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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Sharing good practice: Strategies to encourage teacher collaboration

Posted by Rico Patzer on 18 February, 2020

Collaboration between lead practitioners and teachers is a powerful professional development activity that can help teachers improve their subject knowledge, think about teaching strategies in different ways and learn new ideas to try in the classroom.

In fact, teachers have been found to learn more from each other than with mentors or in traditional classes and workshops. Even better news is that teachers using collaborative practices are more innovative in the classroom, hold stronger self-efficacy beliefs, and have higher job satisfaction (The Teaching and Learning International Survey—TALIS 2013)

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How to identify and share successful teaching practice

Posted by Alexandra Spalding on 21 November, 2019

How did all of the students of 3rd grade teacher Mary Dunbar Barksdale in Brazosport, Texas achieve remarkably high scores on the statewide test, despite the fact that 94% of her students lived in poverty?

How did a handful of schools in Argentina’s Misiones Province achieve a graduation rate of 75%, when the overall completion rate for the province was only 50%?

How did the students in one school district in Mason, Ohio achieve very high scores on achievement tests and other outcomes when their peer districts performed so poorly?

What’s their secret?

 

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Is collaboration the key to a successful Multi-Academy Trust?

Posted by Graham Newell on 6 October, 2019

 

In the Recommendations for MATs in Ofsted’s investigation into ‘Multi-academy trusts: benefits, challenges and functions’ (July, 2019) it is stated:

“MATs need to ensure that collaboration within the trust is used effectively and judiciously to maximise the benefits of shared expertise and mutual learning, while minimising the unproductive networking for its own sake”.

Throughout the report the value of collaboration within schools, across MATs and with other schools in the local area is clearly recognised.

Imagine if every MAT used the ‘power within’ to ensure that every school truly became a ‘learning community’ - a ‘knowledge creating school’.

“The power of collective capacity is that it enables ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things” - for two reasons. One is that knowledge about effective practice becomes more widely available and accessible on a daily basis. The second reason is more powerful still—working together generates commitment.” (Michael Fullan, ‘How the World’s Most Improved Systems Keep Getting Better” p 72)

 

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TeacherTales: Professional Learning Communities - 4 tips to creating one in your school

Posted by Andrew Ball on 27 September, 2019

 

First things first, what is a professional learning community?  

A PLC is a group of educators that meets on a regular basis, works collaboratively and shares knowledge creating a professional dialogue to improve teaching skills and student outcomes.  Simply put, it’s professionals coming together in a group to learn.  

Guest blog by Andrew Ball, Quality Manager & Teaching Learning Senior Leader,  Itchen Sixth Form College.  @MY__teaching

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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...

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Positive Deviance inquiry: the secret to school success?

Posted by Shawn Edmondson on 12 November, 2018

How did all of the students of 3rd grade teacher Mary Dunbar Barksdale in Brazosport, Texas achieve remarkably high scores on the statewide test, despite the fact that 94% of her students lived in poverty?

How did a handful of schools in Argentina’s Misiones Province achieve a graduation rate of 75%, when the overall completion rate for the province was only 50%?

How did the students in one school district in Mason, Ohio achieve very high scores on achievement tests and other outcomes when their peer districts performed so poorly?

What’s their secret?

Read More

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