Monday, 30 December 2013

NPQML National College Leading Teaching - reflections on account of practice 6: Subject specialism

How do the staff in the maths department featured in this account of practice continue to develop their subject knowledge? How does the Head of Maths support them?

Passion for the subject- enthusiasm, interest, curiosity
Staff modelling discussion of the subject
Good post-16 uptake
Student questionnaire - subject knowledge important
Delegate and trust staff
Play strengths of staff
Avoid sounding panicked
Break things down and pass on to your team in a manageable form that they want to do
Decisions made and initiatives discussed as a team
Quality assurance but recognising a range of teaching styles
Same teacher for a class over the two years of GCSE or AS
Staff are encouraged to attend their colleagues’ lessons, not to judge but to learn. As Rebekah says, “It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been teaching, we’re always learning.”
Learning snapshots - 10-15min drop in agreed by participants and looking at student work and getting student views on written feedback
Organisation of looking after resources strategically delegated to department members
Two thirds of department meeting time focuses on teaching and learning with everyone expected to contribute
Association of teachers mathematics
Database of staff strengths and areas for development following observation
Maths society
Open door policy where students can ask any teacher
Student ambassadors
Peer mentoring with sixth form volunteers
7 features of outstanding teaching and learning document
Key word booklets
16 Q cards to select from and answer the question on
Easter revision booklet

In what ways do you support members of your team to continue to develop their subject knowledge, individually and as a team? What, for you as a leader, are the greatest challenges, and how do you overcome them?
Anything highlighted in bold above is something that we already do in our department in order to support members of the team in continuing to develop their subject knowledge.

In our department I think the greatest challenges are:
1.       Delegating to and trusting staff to complete tasks. If I make expectations clear and, as described in the account of practice, "break things down and pass on to your team in a manageable form that they want to do" and then follow up then hopefully we will create a culture of colleagues taking responsibility for the tasks given to them.
2.       Encouraging staff to observe each other to learn, not to judge. I will try to model this myself with other colleagues and set up informal learning observations for members of my team.

3.       Dedicating department time to teaching and learning. I will liaise with the Head of Science to ensure that structured time (with useful outcomes) is dedicated to teaching and learning in department meetings.

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