Mirror, mirror on the wall

By Russell Griffiths, Electrical Installations in Building Services

The teacher that we believe we are is not always the teacher that others see! How can we truly assert our practice on others when we cannot see the real us? For years my practice had been at a standstill, full of good grades but still the elusive outstanding was out of my grasp. I decided to be proactive in my goal of becoming the best teacher I could be for my students, as after all that is my job. I took to twitter. This was something I had used for a while in a purely social context but had been aware of other teachers using it to talk about teaching.  I jumped online and searched for teachers’ tweets, to my surprise and amazement I found pages and pages of tweets from teachers sharing ideas!  Who’d of thought teachers helping each other out!  I sent my first tweet to one in particular who had a serious number of followers, “any ideas on how to unstick my practice?” The reply came back, “Look in the mirror and ask yourself, do you like what you see?” It was literally staring me in the face, I’d forgotten the basic rule of learning, to reflect and to ask myself the hard questions. I researched some reflective practice and came up with ten questions to answer!

This allowed me to focus on the essential message of a session and how I could improve. Returning to twitter, I tweeted questions, read blogs and got loads of feedback from teachers on how looking in the mirror is the hardest but most rewarding CPD we can undertake. My practice flourished, I found new confidence in the classroom and I got the outstanding that I desired. However, that wasn’t the end, the outstanding was great but what was more important was the response in my students, they metaphorically grew in front of me, they explored, they questioned and they succeeded.  This was my achievement, not the outstanding teaching grade but the outstanding young men and women in front of me. Without twitter and the help and assistance of the teaching community therein, I would not be the teacher I am today, it really worked for me and I strongly recommend that you do the same. More importantly, don’t be scared to look in the mirror and never be afraid to change what you see, you may just love the new reflection!

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