So, the holidays are here, time for us teachers to sit around on our backsides for 6 weeks. Fantastic. Or maybe not, do you know any teachers that relax for the whole 6 weeks? Me neither!
This holiday will be a strange one and busy one. I’m moving back into school, into a role that is still being defined and it’s also the first summer holiday as a home owner so there’s bound to be house-y things to do as well. Add in seeing friends, going on holiday and the small matter of GTAUK next week and it will fill up quite quickly! But what else will I be up to?
*School Website. This is one of my first priorities. My new school has a website, it’s ok, but it seems quite complicated to add things to it and usually this is just in the form of newsletters. I will be moving to a much simpler system which means that we can get a few people, and some children, adding content to the site.I also want to make it sustainable so will be making videos of how to use the website so staff can keep it up.
*Setting up blogs for every class. I think this will be done using WordPress MU. I’m tempted to setup a new domain and then create class blogs from there so everyone follows the same naming convention. Going to a school with a name as popular as St Johns means a lot of domain names are already taken! I’m not sure yet how I will start using the blogs and how I will convince staff they are useful, but we shall see. I am working in 7 out of 11 classes so I think I’ll start it when I’m in their class. Once it is popular with children, I’ll bring staff onboard.
*Policies and stuff. As mentioned before I will be writing policies and AUPs and action plans this holiday too. I know I should probably wait until September, but I want to get the majority of it ready while I have time.
*VLE. We will be launching our VLE slowly next term, again with the classes I teach and then gradually throughout the school, hoping to have it in place by Spring. I want to make sure I get this right after spending two years telling teachers how to do it! Every school is different though so I need to think about my staff and make sure that I do things in a way that makes sense.
*Reading Blogs. I am awful at reading other people’s blogs. I read posts when they appear on Twitter if the title catches my eye, but generally, I’m awful at it. I have setup Google Reader, but never really used it properly. I have 500+ posts to read and it’s just silly. So one job this Summer is to find a way of keeping up with it and managaing the information that comes through. It might be Google Reader, in which case, I’ll make sure I;m better at reading them each week!
*Twitter Favourites/Delicious. I use Twitter a lot (you may have noticed). Often I use it on my phone and some links don’t work properly or I haven’t got time to read something so I favourite the tweet instead or send the link to my Delicious account. This means I have 100’s of tweets that I need to work through and I probably should tidy up my delicious account a bit too. I want to start September productively and continue it on too.
*Hampshire Delicious. We set up a county-wide Delicious a little while ago and I have added some links to it, but it stands at around 240. I want to make this much bigger and maybe look at linking with people who already have decent accounts set up to see if I can improve ours. I also need to begin publicising it to schools.
*VLE Shared area. I talked about this just 2/3 weeks ago, but now I have shown it to around 70 teachers. They love it. I have been overwhelmed with the response to it so far and I am very pleased. Currently we have around 30 areas/topics that people have been busy adding content to. I have setup RSS feeds from Delicious and I have also been linking activities from Brain Pop and Purple Mash. I need to finish this off and then start adding from other sites such as iboard and BBC Class Clips. Two other things I want to do are adding games and CPD. The games folder will be a collection of online games that students (and teachers) can play that encourage thinking activities. I will share some of these later, but Physics Games is a good place to start. I also want to put a staff development area as well which will contain RSS feeds/embedded pages of blogs from a wide-range of subjects relevant to the primary phase as well as videos from TED Talks and others that might be useful. Our VLE would be a great place for CPD and I want to push this side of it a bit more.
*Articles for Naace. I was discussing Naace with a few people, including the always excellent Miles Berry, and I was suggesting that there seemed to be a distinct lack of content and voice from the primry teachers. There are lots of secondary and consultants that are willing to share and be heard, but where are the primaries. Following some interesting discussions with Miles and others, I am now writing two articles for Naace. I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learnt in there somewhere??
*Clearing out my old email. As I leave the consultancy role, I need to make sure I have saved everything useful, cleared it all out and moved properly to my new email instead.
*Top Secret Project. This is really exciting, but I can’t share anything until next week. Sorry!!
It sounds like a lot, but some of those jobs will take half a day, so it isn’t that bad really. I think sharing my to-do list will be useful because I can reflect on this when I return in September and see how much of this I achieved and how many other things got added to the list throughout the holidays!
Enjoy your break everyone, you’ve worked hard and you deserve it.