The first year of teaching is tough - kind of like a trial by fire kind of tough. It's such a shame that 1 in 6 teachers quit in their first year of teaching, and 1 in 3 quit after 5 years.
I remember my first year of teaching being one of the biggest challenges of my life - it was pretty much just about survival. But the good news is that you can get through it, and once you do, it gets easier every year.
My first teaching placement was in a 'hard to staff' school in the city, and boy was it hard. There were many students with behavioural issues and learning difficulties. I remember the first parent-teacher night, and I had requested around 60 interviews (yep that's how many students I had serious concerns about), and only 2 parents showed up. What hope did I have if there was no support from parents?
I was told by my head of department that the best approach was 'don't smile until Christmas' (this is the worst advice by the way). It felt terrible, like I had...
So, what exactly is ‘future focused teaching and learning’, and why is there a need for it?
Well, the main concern is that we are not preparing kids for their future effectively. Many teachers have followed the ‘20th century’ way of teaching - the classroom typically is set up with desks facing the front of the room, or maybe in groups, with the teacher up the front of the classroom delivering the information (albeit with new technology such as a projector screen or interactive whiteboard), conducting question and answer sessions, and directing students though a series of activities, perhaps involving a textbook or worksheet, or an electronic version on their device. Students consume knowledge and are required to reproduce it in varying ways, however rarely actually do or create anything new with this knowledge - they are merely assessed to determine if they ‘know’ it, and then this knowledge is presumably stored up for...