I write this blog with about 11 1/2 hours left of 2009 and we are about to enter the tenties/teens/whatever we'll call it. Predicting the next decade would be impossible, so I'll just talk about some of the targets I have for 2010 instead.
Professionally, it is going to be a massive year for me. First up there is the BETT show in January. When I was at University doing my teaching degree, the Bett show was a jolly on a minibus. We used to go up there, wander around and see who could get the best freebies. I once got a blue fleece with a tiny MS Office logo on the back. Quite nice, but still had a geeky side to it which meant it was reserved for home use! Now Bett has become something different. Last year I went for two days with the view of acquiring software demos/freebies for our VLE, Studywiz. The idea was that we could put some software and titles online and schools could use them and then buy more. We found some great stuff from companies like iboard for our younger children or SUMS for numeracy work, but little else. Most companies didn't see VLEs being a big thing despite the government targets.
This year Bett is completely different again. It is now a 3-day event for me. On the Thursday I am doing a presentation as part of the Teach Meet Takeover and then Friday a short 7minute talk as part of Teachmeet. I haven't been to one of these events before, but it should be good to attend and meet lots of inspiring teachers, most I have only ever tweeted with!
On the Saturday, I am a lot more relaxed as my girlfriend will be joining me, so we can wander round and collect free pens! I should say she is also a teacher, I don't see BETT as somewhere to take a date!
In March, we have the first Primary VLE conference in Hampshire. We are hoping to have 120 people attend and listen to teachers talk about their use of the VLE and this should be a great way to network with colleagues, help with issues and listen to inspiring ways of working with children. We have already planned to use Wallwisher and Twitter to collect ideas throughout the day. As well as paper, pens and post-its of course.
Hopefully the use of the VLE will continue to grow and develop. We will be launching our Beacon Schools project in January, enabling the top schools to get some recognition for their hard work and commitment so far. This excites me a great deal and hopefully the schools will see a great benefit to them too.
My secondment comes to an end in July and I have the difficult decision to make of returning to my old school or finding a new direction. Many people say you should never go back, it isn't the same a second time and maybe they're right. It would be a huge challenge to go back. But maybe things have changed too much and I will find a different challenge elsewhere?
Jobs don't tend to be advertised until February at the very earliest, so I have some time to look and see what's about. I think I am quite happy looking for a 'normal' class teacher role. I can worry about promotion later in my career. I would love to be in the classroom using some of the fantastic tools that are available now and spreading the collabortive message. I guess I will have to see what sort of jobs are available in the Spring term!
On a personal level, this is also a big year as we move into our first house together in 3 weeks! Scary stuff!
Anyways, wherever you are reading this, enjoy your New Year and I look forward to working with many more people over the coming months. Everyone I talk to gives me inspiration and ideas. I hope I can pass some of it on to others!!