The rain poured down and gun metal grey skies filled the sky while I resolutely tapped into twitter that it was just liquid sunshine.
I am an optimist.
I try to see the upside in situations: a new curriculum? Great; a chance to learn new things! A lesson observation? No problem; a chance to show how fantastic my class can be (hopefully)! Car needs new brakes and going to cost £160? Phew; glad I caught that in time before I REALLY needed them!
Reading the beginning of Angus Walker’s blog made me think about how summer is a time to be reflective as a teacher: whether that is in the comfort of your own home having a glass of wine and enjoying the quietness of the August sunshine or taking to twitter to duel with other teachers who seem diametrically opposed to your pedagogical philosophy, now is the time where we don’t have a class and can really think about what it means to be a teacher and where you stand as a teacher.
I thought about this on my way to meeting fellow teachers who use twitter and wondered what we would talk about. It was the first time really I had met most of them. I was a little excited! I wondered how the conversation would develop. On twitter we have time to search for any unknown terms and carefully think about what we want to say, how we want to say it and even whether we want to say it at all. There have been several times when I have hit reply, typed my response then thought better of it.
But here we were. On our way to meet. In the end, it was great but on the way I worried that we might run out of things to talk about so I thought about a few questions that I hoped would generate some discussion. In the end we didn’t need them! Getting six teachers together, the problem was not keeping the conversation going!
And now I had a whole host of questions and nothing to do with them. Take them as you will. I was going to suggest that we choose a number between 1 and 21 and then discuss that question as a group and you could still use them this way as team meeting starter although some may be close to the knuckle if you are referring to current staff! Or you could just use them to think about as you sip your mid-morning glass of wine (hey, why not? It’s the holidays!) Or you could think of the most ridiculous answers for each, but below are the 21 questions to ask of yourself in the summer:
1. Why did you become a teacher?
2. What is your teaching philosophy?
3. How do the children in your class perceive you?
4. What has been your greatest achievement in your career so far?
5. Where do you want to be in five years time?
6. How do parents perceive you?
7. What has been the lowest point of your career so far and how did you bounce back?
8. Which person, who you have worked with, has influenced you the most?
9. What is the best quality you have as an educator?
10. How do other teachers perceive you?
11. Do you want to be a head teacher/principal? Why?
12. Do you see yourself teaching until you retire?
13. Which class/age/grade would you teach if you had the option?
14. What is the worst thing you have known another educator to do in the classroom?
15. What is the best professional development you have ever been part of?
16. How would you change things if you were the head teacher/principal in your school?
17. What three words would you use to describe yourself as a teacher?
18. How would you judge the effectiveness of teaching across an entire school?
19. How do you show your class’ achievements to others?
20. How are you going to challenge yourself when you go back to school?
21. What are you going to do when you go back to school to make your classes even better?
Thanks for reading, tweeting and re-blogging this post!