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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What should you look for when you self-reflect?

Posted by Alexandra Spalding on 30 June, 2019

Reflective practice is a more systematic process of collecting, recording and analysing our thoughts and observations, as well as those of our students, and then going on to make changes.

The Lifelong Learning UK Standards are clear that self-reflection is a core component of effective teacher CPD and key to enabling teachers to become skilled in their roles.

Teacher writing while looking at a tablet computer in a classroom

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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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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.

Closeup of woman's hands measuring bar graph with tape on blackboard

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From surviving to thriving: advice for your first NQT year

Posted by John Mulgrew on 20 August, 2018
Teaching is hard. But it’s also one of the most important professions around, because it's responsible for cultivating and nurturing the next generation of doctors, scientists, business leaders and teachers. The first year of being an NQT is exhausting, emotional and can sometimes come down to survival. BUT, it’s also hugely rewarding and the first step in a worthwhile, fulfilling career. What can you do to thrive rather than just survive an NQT year?

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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?

Business Concept. Professional Development Sign on Blue Background.

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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?

Young man holding opened book with glass glowing light bulbs flying out-1

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