Standing in front of fellow teachers in my school with my SLT sat comfortably at the back of our drama studio has been one of the toughest experiences of my career. As someone who was passionate about Formative Assessment and had completed some postgraduate work on the subject, I was offered to lead the project within our school. To the rest of my colleagues however, it was a puzzle as to what the morning's training would involve, and why it was me and not someone with a title of responsibility in front of them. The various feedback and assessment games that we completed that day though ensured that our TLC groups had the ice broken, were ready to participate and that I survived!! Many staff reported back that it was one of the best instances of training that they had been to, and many commented that it helped that it was being delivered by 'one of us'.
Fast forward four weeks and I am preparing for our second meeting. Now that colleagues are aware of my role in the project, I have had the most thought provoking conversations whilst waiting at the photocopier, dinner que and even whilst on detention duty. Handing over responsibility for professional development to staff at Middlewich High School has meant that they are enthused and intrigued as to what it will mean for their classrooms. Whilst all colleagues in education are concerned regarding workload management and a great deal of innovation currently being worked on, I believe I have convinced them of the merits for this project. The cheif difference being that we know Formative Assessment works. Fact.
Due to restraints in being able to have support staff available for out of school hours training, I have had to be flexible and imaginative with involving them with the project. They too however, will be trained by myself and the SENCO and will implement Formative Assessment strategies adapted to their own practice. I have really enjoyed trying to adapt the strategies and think how our colleagues in the classroom can benefit from training in feedback and assessment strategies. I look forward to hearing on here how other colleagues have adapted the strategies we are looking at in the future, so that support staff are able to help us and facilitate them.
Meeting two looks as though there is plenty to discuss and I am meeting with my TLC group leaders to go over this. They and I are really appreciating being able to meet together first to get our heads around the packs and information. Attendance to the meetings has been brilliant, and I have persuaded SLT so far that attendance checks up til not have not been necessary as we have all seen how keen staff are to participate and evaluate their practice using the project. In the mean time, I have seen a few large deliveries of lollipop sticks that I demonstrated during our training which is definately a positive sign.
I hope you are all having as much participation and positive feedback from the staff in your schools. Until next time!