Thanks to everyone who has checked out the responses to the #threequestionsEDU series so far. With the term starting for many I thought I’d pause it for a few days and let things settle down a bit.
I’ve been really enjoying the responses so far. I find it refreshing to read different perspectives. There is more in education that should unite us rather than divide us and I am really pleased how people have taken to responding. Thank you to everyone who’s taken part so far.
Thank you to those reading these short blasts too and I hope you find the responses interesting too. Please respond in the comments and share what you think.
If you’d like to respond to the questions please read this post first. Kicking off this #threequestionsEDU response is Bukky Yusuf from the UK. Thanks for responding Bukky!!
A bit about yourself:
I am a secondary science teacher / senior leader, educational coach and Leadership Matters Ambassador that is deeply interested teaching, learning and well-being. I support diverse collaborations and development of educators at all levels within the education sector and am involved with a number of initiatives including SLTchat, WomenEd, BAMEED and teacher5aday.
What do you think are the biggest issues facing education right now?
Even though many will be unsurprised to hear of the increasing number of schools reporting mental health issues amongst students as a growing problem, a key issue is how many schools actually have strategic systems in place: systems which outlines what colleagues can do to support students (and staff) that experience wellbeing difficulties within the educational setting. Furthermore, it is vital for schools to establish a culture where staff are free to share their concerns and anxieties about how well they are coping with the role, without being considered to be weak or failing.
Mental Health and Well Being is rather complex. It therefore requires the school to ensure adequate time, training and planning to deliver these effective support systems. Finally, it is also important for schools to ensure that, where possible, staff are given the flexibility to address wellbeing strategies that work best for them. No one shoe fits all. We are all different. It is important to keep this in mind.
What’s your favourite teaching and learning idea / technique / strategy / tool?
There are so many tools that I could mention, which makes this a challenge to answer. One of my favourite teaching and learning strategies is one that I was introduced to by Francesca Sui (@franloxley) – dot marking:
Love giving SPEEDY feedback to year 10 with coloured stickers and a key! pic.twitter.com/ckskwfAVCo
— Francesca Siu (@franloxley) May 1, 2014
It is a really simple, quick and effective way to provide feedback to a whole of students during lesson time. When I introduce it to the classes that I teach, I share the poster below as a PowerPoint to explain what each colour represents. The poster is then permanently displayed in the class for future reference.
If you were appointed Minister of Education in your country, what would be the first thing you’d change and why?
If I were appointed Minister of Education in my country, the first thing I would change is the teacher training programme so that it becomes mandatory for every trainee teacher to spend some of their teaching practice within a special school/alternative provision setting. I feel that it is important for there to be greater collaborations between special schools, pupil referral units and mainstream schools as we have much to learn from each other. When I look back on my own teaching experiences, I received very little in the way of effective training for children with special educational needs. Time spent training in special/alternative provision settings would provide an important foundation for all trainees to gain first-hand experience in supporting the learning of students with a wide range of educational needs. This would then help to build more confidence in teaching within mainstream, special schools or alternative provision settings.
Want to take part?
Thanks to Bukky for her responses – I hope you found her answers of interest. If you’d like to submit your response to the questions yourself, please click this link. Please share your thoughts on Bukky’s response in the comments section below.