I haven’t blogged for a while and you probably didn’t notice. My husband and I are at the age where our parents’ health is an issue. Unfortunately my mother in law became ill and died recently and not long after my beloved Dad had a stoke. Life does go on. At the same time my beautiful daughter did her first prac as an English teacher and loved it, after doing many other things over the 12 years since she left school. We have had lots of great talks about teaching, what I do, how I do it and more importantly why I do things in certain ways and my teaching philosophy. She has certainly heard most of it before but until now hasn’t really understood the context. While I was away from my desk the wonderful team of teachers I work with pulled together and managed all sorts of difficult situations. I am so grateful to them and so proud of my team.
At this time of the year we are all reflecting on what worked and what didn’t and evaluating our programmes. I’ve been thinking about my first experience with laptops. I can see why some teachers might still be avoiding. They can be so frustrating. The issues around sites not working or kids not having their laptops multiplied throughout the year. Learning lots of new software programmes and trying to manage electronically “handed in” work, not to mention Moodle were all not highlights. Despite this I am still enthusiastic. Fantastic slideshows by students on all sorts of things and Edmodo.com are useful starting points for next year. I’m also rethinking blogs, wikis and how I introduce new programmes. Somehow mindmapping online is not so much fun as big sheets of paper and lots of coloured pens. What I have learned is to start slow, do one thing at a time and teach the software with lots of demonstration. I’d be interested in other people’s “first” impressions after our first full year of 1:1 laptops.