I always kick off January by delivering INSET. Whilst many people would think that the week directly following the break is quite a tough one, and it’s true that people may be a little sleepy, it’s the perfect time to consolidate what we’ve learned from the first term and think about how we’re going to move forwards.
This year saw me going firstly to the National Learning Trust, to work with their TAs on getting the best of learners. I’ve been working with NLT for several years now and always have a good day with them. We had some great discussions around psychology and motivation, the importance of knowing our learners and our own mindset, and some strategies we can use during learning activities to really push our learners. There were some great discussions around what we think “best” means – does it mean getting work done? Or does it mean challenging themselves? Taking a risk? Figuring it out for themselves? Often, we find that what we think of as “best” isn’t what they think of, so we need to make we address this gap.
After this I visited Grace Dieu Manor School, and it was my first time with them. We worked through one of my favourite sessions Teachers and TAs Working Together. There were some very thought-provoking discussions around how TAs are used in the classroom for maximum impact, and the different roles TAs can take. We then discussed how to effectively communicate this information and plan together to ensure all each party has all the information they need both before and after learning activities.
These were two very different days, but I thoroughly enjoyed both of them, and am looking forward to seeing how they get on with the changes they made.