Wait, where did July go?

So as with every full time working parent, coming up to the end of the school term, loose ends to tie, achievements to celebrate, July was full action once again. I have however got some lovely ideas and learnt some valuable lessons. Here’s what I’ve been up to, maybe it can help you out a touch, even if that’s just thinking “I’ll definitely not be doing/saying that!”

 

Professional

I’m really pleased about recent achievements at work that will allow me to develop my personal favoured teaching approach even more so, something which I’ve termed a ‘tech and tactile’ approach. I’m a huge fan of technology, and appreciate that if I’m to facilitate educators, they need to be ready with digital skills. Though this shouldn’t be done in isolation, and sometimes there should be a choice between tech or analogue to better facilitate learning. This isn’t a decision between using MS Word or a pen, this is; “can I challenge myself and complete the online quiz, that requires me to string paint, and mould dough to discover answers?” – that’s how I love to teach, and feedback has been lovely and truly appreciated from my learners.

I am conscious of the importance of ‘constructing’ knowledge, making learning as experiential as possible, and ultimately making the learning experience at university memorable. After all, it CAN be and SHOULD be an absolute hoot and game changer for those choosing this route. So, I will be embedding my ‘tech and tactile’ approach on a much larger scale this next academic year (wish me luck!).

If you are interested in a ‘workshop’ or bespoke CPD on how to benefit from this style of teaching, please get in touch.

Academic

E T H I C S

 

Anyone recently completed any research, no matter how small or large will have had to consider ethics. This is great, it makes the project more robust and ensures you think about every eventuality… think;

‘What would you do if there was a sudden zombie apocalypse? How will your research fair up then eh?’…

Or at least that’s what it can feel like, especially with my previous experiences. So here are my top tips to help you with the process;

  1. Change your mindset if you’re getting fed up: this is positive, allow yourself to become more reflective and even write about your personal biases, ethical positioning etc. It may not be relevant for the ethics form itself, but it is relevant for the chapters of the thesis.
  2. If you feel the ethical form is forcing you to think about what can go ‘wrong,’ or the ‘negatives’ of conducting research (particularly with children) then make it your mission to answer the questions by expressing what can go RIGHT, and the benefits of such research.
  3. Ask about your supervisors experiences of ethics processes i.e. their own research and that of other candidates they supervise. These anecdotes and lived experiences are so valuable beyond the BERA (2018) guidelines. Similarly, ask fellow students/colleagues, everyone has a story to tell about ethics.

Parenting

Get the tissues! Wee man had some gorgeous gifts from his teachers for the end of term, and you may wish to ‘borrow’ their ideas.

  1. Bubbles for blowing them away with his learning
  2. A personalised certificate for each character in the class (and personal heartfelt message on the back)
  3. Sunflower seeds and poem to sow seeds of learning and growth
  4. The Goodbye Poem – a total heart breaker as this was from a TA he’d had from reception who is PASSIONATE about early years
  5. Winnie the Pooh quote
  6. The Star Fish Story – I’ve used this before, and it flipping gets me every time, it’s so true.
  7. CD of all of the photos from that yearWishing everyone a gorgeous summer, and whether you’re reflecting on how you facilitate learning, trying to get that research project off the ground, or simply having a restful time with your family or loved ones, I hope it goes perfectly well.

“We didn’t know we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun”

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