New Year resolutions are banded about in January with many good intentions and then often forgotten by February. Teachers might do better if they think about making some changes that will have a real impact in 2022.
Here are 4 ideas for changes that teachers can consider:
1. Try Feedback not Marking
Marking is one of the biggest concerns raised by frustrated teachers. It adds to their workload, often seems to make little difference to the outcome, and yet is scrutinised intensely by leaders and Ofsted.
Over the last few years, there has been a growth in the discussion about complex policies for written marking and verbal feedback.
Changing the emphasis from marking to feedback brings out the strength in helping pupils to improve. It is also helpful to acknowledge that informal feedback can be more useful than a series of squiggles, highlighters and stamps in a book.
The Power of feedback gives some insights into the types of feedback that can have a real impact on pupil learning. Try thinking about how your written, verbal and non-verbal feedback affects your pupils.
Making this a goal for 2022 could be a gamechanger for how you spend your time in the classroom.
2. Collaborative Professional Development
CPD sessions, especially those after school staff meetings, can feel like a real waste of time as teachers are often tired and distracted by their pile of marking.
Professional development only really works when everyone is engaged and sharing their ideas. Developing a culture in school where peers share their ideas publicly, without fear, creates a far more invigorating and relevant development arena as discussed in TES.
If you are a leader in a school then you have the perfect opportunity to encourage all teaching staff to speak out and share their research, practice and evidence from their classrooms.
If you are a teacher then you can make a change by promising yourself to speak up to your colleagues and not hold back from raising questions, sharing ideas and engaging in discussions.
Be bold and you will be part of the change.
Coaching has become a buzzword across many sectors but particularly in education. The problem is that when coaching is not done well and is only used as a tool to work with underperforming teachers rather than in a positive way, it is often unsuccessful.
You can find out more information about creating a coaching culture at your school here. In short, taking on a coach can improve practice and performance for teachers at all stages of their careers.
You can become part of this culture by finding yourself a coach and seeing for yourself the benefits of reflecting on your practice and learning new strategies that can be shared with your colleagues.
4. Become a School Governor
I am sure that there will be eye rolls from teachers who are already time-poor and overloaded with work but becoming a school governor is a great way to see school management from a different perspective.
Teachers are well used to providing data and information to brief governors about the performance of their class, year group or department. When you sit on the other side of the table you begin to understand the complexity of strategic planning and the different avenues that need to be considered.
You will have the opportunity to question and challenge while bringing your knowledge of pressures and constraints in the classroom to the rest of the governing body. As well as changing your perspective, you will be able to influence and contribute to school improvements.