Wednesday, 24 July 2013

#TMClevedon, the End of Term anticlimax and my plans for the holidays and beyond

I have not blogged in a while, I hope that the reason for this will become clear as this post goes on.

I'm going to start with the amazing (and I don't use this word lightly) experience I had at #TMClevedon on a warm, sunny Thursday night in June, which is ages ago now.
Firstly it was great meeting up with some great fellow science teachers that I met back in January, if you're not following them on Twitter @hrogerson @KDWScience @lizdudley is where to look! Karen's presentation about foldables was great and I even got to be a glamourous assistant! :)

It was also a pleasure to listen to a brilliant keynote by Hywel Roberts (@HYWEL_ROBERTS) which for me was inspiring and reminded me why I teach in the first place. The concepts of BRAVE learning and 'botheredness' went down an absolute storm and if you haven't read Hywel's 'Oops' book then you really should, wherever you are in your career. I really appreciated the fact that Hywel has done work in a broad range of schools, including special schools which makes it even more worthwhile trying some of his ideas in my setting and want to become a 'radiator' - read the book, it will make more sense!

Then we got into the presentations, many of which by twitter teachers who I have been following for a long time, I really enjoyed seeing them in action. As I was listening to the likes of @ICTEvangelist vs @gavinsmart and their app smackdown, @reflectivemaths spinning plates and @ICTMagic and @timrylands doing their 'thing' it really struck me how lacking my school is in many areas, particluarly tech/computers and similar. I really think it does the kids a disservice.

 As I was watching and listening I was trying to take note of some interesting sites/apps that were mentioned, there were loads but here are a few, sorry I can't remember who showed what! These are brilliant, I cannot stress enough that you should look at them all!

  • - where in the world are we? Great for geography (obviously) but could be a really good discussion based starter for many subjects.

  • - for broadcasting live audio

  • - build your own sustainable cities

  • - collaborate and get creative

  • - exactly what it says on the tin. Videos for tutor time to generate discussion

  • type in the address and get a whole different world view!

  • - this blog is beyond fantastic and has apps and sites for all sorts! Brilliant!

  • - tell stories with photos

  • -"Thanks to Aurasma, every image, object and even place can have its own Aura. Auras can be as simple as a video and a link to a web page or as complex as a lifelike 3D animation. Use the Aurasma app to unlock Auras and share the experience with friends. Or get experimenting and use the simple tools within the app to create and share your own Auras." I've copied this as it's hard to explain but I can just imagine it used to make interactive displays with video clips and so on. 

  • - for designing 3D stuff

  • - app for visualising things in 3D (both Android and Apple) 

  • - and here are all the apps featured in the App Smackdown

I really hope some of these are useful to people, I can take no credit beyond advertising them. I wish I had the tech to use some of them. My school has very little working IT and no budget. I would pretty much kill for 3/4 iPads for the kids to use and one for myself obviously. They are special needs after all! It may also be worth checking out @kohlmand's blog to see how these apps and more are used in a science context. It is found here:

This is turning into an epic.....

OK so the end of term. Well it was an awful term. Redundancies, stress, new kids who are more than BESD without the proper support, pretty much you name it and it happened. The end came and it couldn't have been more of an anticlimax, I just wanted to go home and get away from the school and a lot of the people. Horrible I know but for my own sanity I know it was best.

The reason I stopped blogging for a bit is because I risked ranting and being exposed. That I don't need. What I can say is this, I am being treated dreadfully and unfairly, I am being bullied (yes I know, I used 'that' word, but it is true) and told I am not good enough day after day despite everything I have done and achieved. I cry at home, a lot, it is not fair on my family. I can't trust anyone I work with. My union are itching to get involved and I am trying to keep them at bay at the moment. I don't know what to do for the best.  I could fight it with union support and probably win but I would be hated even more than I am, or I can go.

This is why I started applying for some jobs, not just anything but things that I thought would be a step in the right direction for me. I am not getting interviews. I'm sure as intelligent people you can probably have a stab at why.

 So my plan for the summer work wise is this:
1. Update CV and keep an eye out for potential jobs
2. Rest
3. Read educational books I have bought in the sunshine
4. Read other books in the sunshine
5. Possibly look at KS3 schemes of work and make sure they are up to date but not until after my holiday.
6. Wish for a lottery win so I can at least buy an iPad :)

That is it. My line is why should I?! My efforts are obviously not appreciated so I am having a break. The kids need me at my most energetic and creative, so I am going to recharge.

If anyone wants me I'll be found in one of the following:
1. Bed
2. Pub garden
3. Park with a book

To all my twitter teacher friends and colleagues WELL DONE! We did it! We got to the end! I hope that everyone has planned a well earned break. Love to you all and I hope to do some serious networking with you all next year. :)

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