Cycling – musings relatively related to emotional intelligence

27cfd_Cycling Cities report graphicJFK declared that ‘education is the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there IS a private hope and dream, which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.’

My private hopes and dreams are essentially that. Private – finding secret expression in certain elements of my teaching journey  – filling me with fizz or frustration but staying resolutely put even as my practice improves to facilitate their fulfilment. They are something like this:
To connect with pupils and to cause effective communication.
To inspire, impart and gain continued insight. To be a good teacher that gets better.

I suppose its a cycle of sorts…
To give, to gain and to grow
To teach and be taught
In blessing to be blessed.

Sometimes, the stars collide and force a pause to question whether we’ve  fundamentally cracked, or clicked. A moment, maybe once, maybe daily, and we adopt, adapt.

oxygen_mask_During my 2nd placement I began to feel the ‘click’ – I was coming together as a teacher somehow. As part of our Emotional Intelligence PLC2,  I was really struck by a journal that discussed the myriad of factors that act upon a teacher to form their mentality, their motivations and subsequent pedagogy and practice, and the importance of considering this as an essential element of our teaching ability. It’s the airline oxygen mask approach really- get your own mask on before you attempt to help a child affix theirs – because losing your own air supply will wipe you clean off  JFKS  ‘benefitting others’ educational agenda.

We’re becoming increasingly familiar with Kolb’s approach to the reflection process and whilst it is cyclical, it is also highly impersonalised  toward the user. Rachel Lofthouse’s 8 interrelated Professional Aspects are more orientated toward personal professional development with one focus on confidence and ‘teaching’ identity. However, the aspects suggest a balanced approach to each of the 8 elements, or a targeted focus on a few as our training progresses, and ultimately assume a professional uniformity of end product that doesn’t seem to provide for factors that influence and enrich each individual ITT.

In business I became very familiar with the virtuous cycle of

Happy Staff produce Happy Clients produce More $

that led one Examining Board that I worked for the be named as one of the UK’s top 100 SMES to work for. Hearing a similar comment from an SLT member at my second placement school was a real ‘click’ moment for me. He remarked that so often we focus on making pupils happy, but this has to start with happy teachers. Seriously simple, seriously smart.

Happy teachers produce Happy students produce Progress…

Obviously personal factors beyond pupil progress will influence the ‘Happy Teacher’ , but this is the essential starting point. I’m sure I’ve spent way too long musing about this, and should have cracked through all the SOWs for my next placement, but somehow I feel that understanding my own cycle and improving my personal emotional intelligence is time well spent at the beginning of a half term. I’m not sure if this will translate into a viable PLC2 project, but it is bedrock.

More cycling excellence in teaching here: Olympic cycling inspired learning and David Didau’s useful evaluation.

P.S Here’s a cycle for free I put together based on the Jackie Beere approach to lessons

JB lesson cycle


About Charis Victoria

It's all home-ed home-stead up here in Newcastle UK. Writing about growing all sorts of things (yet more kale, little hearts and minds, a relationship with God, a city church) and wondering how this all happened - wasn't I meant to be a foreign correspondent?!

One response to “Cycling – musings relatively related to emotional intelligence

  1. Rene Koglbauer

    This time you are reflecting on something that has been close to my heart and professional beliefs. Yes, ECM, Every Child Matters, has clearly put a focus on the happy child. ETM or ESM (Every Teacher or Every Staffmember Matters) has to be on the top of the agenda. Yes, teachers and other school staff have their responsibilities and will have to be hold accountable but at the same time in order to ensure that the learners progress adequately it is essential that there are ‘happy’ or content teachers in our schools. However, I would go further and argue that happy in itself is important but that there is also an element of professional confidence and acceptance that is needed in order to succeed in the classroom.
    Reflections like these are important as they form you as a teacher and as a professional, so do allow yourself time and don’t cut it short because of other tasks that are looming (but then I would say that :)).

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Me and the minis

A little bit about me

I'm training as a teacher on the School Direct route. It's new this year and puts me in the classroom more than a traditional PGCE. I'm also training for a marathon and really enjoy running. But not so much in winter. I've been blessed with a gorgeous hub and 2 awesome kids who are 3 and 1 and being total dudes about me going back to work full-time. And that is pretty much that.
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