Wednesday, 17 December 2014

#teacher5aday

I was interested to read Martyn Reah's post from earlier this month on the theme of wellbeing.

In my long career I've been through a few very low points (not recently it has to be said) but I've been on the receiving end of years of negativity from senior colleagues (and that's as much as I'm saying here) and been passed over for promotion several times.... I'm now in a school where I'm supported and given freedom to teach as I want, take pedagogical risks, and choose the content to a large extent.

Martyn Reah’s original post, which has reached hundreds of teachers now was the starting point, and I wanted to support a fellow blogger, an activity I've been doing for over a decade now. It’s about the idea of well-being and thinking of ourselves a little more. I have to say that my well-being comes from immersing myself in the subject that I teach.
Part of #teacher5aday is to share what we do under five hashtags, which we are going to do in the New Year.
#connect
Connecting is what I spend my time doing, and which I’ve spent years developing as a support network, and also as a source of income through those times when I was made redundant and wondered what direction my life would take. I enjoy the inspiration that comes from my social media feeds and blogging, and don’t see it as an imposition.
Having said that I also like to #disconnect when possible: my travelling essentials include noise-cancelling headphones, and time to read in peace and quiet is my biggest luxury. So I would say that the need to #disconnect is vital too. I was interested in a number of articles a few months ago about introverted teachers. I need quiet time after a busy school day. Spotify helps me to connect with new music and audiobooks. The New Year will be a time to explore 
#exercise
I’m not going to start posting how many kilometres I’ve run, or get stuck into a training regime at the gym. I don’t do a lot of physical activity.
My main exercise these days is walking, particularly exploring new places. I love the fact that I visit a lot of new (and familiar) places, and will spend as much time as I can pounding the streets, exploring interesting looking streets, and testing my internal navigation systems. Next year I’m going to be visiting a few cities for the first time, like Budapest, and returning to others, like Helsinki and Evora, and look forward to expanding my mental map of them.
#notice
I’ve always been the sort of person who notices too much, and finds it hard to stop noticing. I'm going to notice a few new things that matter I hope.
#learn
All the projects that I do are learning experiences. This year alone, I’ve worked with Ben Hennig - who showed me the effort that goes into creating a cartogram, colleagues at school - particularly Claire my HoD – who taught me a lot about teaching, GeoCapabilities project colleagues who include two of the very few Professors of Geography Education (David Lambert and Sirpa Tani) and my Explorer HQ colleagues who always inspire. Just this week, David North of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust lifted the lid on the management of the Cley reserve for me.
Next March, I’m going to be listening to Robert MacFarlane talk about landscape, and I’m also going to be writing a lot of chapters for a new GCSE textbook.
I never stop learning, and my bedside chest has a large pile of books waiting to be read over Christmas and into the New Year.
#volunteer
I volunteer and serve on the Geographical Association’s Secondary Committee, and will be doing some GA branch lectures next year. Every year, I answer hundreds of e-mails asking for help with resources or some professional issue.
I’m going to be volunteering some time to support the Norfolk Wildlife Trust develop their educational offering to local schools and adults.
I’ve also done some work with the Royal Scottish Geographical Society this year on the Betsey Project, and am currently working on some website materials before handing it over to the RSGS to maintain. 

No comments: