Sunday, 7 September 2014

Iteration in Education

'Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed.'

D.Defoe - The Political History of the Devil

It's typically a shock to the system for parents, teachers and pupils but almost as certain as death and taxes, the new school year always rolls around. As the new school year begins people typically strive to 'get back in the routine'. It's understandable and of course part of human nature to seek familiarity. Indeed familiarity can be great. It's great to go back to school and pick up where you left off with great working relationships with both pupils and colleagues.

The danger with the safety blanket of familiarity is that it can start to smother. Using the same plan, making the same comments, teaching the same way, is not advisable. I believe as teachers we are always having to strike a balance between what we have previously used to get results with our pupils and finding new ways to engage our pupils and improve their learning experience. Just like the computer that continually needs new software, teachers need to try new things every year. We need to iterate. When I started teaching I was Eoghan Evesson Version 1.0. If I count every year that I made a concerted effort to improve how I teach as a new version, I think I'm now Eoghan Evesson Version 5.0.
What version are you?
Over the summer I was busy stock piling my software update for this year. Between exam corrections and building sand castles with the kids in Ballycotton, I was retweeting the best educational advice and links that I could find on Twitter. In the the ThingLink picture below I have added just six of the links and tips that I found over the summer that I hope to use in this academic year. The picture itself in the background is from another site I hope to use this year, EDpuzzle. Trying new things in the classroom can be a risk but just like death and taxes, the school year 2015/16 will inevitably arrive and I don't want to be the same version of a teacher when it does.

(Click the black circles)