Exploring what matters

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.


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TeacherTales: How we provide remote, autonomous and truly continuous PD

 ‘In order for students to learn they must do something’. This ideal is the same for all those who teach or support education and training. At times, well intended, top-down approaches to CPD can be too broad and not specific enough to meet the needs of individual teachers. In addition, measuring the impact of generalised CPD on learning and progress is a constant challenge. 

In response to this, we at Middlesbrough College asked ourselves two simple questions: 

  • What CPD should teachers immerse themselves in that will have a direct impact on their students?
  • Who should be responsible for identifying what this is?

The answers seemed strikingly simple: professional teaching focused CPD should be explicitly tailored to a) the teaching practice needs of the teacher and b) the pedagogical needs of their students. 

As a result, the Middlesbrough College Teaching Innovation Group’s (T.I.G’s) were born.

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TeacherTales: 5 key staff development strategies during a pandemic

Posted by Guest blogger - Chris Harrison on 28 January, 2021

Since Covid struck in 2020, so many things have been put on hold as we collectively navigate our way through unusual and challenging circumstances. Outside, gatherings have ceased and socialising has taken a significant hit.  We now see this taking place in schools, too: cross-over of staff is rare or non-existent as we strive to keep teams safe. Even when schools were full of pupils many teachers were like passing ships as they drifted around in their own bubbles.  Many of us have tried to tackle these issues digitally with get-togethers, quizzes and virtual meet-ups and these can have a really positive impact: just seeing others and interacting with them can be such a boost. 

One area in our school that we had struggled to maintain was staff development: courses have ceased or gone digital; TeachMeets and BrewEDs are digital or postponed; learning walks have had to be rethought; school visits are a no go and cross-pollination of good pedagogy is significantly damaged. Within this blog I hope to unpick some ways of combating this digitally – and more specifically through the use of IRIS Connect.

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How to encourage reflective teaching in your school

Posted by Alexandra Spalding on 14 January, 2020

“We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.”- John Dewey

As the Lifelong Learning UK Standards make clear, reflection is a core component of effective continuing professional development (CPD) and key to becoming a skilled teacher.

Meaning a teacher’s ability to reflect on what, why and how they do things, and to adapt and develop their excellence in teaching is the one quality above all that makes them good. 

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6 challenges of teacher reflection & how to overcome them

Posted by Alexandra Spalding on 1 November, 2019

There is one quality above all others that makes a good teacher - the ability to reflect on what, why and how they do things and to adapt and develop their excellence in teaching. As the Lifelong Learning UK Standards make clear, reflection is a core component of effective continuing professional development (CPD) and key to becoming a skilled teacher.

But teacher reflection is not just essential for teachers. According to research by Prof. John Hattie, developing excellence in teaching has the single most powerful influence on student achievement.  Read more about the benefits of self-reflection >

Here are some of the challenges that teachers face when reflecting on their own practice and, more importantly, how you can overcome them.

 

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TeacherTales:  Is this the answer to improving teaching and learning?

Posted by Angela Easton on 6 September, 2019

By Angela Easton Assistant Principal T&L, The Hathershaw College, Oldham

How can we be focusing on improving teaching and learning in a time when workload and wellbeing are such a major concern? At The Hathershaw College, we know that focusing on teaching and learning is essential to improving outcomes, so we use video CPD in a variety of ways to support teachers and ensure they are able to find work/life balance. 

My blog takes you through our journey of how we use IRIS Connect to enhance lesson observations and self-reflection; creating a safe and developmental CPD culture within the college. 

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Teacher reflection: why filming your practice is essential

Posted by Ryan Holmes on 25 March, 2019

Guest blog from Ryan Holmes - @educatingholmes 

Have you ever filmed yourself teaching? It can be pretty nerve-wracking before you do it for the first time. It can also be one of the most powerful experiences you can have in the quest to improve your teaching.

 

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