inspiring outstanding leaders

Who is taking responsibility for your learning?

In Uncategorized on 13 November 2009 at 1:48 pm
Are you in control of your learningFor many teachers, performance management reviews have come and gone for the year. Consider your responses to these questions:
  • Who is in control of your learning choices for the coming year?
  • If not you then who is and what can you do to regain control?
I learn best when I am control and I chose what I learn, when. However, left to my own devices, I would apply a ‘scatter-gun’ approach and end up starting many different learning strands and not finishing any of them satisfactorily.
It helps me to be accountable to someone, but for me to have made the decision for my direction is very influential on my motivation to achieve. Don’t you just hate being told what to do?
I stay in control of my learning by:
  1. Create a Personal Learning Goal
  2. Sharing this plan with someone that I respect and trust (perhaps by agreement at a performance review)
  3. Write out the first steps to achieve my learning goal (action plan) and allocating a reward for achieving each step
  4. Stick the action plan above my desk and review it monthly.
  5. Reward myself for achieving the big and little steps.
In practice, the step I most struggle with is planning my learning. I am great at learning, it is one of my strengths, but like any achievements, I am poor at setting the direction.
Rewarding myself is also a struggle unless I allocate a reward in advance, i.e. in step 3. It helps me to jot down my favourite rewards.
  • What parts of this process are you doing now ?
  • What parts are you avoiding? has more tips for planning you learning.
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What have you done recently to create energy?

In Uncategorized on 13 November 2009 at 1:46 pm

light bulb momentIn his latest blog Paul Blogush writes:

"The work that the kids do that is the best is always based on spontaneous ideas, not the ones that are slowly shaped over time, edited and revised.

It seems as though sudden light bulb moments create an energy within them that carries through to the end."

Ain’t it soooo true!

Paul is on the verge of creating an experiment around this observation in his classroom and this got me thinking…

As an activist (and low natural reflector) I tend not to leave much downtime either for myself or those I encourage to learn. However, I too have been experimenting recently and the results have been impressive.

  • Allowing natural pauses during coaching conversations => my learner taking a more leading role in the conversation
  • Allowing time for a room full of learners to play with a new software tool at their own pace => great questions and more learning than if I hand-held them step by step
  • Going for a run after a break of 5 months => 3 quality implementable ideas
  • Cycling to the shops in middle of working day => renewed enthusiasm to engage with task in hand
  • Listening to same CD over and over again on long journeys => amazing creative insights
  • Slowing the pace of my day to day existence => enjoying the time spent with loved ones even if doing no more than cuddled on the sofa watching CBeebies.

Add a comment below to share what have you done recently to create energy.

Building Resilience

In Uncategorized on 13 November 2009 at 1:45 pm

Last week Robert Latham from Teacher Support Network answered questions on the Times Educational Supplement (TES) Forum. His response to a question about Ofsted inspections really works for me on many levels:

"Building resilience is an essential part of managing stress. If you want to build your resilience, work on developing these attitudes and behaviours:

  • Think of change as a challenging and normal part of life.
  • See setbacks and problems as temporary and solvable.
  • Believe that you will succeed if you keep working toward your goals.
  • Take action to solve problems that crop up.
  • Build strong relationships and keep commitments to family and friends.
  • Have a support system and ask for help.
  • Participate regularly in activities for relaxation and fun."


Learn more about developing your resiliency and why it is important by reading "Bounce!: Failure, Resiliency, and Confidence to achieve your next great success" by Barry J. Moltz.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to develop a robust inner confidence. I read this engaging book cover to cover in under a week making many notes in the margins that I regularly return to for inspiration.