I had written a #Nurture 14/15 post last year and had enjoyed doing so. This year I’ve got so much on that I thought I’d give it a miss. Then Choco Tzar tweeted
and I thought I would write one. So, here goes (I won’t write about the stuff I have blogged about before so nothing about the presentations at various conferences or governance stuff which happened in 2015).
I was elected Vice Chair for a second term at my secondary school. I’ve joined the local governing body of a primary school. The governor association we were setting up has met a few times already (in the local pub, but only because they let us have the room for free.Honest!).
2. Wonderful people I was lucky enough to meet
I attended a TeachMeet where I sat in awe and took in what Mary Myatt and Jill Berry had to say. If you haven’t heard these ladies speak then you don’t know what you’re missing. So, get yourself to wherever they will be speaking this year. Believe me, you’ll thank me!
I spent two fabulous days at the Festival of Education. The sun was out as were the stars of the education world! I met some people I had met before and some I hadn’t. Martin Robinson very graciously signed my book for me. David Didau gave me a lift to the station (thank you, David. You didn’t know but I was fasting as it was Ramadan and the lift was very welcome. Wellington College, if you haven’t been, is HUGE so the lift was gladly accepted). This was also where I met Carl Hendrick for the first time, albeit for a very short time. I saw Tom Bennett rushing to get somewhere but being the gentleman he is, he stopped and chatted. I also exchanged educational pleasantries with Laura McInerney, Sam Freedman and Emma Knights amongst others.
I had been exchanging tweets with Vivienne Porritt for some time but this was the year I heard her speak. Twice! Wonderful experience, both times. Rona Mackenzie was another educator I was lucky enough to hear speak this year. She was awesome!
Andrew and Gwen arranged their famous curry nights (thank you both) and that gave me a chance to sit opposite Tarjinder Gill. If you don’t follow her blog, I’ve only got two words for you; follow immediately!
Loic and Eleanor invited me to the launch of two of their reports. LKMco do fabulous work and it was an honour to be able to join them at both these events. This was also the year I got to spend time with Micon. What she doesn’t know about school finance isn’t worth knowing!
3. Conferences and Teachmeets
I’m a bit of a conference junkie and this year was no different. I went to ResearchEd and marvelled at Tom and Hélène’s energy and enthusiasm. I was very happy to be asked, by Katie Paxton-Doggett (I love the “cpd” in her Twitter handle!) to be on a panel at Festival of Education. In October I was at the WomenEd conference where I did a session with my very good friend Jo Penn (she did all the hard work, by the way). I met my governor friends at NGA and BELMAS events. I attended one Teachmeet in person and the other virtually (#TMSlough was live streamed. Well done Sam. Brilliant idea!). One really amazing event I attended was Politics in Education. If you want to read a bit more about it then have a look at Leah K Stewart’s website. The one event I was really sad to miss was the Michaela debates.
4. Blogging, writing, tweeting
I was really happy to be asked by Schools Week to do a book review and an end of year review. Thank you, Laura. I continue to blog and continue to enjoy it. WordPress tells me my blog was viewed in 83 countries in 2015! It was my tweeting which got me a place on Tom’s list. He said some lovely things about me and this is my chance to thank him.
I’ll leave this for Facebook!
Hopes for 2016
1. I hope the local governor network will continue to grow.
2. I hope to attend as many educational events as I can.
3. I hope I will finally meet James Theobald so I can report back to the Twitter world that he actually exists! There are three other people I would love to meet; Quirky Teacher, Greg Ashman and Ephemeral321. I’d like a longer chat with Carl and Tarjinder too.
4. I hope to continue blogging and hopefully write some more pieces for Schools Week.
5. I would love to be able to visit Michaela and Norwich. I’ve spoken to people who work at Michaela and have read accounts written by people who have visited the school. Being a “traditionalist” myself I’d love to be able to see what they are doing and how.
I have some very good friends in Norwich and I must try and see them. I’d also like to visit Inspiration Trust schools. I hear very good things about them from my friends. The picture below was taken by James Rowley-Hill * and is used with his permission. It shows Northern lights in north Norfolk in December 2015. The lights were supposed to be visible in large parts of UK few days ago. I’ve wanted to see Northern lights ever since I read Ice Station Zebra by Alistair MacLean when young. Living in London I was never going to be able to see them but maybe one day I will.
* To see more pictures see James’ Facebook page