Posts Tagged With: Michael Shaw

#TMBETT2014 – Loving the Alien

I attended my first #BETT show in 2012 and have been each year since. Upon my first visit, when it was hosted at Olympia, I found it to be a daunting experience with very little understanding of what it was except “just another trade show’. By my second visit, I had entered the world of Twitter and had formed links with teachers and technologists alike. What a pleasure it was then to arrive on Friday evening to the #BettArena and meet up with fellow professionals, some known to me and some new. This time, however, was somewhat different. This time, I felt that I was ready to sign up to present at the Teach Meet event (#TMBETT2014) on Friday night.

Having bagged a ticket back in November and having never presented at any Teach Meet before, I thought why not? However, as the day approached, I found the nerves creeping in. What a comfort it was then to see smiling faces including @dawnhallybone, @andreacarr1, @dughall, @joga5,  @tonyparkin, @bevevans22, @nightzookeeper and @sarah_wright1 in the arena, wishing me well and calming my nerves.

The scariest thing about #TMBETT14 was not that it was hosted in the London Excel Centre (@excellondon). Not the fact that 650 tickets had been sold and @MrMichaelShaw from #TES handing out T-shirts saying ‘The largest TeachMeet in the world’! Not even the fact that I would be using technology, which could go wrong at any point. Nope, the scariest thing was that my presentation was about real children and the real learning that takes place in my classroom as part of each individual’s life journey.

* Would I do the children justice by sharing their achievements (thoroughly safe-guarded of course)?

* Would I be able to give @classdojo the credit they deserved for their wonderful behaviour management tool?

* Would the audience members find any of it useful and take it back to their own schools to share with colleagues and children alike?

All of these questions raced through my head as I nervously waited to see if my name would be called through the random selection process as created by @russeltarr through @classtools.

Fabulous presentations came from @stevebunce, telling us that Thomas was alone and @ideas_factory who asked us to be the purple cow. After 2 hours of presentations, 8:30pm ticked by and my nerves had died right down. By this point, I had given up on my name being called and was composing my graceful tweet of disappointment, whilst telling myself that there was always next year. It was a surprise then when co-host @iusher was calling my name. As the big screen had temporally stopped working, I was dazed by the sound of my name being called and uncertain if it was even the right ‘Catherine’ that he was calling. Phone in hand and notes left behind on my seat, I made my way to the front where the stage was, where I confirmed that it was indeed going to be my turn.

Waiting at the side of the stage with @katerussel, who was co-hosting  the event, I began to compose myself and collect my thoughts. After an interesting presentation from @oliverquinlan, I stood up to the podium with no notes, a phone with no battery and a lot of faces staring at me, awaiting my first sentence. It was reassuring to see smiles round the room, people nodding along and it was here that I felt proud to share the work of the children back home in Bradford. My presentation was about phonics called ‘Loving the Alien’ and with the tagline, ‘How to Make the Y1 Phonics Screening Check More …Errr… Human!’ The link can be found HERE.

#TMBETT14 Blog image LTA

It was only after stepping off the stage (and leaving my phone on it) that I truly then calmed down. Lovely comments came flooding in via Twitter on my Nexus from many people who congratulated me on no longer being a ‘Teach Meet Presentation Virgin‘ and I even got to meet some of my ‘Twitter Heroes’ @ICTmagic and @triches.

What was really lovely, was the subsequent messages I had from teachers who have already shared with their staff in their schools. One practitioner told me how her school use Class Dojo all the time but she never thought of linking it to phonics and was going to do so from now on!
I guess I can address my concerns about it being useful then?

My third and final concern about giving the credit to Class Dojo was relieved when they also tweeted;

tweet classdojo

All in all, a wonderful event and special thank should go to @digitalmaverick and everyone who organised everything.

Finally, I am already looking forward to the next Teach Meet, wherever that may be and #BETT15 but for now and in the words of a well known song, keep ‘Loving the Alien‘!  

Categories: About me, Education and learning, Technology, Travels, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Early Years 2012 Conference and Lilac Sky Education Awards

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend the Early Years 2012 conference as part of school training in preparation for the revised framework, which comes into play from September. As I will remain in Reception, I viewed it as an excellent opportunity to learn what the national expectations will be, which I can then feedback to colleagues in Bradford. It began with keynote speakers including Sarah Teather, Children’s Minister and Lib Dem MP, Sue Robb, Head of Early Years at ‘4Children’ and Graham Allen MP. The event was chaired by Dame Clare Tickell, Chief Executive of Action for Children.

The main emphasis of the day was ‘quality improvement’ and this was reflected on throughout the day.

I was pleased to learn that there will be:
• more trust placed in teacher’s professional judgements;
• free entitlement for 2 year olds which will increase over the coming years;
• better training in universities for trainee practitioners.

The day incorporated a fleeting but concise visit from Cathy Nutbrown, talking about her philosophy and the aims of her work; she reiterated that it is a revised framework, not a new one.
It was reassuring to hear her state, “that this vision must offer the very best for babies and young children by having a professional and highly skilled workforce which leads to getting the best investment in early years”. (Nutbrown; 2012 taken from The Nutbrown Review website)

Graham Allen MP’s work with Iain Duncan-Smith on ‘Early Intervention: Good Parents, Great Kids, Better Citizens’ is particularly poignant and to be fair, they look to have ‘got it right’.

It was issued in September 2008 and on the ‘Centre for Social Justice’ website, it says that “the philosophy of Early Intervention goes much further than prevention. It is about breaking the intergenerational cycle of underachievement.” (The Centre for Social Justice website)

This is something that inspires me even more when working in the Early Years. I appreciate how important the first few years of a child’s life are and I feel privileged to work alongside young individuals, helping to lay the foundations and equipping them with skills for later life, regardless of their social background. It is probably not going to be the case that little so-and-so, aged 4, will say “My Reception teacher was my favourite teacher”, let alone even remember my name but it is one of the most rewarding parts of the job, the knowledge that I have done my best to give each child a chance to become a ‘better citizen’.

Later that week, I was invited to attend the Lilac Sky Education Awards at the Barbican Centre in London. It was refreshing to watch the many educators embrace the stage to collect their awards and receive the recognition they deserved. To meet fellow teachers and consultants alike made for an enjoyable evening. Whilst enjoying the complimentary champagne and canapés, I chatted to various people including members of @use_the_key (a service for school leaders), @LilacSkySchools (Mr Trevor Averre-Beeson, Director of Education at Lilac Sky Schools) and @MrMichaelShaw (Deputy Editor of the TES). Many thanks to the organisers of the event and congratulations to the winners.

Further information:

Sarah Teather
*Plans for EYFS
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*Sarah Teather discusses the review of the Early Years Foundation Stage
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*Sarah Teather visits St Matthew’s pre-school in Newham
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Sue Robb
*Home page of ‘4Children’
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Graham Allen
*Early Intervention: The Next Steps Booklet Jan 2011
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*Brain Hero – Harvard University explanation of importance of a good start in life
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*The Centre for Social Justice
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Cathy Nutbrown
*The Nutbrown Review website
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*Cathy Nutbrown’s speech from the EY2012 conference
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Foundation Years – (The Revised Framework)
* Home page of ‘Foundation Years’ – up to date and hot off the press for EYFS information

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