My greatest teacher was Jeremy Pilbeam, a young O and A Level Design and Technology teacher, who at the time was straight out of university. He made a difference to my life because he was the teacher that encouraged me to go to university when others had felt that the local agricultural college was more appropriate for me. He helped build my confidence and set me off on my journey to go to university and subsequently into teaching.
Most of us have one ‘Great Teacher’ who stood out from the rest for various reasons. Whether it was because they took a particular interest in your learning, helped you overcome your shyness, or even made you feel that you weren’t so bad at sport after all!
But how do great teachers become special?
Over the past few months the ONVU Learning team has worked hard to help teachers celebrate their success and enhance their excellence.
During this time, we have recognised the in-balance between the depressed state of the industry and the incredible passion and excellence in so many of the teaching profession. There are a lot of ‘Great Teachers’ out there!
As much as technology has an increasing role to play, teachers are still the main way in which learning is imparted directly to students or by which learning is facilitated.
Teachers are fundamental to the success of a student and to society as a whole.
The teaching day is very hectic and fraught with little time for reflection on any particular lesson, before it’s time to move on to the next one. Added to this, are the demands on their time for administrative activities including marking, meetings and if you are at all lucky, a club to run. So, time is precious with little space for reflection and teacher professional development.
And it is this lack of good quality, continuing professional development (CPD) that is putting such pressure on the profession. Experienced teachers are burning out; perception of the profession is at an all-time low, and reduced budgets and increased accountability are adding to the negative feelings. Meanwhile new teachers are not getting the developmental support they need; the profession is in decline. A recent statistic stated that 33 per cent of all newly trained teachers (between 2011 to 2015) had now left the profession; totalling nearly 25,000 teachers.
We are currently putting LessonVU systems into classrooms to enable teachers to securely record lessons for self-review and reflection, all of which contributes towards their professional development.
Capturing a 360-degree video footage of a classroom is unique. It really does help teachers and their mentors to be “curious in the classroom” and to visually reflect on lessons in order to understand how they can be better. Seeing students’ reactions to any given lesson activity and their engagement with the task in hand is rich with visual feedback.
Ideally our systems will help younger teachers to achieve a level of mastery in their teaching whereby they are not so stressed, enjoy it and create a learning environment in which their students thrive.
At ONVU Learning we are committed to helping the teaching profession demonstrate its value. We want to support ‘great teaching’ and help celebrate it!