My Head of Department asked me to organise some training a few weeks ago. I've never been asked to do anything like that before, so I was a little nervous. I know that I need to be more of a leader, even though I've no official responsibility or role, so it was good to start with something I'm enthusiastic about. The brief was basically something on teaching and learning, based on the Passport to Outstanding programme, to take place during our weekly departmental meeting, and I also had to get three more colleagues involved (who were ace!). There was a bit of emailing went on, and a couple of conversations grabbed at lunchtime, but we got there in the end.
One borrowed the school ipods and showed us how to generate QR codes as well as explaining what all the mysterious ones around the department were for (a great year 9 revision quiz). We practiced using the ipods to read the codes we were given, and then followed the instructions - a few were turned into paper aeroplanes, a few given to someone else in the department and so on. I liked this website for putting pictures in the middle of the codes.
Another colleague talked us through how to run a Marketplace activity, something that she does a lot, very successfully. I think they can be a bit worrying the first time you try them so having someone talk you through is really useful. We've also been trying to use this type of activity more as it's felt that it can increase literacy skills, something we're focusing on at key stage 4.
My other amazing colleague talked about how she has been learning to "let go" more during lessons, letting the kids get on with activities and not feeling that she has to control every aspect of the hour. It doesn't sound much, but it's very difficult to do, and I know I'm guilty sometimes of wanting it all my own way during a lesson.
My little bit of training took me hours to prepare! I finally got round to getting some hexagons laminated so I spent the evening before cutting them all up.... I gave them to my colleagues with the challenge to pick a topic (they used particle theory, the nervous system, electricity, space) and write out the key words onto the hexagons (using whiteboard markers). Then they organised them into the patterns to show the links. It was amazing to see adults go through the same out-loud thinking process as the kids do - "I'll put this one next to this one because..." Since then at least one colleague has been back to me several times to thank me for showing her this - she is using it with lots of classes and has started to turn it into a memory game, snap, and even making one massive class-sized pattern.
The best thing was that I really enjoyed doing it, showing other people a new thing, and then having them come back to me once they'd tried it to tell me how useful it was to them.
It turned into such a hit that the following week I tried to get the department onto twitter to show them all the great cpd they could access (asechat, ukedchat and so on). I think this might have been less successful, possibly because it requires people to use their own free time in the evenings, and some are already swamped in marking and planning.
All I need to do now is think of the next great thing to share...