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.

If you have a topic you'd like us to cover or if you're interested in covering one yourself in a guest post, please contact us.


guide to improving teacher happiness and wellbeing

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Kate Herbert-Smith

Kate's background in publishing has left her with a great love of thoughtful descriptions and inspiring stories. When she's not writing compelling blogs and case studies for us, she can be found devouring the latest best-seller or watching all manner of TED Talks. She has a growing appetite for video editing/storytelling, not to mention an unhealthy passion for all things Harry Potter and the uncanny ability to recite almost every single episode of the sitcom Friends.
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Recent Posts

Teacher confidence (efficacy): Why does it matter and how can SLT increase it

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 21 January, 2019

 Efficacy - or a teacher’s level of confidence in their abilities - can be highly influenced by past experiences or your current school culture. For example, a bad classroom experience or negative work environment can quickly diminish a teacher’s confidence.

Interestingly, seeing students grow and working in a collaborative environment can boost a teacher’s belief in their ability and improve performance. Research also suggests that teachers with a strong sense of self-efficacy tend to be better planners, more resilient through failure, and more open-minded and supportive with students.

Successful young business couple working together on a self-employed business posing at a desk in their office smiling at the camera

 

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Hitting the right notes: improving teaching practice with the Chartered Teacher Programme

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 18 January, 2019

Guest blog from Dr Steven Berryman, Director of Music at City of London School for Girls and Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London. Also, Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching.

As a musician, practice is part of daily life. Or I tell my pupils that it is. We practice to maintain our facility at our instrument (or voice), often using exercises to keep certain aspects in good health (such as sound production) because we want our instrumental/vocal skills to be ready when we need them.

Musician kid singing a song with microphone

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8 professional development podcasts for teachers and school leaders

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 14 January, 2019

Podcasts can contain a world of inspiring ideas, tips, and advice making them a great resources for teachers’ and school leaders’ continuing professional development.

Whether you listen to them on your commute to work, on your lunch break, or in the evening at home with a glass of something refreshing, you can guarantee you’ll walk away having learnt something.

Here are 8 podcasts from some of the world’s most renowned and highly regarded educators and educationalists that we recommend for teachers and school leaders:

Music headphones on a detailed stone surface with a music player attached

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New school CPD budget data: The true cost of teacher CPD

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 9 January, 2019

Research released today from the Teacher Development Trust, produced by education data specialist SchoolDash, shows staff professional development budgets have fallen by 12% in secondary schools, and 7% in primary schools. The drop is the first since their analysis began in 2011 and suggests that tight budgets are forcing schools to reduce essential CPD support for teachers.

Staff training and CPD are key to raising student attainment and improving school's performance, as well as attracting, retaining and motivating teachers, yet, few schools (both primary and secondary) were able to spend more than 1% of their budgets on staff development in 2017. Of particular note is the news that 4.5% of primaries allocate no budget to CPD at all, along with 10.5% of secondaries.

Budget Concept. Word on Folder Register of Card Index. Selective Focus.

 

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Why it's a good idea to share teacher's expertise and how to do it

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 10 December, 2018

Within your school it's more than likely that there are teachers who have a level of professional expertise; a certain unique set of skills, knowledge and experience that makes them an asset.

As a senior leader, what are you doing to utilise that expertise? Have you considered how it might benefit others?

Educational and teaching expertise is a powerful gift, especially when shared. Here's how...

Diverse group of attractive young university students studying together sitting at a table sharing a computer monitor

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8 suggestions for leading a successful school team

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 5 December, 2018

You’ve probably heard of the saying: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far go together.’

Leading a positive school team that works together harmoniously and productively, where members support each other but also feel empowered to take the initiative and make their own decisions, is no mean feat.

So, what does it take to be a great school leader? How can you steer your team to greatness? Here are 8 suggestions:

Top view of people joining hands together as a symbol of partnership-1

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