Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn.

Over the last year, I have developed as a teacher and leader within my school. The work I have done has seen me deliver CPD to colleagues within my school but also in the wider community at feeder schools and other senior schools in the area.

In August of 2016 I successfully completed a course to become a Google Certified Educator Level 2. This course has allowed me to develop some advance practice using and helping to improve some of the features of Google Apps for Education.

As the summer holidays ended, I decided I was ready to undertake the BCS CAS Master Teacher Certificate. This course is designed to stretch and challenge teachers of computer science to go beyond what is required of the various exam board specifications at GCSE and begin to create learning material which can support students to think computationally. There is also an element of the course which examines pedagogy and relies on classroom based research.

The research I elected to carry out in my classroom involved using a paradigm of computer science teaching which in industry is more common. Students were paired and set challenges which required them to support each other, however the student who was identified as less able controlled the computer with instruction from the more able student. I feel the most important aspect of the research study was the reflection that occurred because of the outcomes achieved by the students. Through this reflection I have adjusted the way I approach the teaching of problem solving in the class and it has developed into exercises which involve a higher level of collaboration between students. Access my research study: Classroom_Research_Project_A_Crowther_2017.

Since January 2017 I have been responsible for Careers Education in my school. This has been supported by a course coordinated by TeachFirst (CELP). So far, the course has been engaging and worthwhile, however the level of support in my school has not been what I would have wished for. To date I have written a policy and strategic plan for careers, however the implementation of these documents and the ideas they contain has suffered delays. Some of these delays are because of larger issues within the school. Although I feel the work I am doing is important I recognise the need to resolve whole school direction and policy to lay the foundation for everything else.

This summer will be a short break. The first week I am taking a group of students to the Ardeche for a 5-day adventure holiday. When I return, I will have to motivate myself to prepare for the new academic year. This will involve rewriting whole schemes of work as we move to 100 minute lessons. Added to this my colleague will have left for pastures new so the prospect of writing lessons for another teacher is daunting, especially as I have never taught CiDA and our school was lucky to have an expert with a phenomenal record of results.

It is true that if we continue to act in the way we have in the past then the same outcomes will be achieved. To move forward we all have to seek new methods or adapt so that we can be a force for change in the lives of those we lead and our own.