The Creative Teacher Project

An NQT Bringing Creativity to the Classroom


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Te@cher Toolkit, by Ross Morrison McGill: First Thoughts

Teacher Toolkit - The Creative Teacher Project

Image credit to teacheretoolkit.me

I’ve worked out that at about week 3 of each term this year, I tend to have a little ‘I can’t do this, I’ve made a terrible decision’ freakout. I’m told it’s quite common. By week 4, I’m slowly recovering, and by week 5 I am feeling pretty amazing about this job of mine once again. With this being a 6 week term, the freakout forecast predicts a possible meltdown in week 2…..not good!

One of the things that gets me feeling good again in week 4, is going on a little Amazon binge (although I do try not to shop on Amazon for various reasons). I tend to find some good resources, and occasionally a little teacher help book. It was a few weeks ago now that I realised one of the teachers I follow on Twitter had written the above book.

I’m not going to lie – this baby was in my shopping basket the moment I read the strapline “Helping you survive your first five years”. This looks like the book I never knew I always needed.

Written by Ross Morrison McGill (the most followed teacher on Twitter), it seems to be a collection of general advice, mixed in with practical tips and suggestions of things that have worked for him. I find that I really enjoy his writing style, and his voice comes through strongly.

I’ve already got some ideas brewing about what strategies I might implement this term, and I’m sure they will become even clearer by the time I finish reading the whole book. I plan to report back once it’s finished, but so far – so good!

~

On another note – thanks for the great year guys, hope you see 2016 in with style!

Here’s to bigger and better teaching and learning in the New Year.

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Classroom Expectations

I’m all for setting up a positive learning environment. Not only does it help the students to feel safe and prepared for getting outside their comfort zones, it also helps me to enjoy the teaching process much more.

I’m going into the 2015/16 Academic year with just four rules or expectations I have of my students’ behaviour.

Classroom Expectations - The Creative Teacher Project

Now, in keeping with these rules, I confess I can’t take total responsibility for these – I saw them on Mrs Wilson’s Frog-Tastic Website! She’s a very experienced Year 4 teacher from the US, who has posted loads of resources that I’ve found helpful in planning this year.

What I particularly liked about these expectations is that they’re so easily linked to, when behavioural or other issues inevitably crop up. Forgot to tuck in your chair and someone tripped? Number 2 and 4 – be safe and take responsibility. Chatting while I’m giving instructions? Remember number 1 – Be respectful!

These expectations aren’t just for my students. They’re for me as well, and I hope my students hold me accountable! I always strive to treat my students with respect and ensure their safety. I take responsibility by planning my lessons thoroughly and that in itself is hard work!

We shall see how these take shape over the coming year. I’ll report back and let you know. Do you have any classroom or home expectations that you’ve discussed with kids? I’d love to know about it in the comments if so!


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Monday Provocation: A New Beginning!

Summer 2015 The Creative Teacher Project

Quite a bit of change around these parts this year! Not only did I move back to Kent, start my first teaching job in the UK, renovate my house and get married (yay!), I also made a positive but significant career move. Pals, I’m heading back to Primary School!

Something different for today’s Monday Provocation: I’m so happy to announce that I’ll be taking my first Year 4 class, and I truly could not be more excited! It will be a challenge to move from secondary drama teaching to the full spectrum of Primary education, but one that I’m going to tackle with a smile on my face. The team at Wainscott Primary is full of enthusiasm and passion for their jobs and for their students, and are excited by the myriad opportunities that technology can bring to our classrooms.

Does that sound right up my street, or does that sound right up my street? It’s definitely full systems go at The Creative Teacher Project!

I’d also like to take the opportunity to say ‘hello!’ to any of my new parents who have looked up the blog – thank you so much for taking the time to connect! I’d love for you to stick around and comment where you feel inspired to, and to be a part of the wonderful education community that WordPress is now home to. From the bottom of my heart, welcome, and I so look forward to knowing you better as the year progresses!


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A New Way to Think About Dance

I am a qualified dance teacher, but it’s not something I talk about a lot, because to be honest my confidence in my dance skills is at an all time low. I haven’t danced properly for a long time, and it’s easy to feel as though the world of dance has moved on so far that it’s impossible to catch up.

I have, however, recently been going to several productions of the Royal Ballet in London, and have been incredibly privileged to see Woolf Works, which was made up of three dance pieces inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf. It was truly wonderful.

The choreographer was Wayne McGregor, who I am coming to realise is one of the greats of choreography. I was delighted to discover this TED Talk by him recently.

What do you think? Do you teach dance? Is this the kind of approach you go for? It’s got my brain thinking about dance in ways it hasn’t done for years, and, dare I say it, I’m a bit excited!