Chris Moyse (@ChrisMoyse) opened the day, talking about how we need to focusing on “Raising the Bar”.
Chris referenced a range of books he has found enlightening over the last few years, in particular “Legacy” by James Kerr.
In this book the legacy of the ‘All Blacks’ is explored. As the most successful sports team ever, with an 86% win ratio, what is it that makes them so successful. The Haka is well known to be performed by the team before matches, but in New Zealand Chris explained they also perform it at weddings, funerals and indeed assemblies.
It is a chant about character, humility and recognising you are part of something bigger. It’s about leaving the shirt to the next player / generation in a better condition than you found it.
Chris asked us to think about our role as teachers.
- What legacy do we want to leave behind?
- What will we leave woven into the lives of other people?
Next Chris asked us who had inspired us? Who it was we wanted to emulate?
He discussed Sergey Bubka, who had broken the pole vault world record 35 times in his career. That Bubka had maintained a very high standard for years, but was always trying to slightly raise the bar.
Chris explained that purposeful practice is when we take control of what we are trying to develop, and we deliberately move out of our auto-pilot mode.
If we were to rate our practice on a range of 1-10, and we were to rate ourselves as a 7 (for example), the question Chris asked is what would it take to get to 7.1? It’s about raising the bar slightly and gradually improving over time.
Gaz Needle (@gazneedle) was the next speaker I listened to. In truth (and with no disrespect to any other presenters) Gaz was the one colleague I was most excited to meet and listen to (and I was not disappointed)
Gaz incredibly openly and professionally explained the journey his career path has been on over the past few years. From being a Y2 teacher, to acting headteacher to substantive headteacher within a short space of time.
Gaz is clearly an inspiring and genuine head, who teachers would love working with.
Gaz believes a headteacher should focus on:
- spreading their values
- having a positive impact
- developing great relationships with staff
- being empathetic
- giving staff a second chance
- recognising that all teachers want to do a good job and get better
- creating and growing a great team
- listening to people
- leading and giving time to people
As a school leader: you make the weather. So smile, be positive, energetic and enthusiastic!
Also: be yourself, know yourself and be authentic.
Next was David Fawcett (@davidfawcett27) discussing Feedback. His focus was on “Less input: more output”.
David discussed the numbers of myths there are about marking and feedback. Some teachers interpret research to back up their theories / personal beliefs.
A key question to keep in mind is: “Is it for the learners or is it for evidence of the policy?”
David referenced Sean Harford’s Ofsted myth clarification documents.
Feedback effects can be variable. We need to consider why it is done? How it is done? What’s the impact?
The aim should be for feedback practice to be effective, sustainable and have positive impacts.
Lisa Jane Ashes (@lisajaneashes) closed the day. She started with the question: “What are you doing here?” (She wasn’t just suggesting that the more intelligent people had already made their way to the pub!)
For Lisa her focus in teaching has always been based around solving problems and being creative. We must think, or allow our learners to think, that there is only one solution to any problem.
She encouraged us to take on some of the ideas from today, put them into action and then to share the process and results with others.
Whatever the problems are in our classroom or school, those problems will always remain if we don’t do anything about them.
So after a day of professional learning and reflection now time for action and professional development.