A new job has kept me busy, and I have enjoyed the challenge of a new school and department fighting their way out of special measures. However, with much of my time spent on behaviour management and familiarising new routines, I have barely had time to consider fresh ideas on teaching strategies and writing new resources.
Thank goodness for Resourceaholic, Don Steward and #mathschat. Barely a week has gone by in the last four months without spending some time on these sites. I raid my extensive pen drive for resources, and then cross check the two blogs above to confirm whether or not there are better resources available.
All of this leads me to ask a serious question about my current attitude to resource sharing. Have I become too lazy to value my own ideas for teaching? I am excited to use well thought out and substantiated resources, without question. I do wonder though, would I be more enthusiastic if I used my own ideas?
One lesson in particular was a parallel lines and angles lesson with a low ability year 9 class. I had a plan ready, but only 9 students turned up to the lesson. So I did something I have rarely done. I ditched the plan and went with an idea in my head.
We put some tables together, sat round it and stuck some coloured tape across the table. We marked some angles, did some measuring, and proved some angle rules. The students were really engaged, they got to write on the table, and they left the lesson with a real positive attitude. It was clear they enjoyed it as much as I did.
This isn't a preach of how good this resource is - and it certainly isn't some revolutionary new resource, but it was my own idea at that time.
Was it the idea, or the fact I was enthusiastic and showing a willingness to do something different?
I have always been commended on my use of interesting ideas (cue trumpet blowing noise) and yet, given the other pressures of teaching and the fantastic blogs and resources out there already, I have turned my back on my own thoughts, and settled for other teacher's fantastic resources.
Perhaps we should always take time to produce a really well thought out resource if, for nothing else, it inspires us to believe in our own work.