Exploring what matters

Welcome to the IRIS Connect blog space where you can join conversations and discover free resources, tips and summaries. We hope you find something useful for your professional development and learning.

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guide to improving teacher happiness and wellbeing

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Kate Herbert-Smith

Recent Posts

A deputy headteacher's 4 tips on how to adopt video-based CPD

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 9 January, 2019

Sharing practice and seeing others teach are great opportunities for teacher progression, yet the prospect of both can be scary.

Wood Farm Primary School have built confidence in sharing practice and collaboration has become an integral part of their teaching and learning, but how have they done it?

In 2015, Deputy Headteacher, Natasha Ashwin, shared her 4 top tips for embedding video-based CPD in your school that are still valid today:

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Is this the future of work-life balance?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 17 December, 2018

Work-life balance is a sensitive subject, particularly in the education sector... so what do you make of author and peak performance expert, Dan Thurmon's quirky suggestion for how to get a better handle on your life?

Life balance, says Dan, is a concept that is intriguing, desirable and also completely unrealistic. It’s something we can never actually achieve, so desperately pursuing ‘balance’ can have a negative impact on our lives.

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How can you measure the impact of CPD?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 10 September, 2018

If you've invested time, money and effort into a CPD programme, you’ll naturally want to know that it’s having a positive impact on your school’s teaching and learning.

Taking the time to evaluate your CPD is important. It helps you to better understand which CPD activities are beneficial and actually lead to improved teacher practice and which ones don’t, ensuring you feel confident in the opportunities you offer your staff.

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What every SLT should know about using video for CPD

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 12 April, 2018

In 2010, a study by R. Lofthouse and P. Birmingham found that, of 73 student teachers who used video for self-reflection, 89% recognised that it had had a positive impact on the way they responded to their own teaching.

Similarly, Mirandanet at the University of Bedfordshire undertook independent research a few years ago, and of the 99 teachers who were surveyed about their experience of using video for professional development, they found that:

  • 99% felt they were taking more responsibility for their own professional development
  • 96% felt they would be more likely to try new practices or be experimental in their approach to teaching
  • 88% felt their confidence as a teacher had risen

But, how exactly does video help to improve teachers continuing professional development? And do the costs outweigh the benefits?

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Growth mindset: the key to successful teaching?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 29 March, 2018

"Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?" - Dweck, 2012

It’s no wonder that Carol Dweck’s (world-renowned Stanford University psychologist) concept of a ‘Growth Mindset’ has become so popular in teaching over the past few years. The idea that your intelligence isn’t fixed, is a powerful one.

But, what really is growth mindset? Why is it important? Is it of real value in the classroom? And, where can you explore it further?

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