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

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

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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7 ways to keep teachers motivated

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 19 November, 2018

As a senior leader, keeping your teachers motivated is one of your most important roles and an essential part of your students’ overall success. But keeping teachers motivated can also be challenging. Take the time to experiment with some of these tips to find what works best in your school.

Here are 7 tips to keep your teachers motivated throughout the school year:

young multi ethnic motivated teachers

 

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Can you afford NOT to invest in your teachers?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 8 November, 2018

CPD doesn’t come cheap and in the current financial climate, it can feel like the most obvious thing to cut. But, if improving teaching quality opens the door to raising student achievement, then surely CPD is the key and should, therefore, be a priority on every school leaders list?

invest in teachers

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15 of the best educators and #EdTech accounts to follow on Twitter in 2018

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 26 October, 2018

Following educators on Twitter will help you to keep up-to-date on the latest advice and research in education, as well as find and share resources, and be part of a passionate, international community of professionals.

If you’re not sure where to get started, here’s 15 educators and #edtech accounts we recommend following this year and beyond (list in no particular order):

which educators to follow on twitter

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What is instructional coaching? Is it the best-proven form of CPD?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 26 September, 2018

At the recent ResearchEd 18 event in London we learned all about instructional coaching, which is, according to researcher Sam Sims, “probably the best-evidenced form of CPD currently known to mankind”.

The evidence he presented was both convincing and compelling. Looking at randomised-controlled trials of teaching interventions in English (from the US-based Investing in Innovation programme) only seven out of 31 had a statistically significant positive effect, with even worse results for maths (three out of 23).

Of the 15 RCTs Sims found on instructional coaching, however, ten had a statistically significant positive effect.

So what is instructional coaching, how does it work and how can your teachers benefit from it?

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How to build an instructional coaching programme

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 26 September, 2018

As coaching trainer Peter DeWitt said in his blog 3 Reasons Instructional Coaching May Not Be Working, and as the Measures of Effective Teaching Project showed, badly done coaching can actually harm teachers’ performance.

Despite educators’ best efforts, the majority of initiatives in schools today fail. Some estimates show failure rates as high as 70%. The main reason for this is poor implementation. Unfortunately, good intentions are not enough when it comes to driving and sustaining growth.

Unposed group of creative business people in an open concept office brainstorming their next project.-2

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