I started as a secondary English teacher in an Outstanding secondary school in 2002. After mentoring NQTs, creating a glossy school magazine (a throw back to my pre-education career in advertising, marketing and PR), improving Literacy across the school, being graded ‘Outstanding’ as both a classroom teacher and middle manager, and setting up Media Studies A Level for over 110 students in my first years of teaching (including being an A Level examiner for OCR, working with Vodafone and a trip to LA), I was presented with a Teaching Award for ‘Outstanding New Teacher’.
This led to incredible opportunities, including writing for the BBC and GTC, being headhunted to help establish a new Labour Academy ‘paperless’ school to deliver multimedia from Year 7 -13 (including GCSE, BTEC and A Level), and then awarded Advanced Skills Teacher (Media and New Technologies) status. I was then promoted to ‘Head of School’ for a ‘schools-within-schools’ and part of the Senior Leadership Team. From here I then gained experience at an ‘Oustanding’ school in Surrey and a Trust school in Shirley, Southampton. In both schools, my role on the Leadership Team was to improve Teaching and Learning standards across the school; this included leading various teacher training workshops from improving teacher standards to using technology in lessons, to ‘trouble shoot’ barriers to learning. I was then asked to cast my net a little further. Surrey council asked me to create and lead an AST network across the county, I worked with both Sony and Apple in order to improve technology integration, and started to work nationally a Media GCSE text book published by Tribal. As part of my outreach work, I also worked with Primary schools and SEND schools, focusing on eLearning and literacy.
Whilst on maternity leave, I was keen to continue this support for others outside of the classroom, and I worked whilst my son napped as an online freelancer. I spent my time writing another Media book (this time a GCSE Media guide on production planning for the online site ZigZag), then returning to OCR as an A Level Media Studies moderator. Following this, I started to time with Edusites; beginning my online role, initially creating resources for Media teachers. I then was asked to delivered 1:1 school workshops for teachers (clients), was the lead author of an ‘iTraining’ area for CPD, contributed to the English sister site and was then asked to be the Editor of FilmEdu. I also took a hand at raising the profile of the resource sites online through forums, Twitter and with external bodies including musuems and other online English sites – before being the Blog Editor too.
As this went well, and suited my home life, I then decided to work for myself and started as a private Coach in the South of England. This led (2012) to my current role for the charity, Achievement for All. I work now with several Primary and Secondary schools in Christchurch, Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester, with one aim – to narrow the gap for the most disadvantaged, vulnerable and lowest achieving students. This is done by focusing upon leadership. teaching and learning, parental engagement and wider outcomes. In July I became a Pupil Premium Achievement Coach (with specialist training for both AFA schools and non-AFA) and have started work with the Materials Team. I have been asked to write new training materials for the refreshed programme (launched this autumn 2014) , then asked to edit and QA them, and now have been asked to QA/update new technologies for several core modules. Next week I am working on a series of webcasts (my idea – and I am starring in them too folks!) for an ‘eLearning Module’ to help support my peers with new technologies. Wish me luck!
In my ‘spare’ time, as the co-author of TechnoTeaching: Taking Practice to The Next Level in the Digital Age, and co-Founder of TechnoTeachers we are working with a range of clients. See Current Work for more information.