As the lockdown lightens, one thing that has stood out is how 'everyday people' are demonstrating their creativity in small but powerful ways. Whether it be figuring out how to deliver free school meals during social distancing; using a 3D printer to create much needed medical equipment for the NHS or recording a lockdown themed family parody of 'One Day More' on Youtube (if you haven't seen this yet, it is a must!).
Unfortunately, it is regularly documented that our current school systems do not support the development of creativity and that, due to curriculum constraints, very little time is dedicated to creative development.
How is it that, in an institution designed and funded to nurture the future generation, we are struggling to develop creativity, while at the same time, trapped in a terraced house for months, creativity has thrived. What can we take away from this 'everyday creativity' and how can we harness this back in school?
'Hello hello teachers of the world – how are you keeping?'
Or maybe that is a bit of a silly question these days. I say that because it’s often met with a grunt or a sigh or a raised eyebrow or even, sometimes, an exaggerated glare. Regardless, I will continue asking because I like to know what’s going on. Some will share about how the queue at the local supermarket is still long and slow, others will say that they are about to throw their laptop out of their recently converted home office, some will say that their neighbour is playing the guitar too loudly and then you might find one or two who will share that they are absolutely loving the evening walks with family. They might even whisper it with a sense of slight guilt. There is something different about these people.
In the month of May, people all around the world celebrate May the 4th - Star Wars Day! 'May the 4th be with you' (or should I say, 'May the force be with you') is heavily referred to as Growth Mindset.
If you Google mindset and Star Wars, reams and reams of pages, websites, posters, blogs, worksheets and videos pop up to explain the link. Yoda has a Growth Mindset and Darth Vadar has a Fixed Mindset. However, there is a huge problem comparing mindset with Star Wars. Mindset is not as simple as this. It is important that teachers and our children get to grips with the dark side of the force.
Are you a student teacher applying for your first job? Or are you applying for your next teaching post or step up? If the answer is yes, hopefully, my latest video will be useful to you. I will be discussing key topics for you to consider answers for, how to approach interviews with a positive mindset and answer questions in a clear and effective way!
Physical ability can be broken down into six key components that link together in sports and physical activity. By isolating each component you can develop each one more easily at home. Children can work on their basic skills by practicing the skill components of fitness. These help you to perform successfully in various sports. But what are the key components and how do children work on each skill when they are stuck at home?
In the busy world of teaching, with huge teacher workloads, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for teachers to spend time on their own professional development. However, during school closures, lockdowns and social distancing people are looking ways of killing time and supporting their wellbeing. Dedicating time to your own professional development can majorly support your wellbeing. A number of websites and resources are offering discounted and free webinars and online courses. I thought I would share a few fantastic PD opportunities I have come across.
WAGOLL Teaching was recently featured in Ed Talks live. Ed Talks is a live fortnightly talk show for teachers and parents to bring insights, thoughts and ideas from a local and global perspective, to help with remote learning and home schooling needs. The 'Big Question for the show was 'How can we help our students be 'Future Ready'?'
A few months ago, I wrote a blog on how to grow a growth mindset organically in the classroom. A growth mindset is not something complex and difficult. It is the simple belief that you can achieve if you continue to approach learning positively. But having a growth mindset is a bit like being told to be happy all the time. It is impossible! You with have low points and sometimes you will find yourself with a fixed mindset. In fact, Gemma Sanchez, who delivers growth mindset lessons to Primary aged children suggests children should get friendly with their mindset.
Young children are not going to sit and listen to 30 minute teacher videos. Keep teacher input as concise and as short as possible. Plan lessons with lots of activities for children to complete. This will reduce screen time and keep children engaged for longer.
Due to the coronavirus, Zoom is being used across the world to deliver remote learning lessons to primary school children. Teachers everywhere are opening up their laptops, logging on and inviting their children to join them online. But teaching a class of children online is very different from in a classroom. Those simple teaching skills such as eye contact; tone of voice; practical resources are lost online and so it is important to develop new teaching strategies which engage children and manage their behaviour in new and innovative ways. We have just finished our second week, here in Dubai, of remote learning. Here are a few tips that I have picked up from our teachers to share with you.
WAGOLL Teaching is all about sharing great, simple teaching ideas with a global teaching community. As a teaching group, we need to stick together, support each other and develop positive approaches to classroom innovation. Development is all about trying something new, taking risks and sharing great ideas! you may even have some fun along the way!