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No man is an island. Looking back at 2010

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As we begin 2011 it’s time to take stock of what happened in 2010. Looking back at the review of 2009, 2010 has been a mad, crazy year! It’s a year in which collaboration has been a key factor.  It is also a year in which I have been holding on by my finger tips as the pace at times was relentless.  This feeling will have an impact on my plans for 2011.

This post reflects upon the connections and professional adventures over the past twelve months.  As this is mainly for my own reflection, I have decided to do this by acknowledging the role that other people have played. I always remember being called in to the Head’s Office during my GCSE years for underachievement. I do always feel that I am sometimes coasting. I’ve tried to pick out highlights of 2010, mainly as they popped in to my head! I know that not everything or everyone is mentioned individually, but believe me when I say that if I’ve had a conversation with you this year, than you have been part of the adventure and I thank you!

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The department in which I have the pleasure to work with has been fantastic this year.  It has been a challenging year and my thoughts, as always, go to my colleague who is continuing to battle with cancer.  Over the past year the department has found it’s vision and successfully completed a number of projects including a 21st Century Learning Alliance Fellowship and  Royal Geographical Innovative Geography Teaching Project.  My thanks go out to both organisations for their support in 2010.  In addition to this we have trained a number of excellent PGCE students, one of which is starting her teaching journey with us.  We are also privileged to help a number of prospective trainees to gain experience and subsequently a place on a PGCE course.  One of the stand out highlights of the year though was seeing department member @GeoDebs selected to attend the European Innovative Education Forum in Moscow in recognition of her leadership of our Space Creators Project.

This leads neatly on to the work of the UK Partners in Learning team at Microsoft (@innovativeteach). The journey in 2010 began with a trip to Berlin for the 2010 European Innovative Education Forum, through a Fun, Free Friday, a webinar to Croatian Teachers, a Summer Camp and finally the 2010 UK Innovative Education Forum and Teacher Meeting. Stuart and Kristen have been very supportive, and the journey has led me to Jan Webb, Dan Roberts, Dave Garside and many others. These three in particular have provided much inspiration over 2010 – many thanks! The Partners in Learning network continues to connect innovative teachers from around the world and I would like to thank them for their on-going support and ideas.

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Much of the work that I’m lucky enough to be involved with are tied in to the two Geography subject associations: The Geographical Association and the Royal Geographical Society. Through these two networks I’ve been along to the GA’s Annual Conference, joined the editorial collective of the GA Magazine and recently taken over the leadership of the Secondary Phase Committee.  It’s through these networks that I have found inspiration, laughs and realism from Alan Parkinson, Tony Cassidy, Noel Jenkins , Tom Biebrach and Victoria Ellis amongst others.  I love being involved with the work of the SPC and am sure that they will be a source of inspiration in the challenges that lay ahead in 2011.  I’m also very much enjoying the network of Geography teachers that is just starting in Portsmouth as part of my RGS Chartered Geographer role for the RGS (IBG).

I was also very lucky to join geography colleagues North of the border at the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers at their Annual Conference, many thanks to Kenny.

2010 has also been a huge year for the Geography Collective with the launch of our first book Mission:explore, website and iPhone App. Many thanks to Daniel Raven-Ellison who continues to be the driving force behind the collective – look out 2011!

Thank you also to Tom Barrett as his work in getting a Google Teacher Academy to visit the UK led me to another network of extremely amazing individuals.

Finally, and by no means least, thanks to Ollie Bray – you know it’s still all your fault Winking smile

Thank you to all those who I have been privileged to connect with in 2010, I’m looking forward to even more adventures in 2011.

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