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Showing posts from December, 2007

Why I love this job

"O you are very brave"



"Why?"



Two common reactions when I tell people that I'm a teacher.



Teaching - a mugs game? I don't think so for a moment.


I've been reflecting on an extraordinary 2007. Why do I love this job? For me the answer came during a carol service at a church in Portsmouth. The S.O.N. team were due to present during the service so I tagged along. It's often been said that the best part of teaching is actually getting through to children. Maybe to change their point of view or challenge them to think.


After the teams' presentation they surprised me by giving me with a framed copy of the photo above. Listening to them recounting their experiences and reflecting on what they had learnt was a magical moment for me. But is it only the 5? Luckily no. As I prepare to leave Portchester I have been overwhelmed by the kind words from pupils and parents. It seems that I have made some impact after all! What a great feeling!




This next photo sums up …

True Tube filming

Yesterday after school a couple of True Tube film makers visited the school. Their mission was to record an interview with the S.O.N. team. The team discussed their experiences of Goa. The resulting film will b part of the sites poverty issue. I have used a number of the videos from the site is a number of lessons and the site also allows you to upload student videos. There is also a basic on-line editor now available.

Coming up to handover...

With only 2 and a half days until my last day at Portchester the time has come to reflect upon my time here and look forward to the challenges that my new post will create. I have to say that I am sure that the 'handover' period could be handled far better in schools. Many of my friends in the commercial and industrial sectors have a short period where they 'train up' their successors. I have to say that I like this model when it is possible, especially with such a long notice period. This would allow the handover of classes and for the new teacher to start building relationships with others. Of course, this would mean a departure from the 'you must start at the start of term' approach. Is it a case of 'we've always done it this way'? Has anyone questioned the policy?I have also notice a range of different reactions to my departure. It seems that many can't understand my ambition to progress. Many of my students now know that I will be leaving a…

Geography on tour

I have put together the blog that will follow the Geography on Tour project. I have decided to use Wordpress so there are still one or two wrinkles to iron out as I get used to the different interface and options. Please feel free to subscribe to the blog in order to keep up to date with how the project is progressing and also to get involved! The blog can be found here.

2007 Bronze Fire Course comes to an end

Another successful Fire Safety course will come to an end on Monday with the pupils giving a presentation to a senior officer. The course is run by volunteers who are all Firefighters at Portchester retained fire station. I like the image above and the video below demonstrates that you don't put water on a chip pan fire!



A Slice of Services

A post on the SLN forum by Alan and an article in Teaching Geography about learning outside the classroom reminded me of a lesson idea. This Year 11 lesson involved popping out to the local shopping precinct and talking about urban structures. This was followed up by a homework. The task was for the pupils to take photographs of the services within a 5 minute walk from their home. Sounds risky? I got the students to carry out their own risk assessments for this - an activity that they scarily enjoyed!

I did the same activity and the results would be used to compare our access to services. At the time I was living in inner city Portsmouth while the school is located in a suburban area. The results were shown and the following discussion revolved around whether the students or myself had a better quality of life. I argued that I had access to fashionable shops, a great hairdresser and of course entertainment establishments...

A movie of the 'Slice of Services' can be found here. …

Geography on Tour

It started as a mad cap scheme to tour the country investigating local issues and producing teaching resources from the results. Now I'm pleased to say that the project will be supported by the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) with an Innovative Geography Teaching Award. This is great news and I'm very keen to get on with the project.

The abstract from the aplication reads:

"The outcome will be a series of podcasts, videos, Google Earth tours, lessons and unit ideas to inspire and support secondary geography colleagues across the country. This project will tour the country examining local issues that geographers can understand and contribute to. The aim is to link to the key concepts of geography as outlined in the 2008 National Curriculum and demonstrate how pupils can ‘participate in informed responsible action’ while exploring ‘real and relevant contemporary contexts.’ After speaking to colleagues I believe that this is one area of t…

Our World Film Festival

Thanks to Dan for bringing this opportunity to my attention. The film festival looks like a great way to raise the profile of the subject. I will be looking to set an entry up as part of a Geography Club when I move to Priory in January. I may even have a go at the 'Extreme Geography' category myself!
More details can be found here

Why bother?

The title of my International assemblies this week is 'Why bother?' I have used some images from my recent trip to Goa and finished with a short movie created with Photostory. The simple programme creates an effective effect using Queen's Breakthru.

My main point to the pupils is that even if you can put a smile on someones face for 15 minutes then it is worth donating money, time and/or effort. It is said so often that UK pupils are not as engaged as those in developing nations it has almost become cliched, however, in my experience it is the truth!

Some of the stories are both funny and sad. There is a photo of the bathroom and toilet shared by three families. You can imagine the smell and I compare the area with our local tip.The lady standing proudly in her dwelling brings home how small the homes are. Our tutor groups sit in a square 5x5 chairs big so I have been using this to try to communicate the small nature of the abode.

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The photograph of th…