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FEATURE: SHARING BEST PRACTICE


for example, #ukedchat, #lrnchat, #SLTchat – as well as influential accounts to follow, including the likes of TeacherToolkit and Urban Teacher. Whether you’re looking for tips to speed up


lesson planning, the best technology resources for teaching coding or ways to improve wellbeing, the Twitter community holds the key to a treasure chest full of advice and support.


Finding the best resources For all its benefits, technology is also a bit of a Pandora’s box. There are so many tools and resources designed to aid teaching and learning, it can be overwhelming when it comes to finding the right one for your needs. The first thing to do is check the functionality


across a variety of subjects and levels, so encourage as many staff members as possible to join in – you could even create a team of ambassadors who champion best practice as a way to enthuse more people to get involved. For many this may be limited to the teachers


within one school but for others, it includes teachers from other schools; especially for those who are a part of a multi academy trust or within the same local authority. These need to be based on a clear and agreed understanding of what is expected, involved and the objectives. After all the more people invested in a student’s education, the better the chance that student has to be successful.


Training and CPD events There are numerous training and CPD events that teachers can take advantage of. If training is delivered internally then it should include a significant amount of time for peer collaboration. However, the benefit of external training events is that you also have the opportunity to network with teachers from other schools who may offer an entirely new perspective. As a first step, look for high-quality events


taking place in your local area – for example run by local authorities, education services or collaborative partnerships like our Havering Academy of Leadership – that may be focused on various areas of education including all areas of the curriculum and leadership. For example, we recently ran two training events on Modern Foreign Languages and The Role of the Science Subject Leader. These types of training sessions include plenty of opportunities for networking and sharing tips and advice. It’s important to look for training that not only gives you the chance to get hands-on and work collaboratively during the session, but advice and guidance, new ideas and strategies to take away and implement in or outside of the classroom.


Attending conferences and events Another way to soak up ideas and support from other teachers is to attend education conferences and events further afield. One teacher I spoke to at Bett last year said that her main reason for attending the show was to chat to other teachers on exhibition stands. After all, if you’re on the stand of a primary maths resource the likelihood


Editor’s Choice 2020 www.education-today.co.uk 27


is that you’re looking for inspiration and support in teaching this area of the curriculum; talking to other teachers on the stand can be a very quick and effective way of sharing problems, ideas and solutions. Specific events are valuable if you are looking


to improve practice in a particular subject or area. For example, the LearnEd SEND Edition, hosted by the DfE, BESA and HES, and Corbets Tey School on 14 November 2019, focuses on supporting inclusive teaching and learning through education technology, and gives SENCos and SEND specialists the chance to drill down into effective practice within SEND context. Similarly, there are events for senior leaders


and business managers, like the East London and Essex Education Conference 2020, giving them the space to take part in workshops, listen to talks from peers, and share effective practice with one another.


Social media A free, simple and easy way to find an abundance of resources, guides, blogs, advice and support is through social media. Platforms like Twitter are home to thousands of teachers keen to share their wisdom and knowledge! You can find these conversations through using various hashtags –


of existing resources at your school. More often than not, teachers are only using a fraction of what a piece of software or hardware can do. Secondly, if you’re on the hunt for something specific, look at procurement frameworks or brokerage services which are set up specifically to help take the time and stress away from searching for products. These services will quickly and easily provide you with high-quality products and tools addressing your particular needs and requirements. In addition to this, look out for ‘resource hubs’


that combine various different elements to help you tick off multiple needs in one go. For example, not only might it help reduce workloads with things like lesson planning and automatic marking, but setting up a place where teachers across the school can share learning activities and homework tasks will mean that you avoid duplicating efforts, and can instead, copy, edit or tweak existing materials. Sharing best practice is one of the simplest yet


most effective ways of elevating teaching and learning. Once teachers and schools work together, it is clear to see the benefits, and this needn’t be a time-consuming effort. Integrating these tips into everyday conversations or attending events that are genuinely going to be of value will ensure that you aren’t wasting time and will give you the opportunity to not only further your own career, but also provide effective support to others in your sector. All of this will only further enhance the student experience and ensure that teaching and learning continues to be the very best it can be.


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