thought-provoking and impactful teaching and learning strategies in their individual sessions.
Unio’s Teachmeet #TMEdTech was all about sharing good practice and innovative ideas with #edtech, you can read their blog about it here. I took away so many great ideas from the event that I was in danger of trying out too many new strategies! I was also fortunate enough to present, and, of course, network. I was certainly outside of my comfort zone when it came to being recorded during my presentation, however, no real learning comes from staying within your comfort zone. So if you ever get the chance, step outside your comfort zone and learn more about yourself. You can watch my presentation here. I was really rather nervous, you may or may not be able to tell, as I learnt this was being broadcast live around the world at the time I arrived at the event. So this is me being #10% braver and sharing it publicly.
Pete asked me to run a workshop at Leicester Teaching and Learning Autumn Conference. I met Pete at #TMReading earlier in the year, and have followed him on Twitter for some time as he shares lots of great T&L ideas from a plethora of educators, so was overjoyed at being able to run a session at the conference. The event was a success as it had so many great, and diverse, sessions that it was hard to pick one particular highlight. It was refreshing to be able to run a session as well as participate in a variety of the sessions, getting the best of both worlds and being challenged to think outside the box during the conference.
Starting up @2ndaryRocks with Pran Patel. We are on a mission to collaborate with as many teachers as possible to improve pedagogy across the board as no human is an island! Raise the profile of social inequity and transition. We managed to gather momentum with Twitter talks hosted by Kathryn Morgan, Anoara Mughal, BoysInEd, HeForShe, Twinkle English and WomenEd on topics ranging from men’s roles in gender equity, the inequity in exclusions of young black boys compared to their white counterparts, wellbeing, the importance of transition between primary and secondary school and feedback policies. If you’d like to get involved with #2ndaryRocks please do get in touch with Pran and me, we look forward to what we have planned for the year ahead!
A PLN (personal learning network) is such a valuable commodity in the modern world, to be able to take inspiration, learn from and discuss ideas with other like-minded educators is invaluable.Meeting many members of my inspiring PLN in 2017 was a real highlight, I wish I could’ve spent more time talking to each of them. Hannah Wilson wrote a great blog about the importance and power of networking and having a PLN here. Please do read it, it’s fantastic! I was lucky enough to meet some other amazing educators from my PLN in 2017, including those mentioned already, such as Bukky Yusuf, Adam Llevo, Ritesh Patel, Amjad Ali, the Unio team, Ty Goddard, James Kieft, Anshi and Gary Henderson. All of whom are incredible individuals with wonderful values and are helping to nurture the minds of pupils across the land in a myriad of ways. What unites them all, for me, is their passion for education along with their willingness to converse with anyone about any topic within education. They are all drivers for change thanks to their amazing attitudes, I wish when I was a pupil my teachers had their resilience, values and relentless dedication to education.
If 2018 is set to be as good as 2017 then I look forward to the journey ahead and meeting more of my PLN, existing and those yet to connect!