Happy New Year! Kristy Turner talks about her goals for the new term
My back-to-school haircut has been booked, new stationary purchased and shoes polished. The nights are beginning to draw in and there is a whiff of autumn in the air. It’s time for the new term.
Ordinary mortals make their New Year resolutions in January, but for the heroes in education, New Year is in September. Though, disappointingly, it doesn't involve champagne and kissing strangers at midnight.
Finish my CSciTeach application
I started applying for Chartered Science Teacher (CSciTeach) status ages ago, but my progress with it ground to a halt. I think I’m overthinking it. Like many things in teaching this is probably a job that will never be completely finished and will stretch to fill any available space I give it – so I need to allocate some time and get it sent off for consideration.
This seems even more important with the recent developments with the College of Teaching. I would rather have my chartered status decided by my professional association with its accompanying years of experience in accreditation than a relatively new and unknown body.
Manage my email better
Unlike most teachers, I have two jobs. Balancing the demands of each has taken its toll on my productivity and I find my work bleeding more and more into my personal life.
The main culprit is email. I think this is true for most teachers. I need to be strict with myself about when I read my emails and when I send them.
I need to set out of office replies, investigate how to turn off email notifications and get my mail applications to send emails at times when they won’t impact on my colleagues’ family lives no matter when I draft them.
Focus on developing my research interests
With my first paper under my belt I need to build on that momentum and get more research done this year. Surely the next paper can’t take as long!
I am also interested in exploring writing for practitioner audiences in order to overcome some of the barriers in the use of educational research in the classroom.
I have been following the Learning Scientists on Twitter and they have piqued my interest in the psychology of memory – something I have also been exploring in my research work on assessment.
I would really like to introduce some of the evidence-based study techniques they advocate to my classes. The tricky part is deciding when and how!
Balancing my life
I’ve been inspired by the #teacher5aday phenomenon, so I’m also aiming to make sure that my teaching life doesn't overwhelm everything else. Build time for me, eat well, exercise and protect family time. Easier said than done, but very important.
Those are my resolutions for the coming academic year. I’d love to hear yours.
Kristy Turner is a teacher and school teacher fellow, splitting her time between teaching chemistry at Bolton School Boys’ Division and the University of Manchester