Friday 19 June 2015

Why I'm a proud magpie

"When ideas are shared, the result is always greater than the sum of the parts" Rich Willis

I have never set myself up as an original ideas person, I'm a magpie and proud of it. One of the great joys of my role as Teacher Tutor is chatting to the new staff and the students who come through our doors. Their 'homework' for our meetings is to bring an idea to share. I love hearing about pedagogical gems and observing others to inspire me in my teaching. 

I am also somewhat addicted to reading educational books to glean inspiration from them. My shelf in school is laden with books I have read and covered with highlighter and post-its as well as more I intend to read this summer. I lose myself for hours on Pinterest checking out ideas for my teaching, I have to set myself a time limit on the TES resources site and I am pretty active on the MFL resources forum. And as for Twitter... 

I cannot begin to describe the impact that Twitter has had on my development as a teacher. Firstly, it is one big, supportive staff room with loads of ideas, humour and support. It has also introduced me to the #mfltwitterati and to the #niedchat guys. Tweets on there have taken me over to Southampton, Newcastle, London and York, amongst others, mainly at my own expense, to share CPD with other like-minded teachers. And the ideas I have learned about have filled me with passion for my subject and for learning in general. The friendships I have made with other #mfltwitterati teachers are a constant source of support and a sense of "we're all in this together" We bounce ideas off each other, we tease each other, we get a buzz out of sharing with each other. 

Similar tweets led to the birth of Teachmeet Belfast, #niedchat and now #niedcamp. It is awe-inspiring to collaborate with fellow educators for the love of teaching and learning. And I love that it is happening in Northern Ireland. There is such a buzz starting about sharing ideas and getting to know other teachers. There is a sense of community. The word is spreading. 

It is a source of immense pride and joy to me that after 19 years of teaching, I am still enthused by the learning in my classroom and how best to teach and reach all pupils. I love it. It is therefore with pleasure that I am working with the #niedcamp team to help teachers share with teachers, educators inspire educators. 

Are you with us?