Monday, 19 August 2013

Making resolutions for the new academic year

Was thinking earlier and this idea popped into my head... Thought it worth writing up - will blog again about how it goes once I've tried it...

Making resolutions
In recent weeks I've seen various people on twitter/blogs talking about making promises for the coming academic year, such as @HoDTeacher@magicalmaths@TeacherToolkit, and there are bound to be more that I've not spotted.

I got thinking about what I wanted to resolve and started scribbling down some headings that I wanted to sort them under (yes my mind really does work that way!!). The headings I came up with were:

  • Something to continue doing
  • Something to stop doing
  • Something to start doing
  • Something to take a risk on
  • Something to improve
  • Something to enjoy
  • Something to persevere with
To make all of these changes it occurred to me that I might need some help, so I added some categories for help too (segregated between school and home) - more below...

When I looked at the headings and the sheet I'd scribbled out I realised that I could use the same basic sheet in 3 linked but different ways.

Resolutions for departmental planning
At the start of an academic year (and again at the start of each term) I lay out the priorities for the department and link that to the actions we are taking and are going to take. I try to make this a two way discussion, and to help that this year alongside sharing the priorities I am going to ask the team to help me to fill in this sheet for the department:
I envisage a post it note & prioritisation activity to help decide the various inputs. I then plan to put it up on the wall in our resource base and refer to it in departmental meetings as the term progresses.  (A link for a word version of this file is given at the bottom of this post)

Personal resolutions
Some of my team reflect and plan for themselves as a matter of course, while others need a bit more coaxing. To help structure this for the whole team I am also going to ask them all to complete this subtly different version for themselves.
Importantly I am going to encourage the team to ensure that their responses do not all need to be school related (we've all got lives outside). I've also changed the help section a little to recognise that we may need help from people outside of school. I will encourage the team to put these sheets in their planners for reference during the term, and if they are willing I'd like to take a copy of theirs too, but I'm not planning on forcing this (I want copies only because I might need to arrange the help they need and it could help plan CPD for the department).

(A link for a word version of this file is given at the bottom of this post)

Student resolutions
After doing all of this it occurred to me that I could use something like this as a start of year activity with my tutor group, which I can then use during the year for mentoring. I might yet use it with some of my maths classes too. I tweaked it to make a student version (note I took out the "take a risk" row - thought it could be contentious!):

Hope they are useful
Word versions of all these documents are available for download here.

As always - all comments/thoughts welcome.

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