It’s easy to feel the pressure that your subject isn’t that important; especially when you’re not English, Maths or one of the sciences. So how do you let everyone know that your subject is worth a damn? It should go without saying that of course, you’ll be doing all of the 2321231 other things you have to do as a teacher and/or a middle leader, but being a middle leader of a subject which isn’t given as high a priority in many schools as those aforementioned isn’t easy. It could be too that you have had (more often in Primary, so I understand) a subject responsibility thrust upon you with no TLR or time allocation. It’s not always the case, of course – but whether or not that example relates to you or not, it’s likely you’ll want to champion your subject… So if you’re looking to get a rocket up your subject in the new year; then this post is for you.
Start a student ambassadorship group
Digital Leaders in Computing are a great way to spread the word and provide support for teachers in their work using technology in the classroom, but how about:
- Literacy Leaders
- Art Ambassadors
- RE Representative
- Geography Guide
- Grammar Gurus
- Music Moguls
- History Heads
…ok so there doesn’t have to be alliteration, certainly there isn’t with Digital Leaders but I do like a nice bit of alliteration. Using these ambassadors for your subject responsibility can help in a number of ways:
- Promote the subject across the school
- Represent the school at local events eg. Royal Geographical Society meeting / conference
- Blog about the work done in your subject area across the school
- Share at staff meetings
- Support in lessons
In my experience, the use of Digital Leaders in my schools have been transformational if given the time to sort and the timetable / lunch arrangements etc facilitate meeting together.
Write a weekly / monthly / termly newsletter
Sharing what you’re doing is a great way of letting others know what is happening with the subject. It could just be to keep folk abreast of changes in the curriculum or other national information about the subject. It could be a write up of some CPD you’ve had as subject lead, or from a trip, e.g. to BETT and your findings, or a TeachMeet you’ve attended. In my experience some folk like to read a printed version, some an electronic version – print some out and leave them littered around the Staffroom. Most Word Processors these days have nice templates for you to use to make your end product look like a polished affair without having to spend much time on the presentation yourself. Share it!
Share it more!
Don’t be afraid to say a few things each week in staff briefing about developments in your subject. Your Head might not allow for that time to be used in such a way; not to worry – save it for any middle leader meetings that you may have in a given meeting cycle and add it in then. Raise its priority further by requesting it as a standing agenda item rather than something left within AOB.
There are lots of ways in which you could share socially about your subject in your school to the world. Google+, Facebook, Twitter – these are all simple ways in which you can share about the good stuff going on in your subject area. I wrote about this for Innovate My School and how you can do it here.
You can also raise the profile of your subject at local teaching and learning events too such as Teachmeets. You could also look to blog about it and share in fab teaching and learning online communities such as Staffrm.
Don’t forget to look out for opportunities to share things in assembly with a whole cohort of children. Not purely because you want to share a specific thing, but often, you are the subject leader because it is a subject you are massively passionate about. Take these opportunities to spark a bit of awe and wonder from your own inspirational character. Show the children some Mathematical Magic or a bit of humour linked to your subject area to get them thinking (example below).
Many schools have LCD displays around the school – why not create a few slides to go on there on rotation. What about having an interesting word of the week related to your subject or fact of the week. There are lots of great ways in which you can use this public space to easily spread the word about your subject.
These days there is a National Day of something every single day. Why not search through some of the calendars listed below to find out any International or National Days related to your subject? Try visiting:
A bit of competition is healthy and can be used to promote your subject area in many different ways. Fund-raising for charities linked to your subject area can also work to raise the profile of your subject too.
So there you have it – the list could go on but I have to stop there – do you have any other ways that you’ve raised the profile of your subject in your school? I’d love to hear about what you’ve done.
Over and out for now.