It was a fantastic idea! One of my better ones if I do say so myself! Well, thats what I thought at the time.
Another brainwave came across me and I ran with it! “By that stage of the holidays, I’ll be busting to get back at it anyway”, I told myself! I was that excited about it, I even convinced a colleague to get involved!
It was mid-June and delirium had set in! Between marking exams and writing reports, I was longing for something more interesting and engaging! So I did it. I took the leap! I signed up for… SUMMER School!
I know! It’s exactly what it sounds like; school during the summer. But as a teacher who is always willing to develop his practice, I felt it was a great idea. It didn’t feel so great at 7am on August 20th as I was rudely awakened by an unfamiliar sound- the alarm clock!
However, all was fine once I had a coffee X3!
The course I was attending was entitled Transformational Leadership in practice. I chose this course as I have an interest in Leadership and Transformational Leadership was part of a recent module I was studying as part of my MEd course.
The course itself was very interesting. It was delivered by Ann McCann, and delivered in a very professional manner. It was informative and engaging and everything I expected it to be. But that’s not what I’m blogging about today!
Instead I’m blogging about the hope I received at RTU Summer School. On my course there were 15 other educators from across NI, all giving up a day off to engage in professional development. But that was only the start.
As I walked into the canteen at lunchtime I could not believe the amount of people that were there. Without exaggerating, on that day there were at least 800 educators giving up a day of their summer holidays to engage in professional development. And this was only day 1 of many of the summer school.
This gave me hope for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, professional development is often frowned upon. It can be viewed with a pessimism that it is worthless and everything a teacher really needs to know is learned in the classroom. But the hope that day came from the fact that so many educators in NI were willing to sacrifice a day off, we’re willing to get involved in something new and engage with others from around NI.
And it wasn’t just standard teachers! Principals, VicePrincipals, Senior Teachers, co-ordinators, all rank and file were in attendance.
At times we are attacked in the press! At times it is easy for all of societies woes to be blamed on the education system. This week in particular, we see the Chief Inspector of OFSTED saying we (teachers) need to work harder! But that is the example I will refer to when those questions are asked. There are few other professions where staff would give up time, unpaid to develop themselves. As much as we are told he education system is failing, always remember that the teachers are not.
That day I realised how dedicated a staff of teachers Northern Ireland possesses and how with people like those I met at Summer School, the future of education is certainly bright.
I’ll be back next year; it was very worthwhile!