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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Lesson observation feedback: 6 tips to improve it

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 4 February, 2019

Have you recently given someone lesson observation feedback? Did you feel like you motivated your colleague and inspired them to try different teaching methods?

If you've ever been on the receiving end of poor feedback then you'll know how unhelpful it is. Feedback is highly personal and can either make or break a situation. According to Professor John Hattie, receiving effective feedback is the factor that has the most impact on a student’s progress. This can also be applied to a teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD), making it one of the most important aspects of CPD.

So, to get the most out of lesson observation feedback, you should always be looking for better ways to give it, whether formally or informally. Here are 6 tips...

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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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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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Developing independent learning skills that improve outcomes

Posted by Christophe Mullings on 7 January, 2019

Encouraging students to be independent learners, not only has huge benefits for them, but it's also a proven high impact, low cost way to improve progress.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) found that self-regulated, independent learning has a high impact on pupils’ progress for a very low cost. They learnt that the average impact of self-regulation over 8 months’ progress was found to cost under £80 per pupil per year.

Cute pupil dressed up as teacher against blue chalkboard

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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.

Pretty young lady taking a decision with scale above her head

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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:

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