Episodes

  • 00:39:50

    Episode 16: WomenEd Vivienne Porritt

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    In this final episode of Series 2, we were privileged to speak to the inspirational Vivienne Porritt (@ViviennePorritt). Vivienne is a former headteacher and the national leader of WomenEd (@WomenEd) which campaigns for equitable balance in terms of gender and ethnicity at leadership level in education.

    We certainly learnt a lot from Vivienne who spoke to us at length about the purpose of WomenEd and its global impact. Her drive and passion for fairness shone throughout the interview – by making women ‘believe’, we really feel that the WomenEd movement is empowering women and making a difference to society’s views on educational leadership. We found Vivienne a very humble, wise and passionate professional who cares deeply about making a difference.

    Here’s a break-down of our conversation with Vivienne complete with time-stamps:

    How does Vivienne explain views on creating a world where ‘normal doesn’t exist’? (4:18) What does Vivienne think about the impact of labelling of individuals/students as ‘normal’ in schools? (7:16) What does Vivienne believe is the best way to go about changing peoples’ mind-set when it comes to seeing people as ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’? (8:35) How does Vivienne explain the movement WomenEd and what does she say that it sets out to do? (10:22) What does Vivienne say about the challenges that faced the WomenEd movement on Twitter? (12:15) What evidence does Vivienne have to suggest there is an imbalance in leadership roles for women in education? (15:31) What does Vivienne say about the international interest in the WomenEd movement and which countries are already involved? (21:57) What success stories does Vivienne give to show the power of the WomenEd movement? (23:51) How does Vivienne explain the role of the national leaders of the WomenEd team? (26:18) What advice would Vivienne give to young female teachers who aspire to lead in education in the future? (28:13) How does Vivienne say listeners can get involved in the WomenEd movement? (32:23)

    We hope you enjoy this episode of The Staffroom and find Vivienne’s educational ideas as inspirational as we did. Please connect with Vivienne and the WomenEd movement on Twitter and have a look at their website, www.womened.org – let’s get involved and remove those labels! After all, there’s no such thing as normal!

    We wish Vivienne all the best for 2019 and the growing success of the WomenEd movement.

    This is the final episode of Series 2 – see you again in the new year for more of The Staffroom!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

  • 00:40:14

    Episode 15: Autism Pedagogy Craig Smith

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    In this week’s episode of The Staffroom, we were privileged to speak to author, Apple Distinguished Educator and international speaker, Craig Smith (@wrenasmir). Craig is the National Coordinator working for Positive Partnerships and an expert in Autism pedagogy.

    Craig spoke to us about creative educational best practices for young people with autism. He shares his experience of working with students with special educational needs and explains his views on technology to support the social and emotional needs of these students. We were mind-blown by Craig’s passion and expertise and certainly learnt a lot from him.

    So, without further ado, here’s a break-down of our chat complete with time-stamps:

    How does Craig explain his passion for working with students with autism? (4:00) What does Craig say about his experience in education and working with students with special educational needs? (5:27) What does Craig believe all teachers should know about working with students with autism? (7:25) Why does Craig believe there is an anxiety with some teachers who work with autistic students ? (9:30) Why does Craig believe an personalised and individualistic approach to create universal learning experiences is so important? (11:42) How does Craig feel about the integration of technology to support the social and emotional needs students with autism? What are his views? (14:08) How does Craig believe technology can support teaching and learning for students with special educational needs? (17:10) What does Craig say about Minecraft in the classroom? How did he use it with his students? (19:15) Why does Craig think it is important that synthesising information succinctly in a visual way is important to students with autism? (27:08) Why does Craig believe music can play a big part in the education of students with autism? What work has he done with Skoog? (30:40)

    We hope you enjoy this episode of The Staffroom and find Craig’s educational ideas as inspirational as we did. If you’d like to learn more about Minecraft, Skoog or find out more about Craig’s numerous projects, you should check out Craig’s wonderful website and blog, www.autismpedagogy.com!

    We wish Craig all the best for 2019 and the growing success of his blog.

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

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  • 00:31:09

    Episode 14: Digital Creativity Adam Torrens

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    This week we were privileged to chat about creativity in the tech-classroom with Australian teacher Adam Torrens (@AdamTorrens84). Adam is an award-winning teacher, digital learning leader and Apple Distinguished Educator who works at Stamford American International School in Singapore.

    With the introduction of Apple’s ‘Everyone Can Create’ curriculum, we had lots to talk about and wanted to find out Adam’s thoughts and how he has utilised these resources. For us, video, photography, drawing and audio have an important role to plan in the modern classroom – Adam inspired us with innovative examples of the way technology is integrated at his school.

    Here’s a break-down of our chat complete with time-stamps:

    How did Adam’s background inspire his career as a teacher? (3:40) How does Adam believe his school (Stamford American International School) balances progressive pedagogy with more traditional knowledge-based approaches? (5:18) What good examples of tech-based projects does Adam explain are commonplace in his classroom? (7:55) Why does Adam believe creation-based apps are important and have an impact on learning? (9:15) What examples of powerful creation-based apps does Adam give? (10:25) Why does Adam believe Project Based Learning is a powerful approach? Does Adam think it lends itself to creativity? (11:12) What does Adam think about Apple’s new Everyone Can Create curriculum? How does it fit in with his school’s philosophy? (15:11) How does Adam believe his school empowered teachers to feel confident with tech-tools? (16:42) Which of the Everyone Can Create books does Adam thin is the most important? Why does Adam think video is so important in the classroom? (18:40) Does Adam think it is possible to integrate all of the skills from the Everyone Can Create boos throughout the whole curriculum? (20:30) Does Adam think that the Everyone Can Create initiative can complement STEM? (21:30) How does Adam believe his role as an Apple Distinguished Educator has influenced technology at his school? (24:10) Why does Adam think Keynote, Pages and other core Apple apps so powerful? (25:30)

    We hope you enjoyed this episode of The Staffroom and found Adam’s ideas and philosophy as inspiring as we did. The idea of putting pedagogy first and technology second has always struck a chord with us and we loved Adam’s views on Apple’s new curriculum. We wish Adam all the best for the future and his journey with digital creativity.

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

  • 00:56:38

    Episode 13: Closing the Vocabulary Gap Alex Quigley

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    In this special episode of ‘The Staffroom’, we spoke to UK based former English teacher, author and director of research, Alex Quigley (@HuntingEnglish). Alex spoke to us about his recent book, ‘Closing the Vocabulary Gap’ and gave us insightful research based expert knowledge on the importance of vocabulary in education.

    We found Alex’s ideas and perspectives on vocabulary both inspiring and intelligent. As English teachers, his insights into creating word-rich classrooms where students deconstruct vocabulary and build knowledge is something we found particularly powerful.

    Throughout our chat with Alex, we were fortunate enough to speak about the topics below. Here’s a break-down of Alex’s responses complete with time-stamps:

    At what point in Alex’s career did he decide to focus on research? (4:25) Why does Alex believe that a lack of vocabulary is a world-wide issue for children? (6:17) What does Alex mean by ‘the vocabulary gap’ and what does he say that his book sets out to do? (7:15) Why doesn’t Alex think it’s too late for children over the age of 5 to develop their vocabulary capacity? (10:46) How does Alex describe his ideas on ‘word-depth’ and what does he say about making children more ‘word conscious’? (13:05) How does Alex define etymology and morphology? Why does he believe they play a vital role in the development of children’s vocabulary? (18:30) When it comes to teaching academic vocabulary, how does Alex explain the ‘three-tiered hierarchy for words’ approach? (22:55) Does Alex think that teachers have become too lazy to teach vocabulary? Why does Alex think that teachers don’t refer to Tier 2 words enough? (28:18) What are Alex’s views on spelling tests? What does he suggest are better ways for teachers to teach spelling? (32:16) What does Alex say about creating memorable ‘hooks’ for students to aid the development of vocabulary and the building of knowledge? (41:05) What does Alex think that all teachers should know about teaching reading effectively? Why does Alex believe that reading is incredibly valuable for the development of vocabulary? (42:16)

    If you’d like further information about Alex, you can check-out his website, www.theconfidentteacher.com. Also, if you’d like to read more of Alex’s published work, you can find a list of his books on Amazon where they are available to purchase.

    We hope you enjoy this episode of The Staffroom and found Alex’s words as fascinating as we did. We can’t wait to make vocabulary a focus in our classroom practice!

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

  • 00:39:40

    Episode 12: The Power of Podcasting Kelly Croy

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    In this awesome episode, we were honoured to have spoken with the one-and-only Kelly Croy (@kellycroy). Kelly is an author, speaker, Apple Distinguished Educator and is the voice of the popular, ‘The Wired Educator Podcast’ (@WiredEducator). Across the world, Kelly is known as an innovator and inspirational speaker who is passionate about education and leadership.

    In our conversation with Kelly we spoke about podcasting as a medium in education for both teachers and students. Kelly shed light on why he thinks podcasting is a powerful tool to enhance student engagement and creativity and offered some insightful views on his experiences on his show. Want to know what was said? Check out the questions below:

    Here’s a breakdown of our chat with Kelly including time-stamps so you can skip through:

    Who is Kelly Croy and what is his background in education? (3:40) What inspired Kelly to create the Wired Educator Podcast? (4:30) Did Kelly find inspiration for his own podcast by listening to other educational podcasts? (6:40) Why does Kelly think podcasting is such a powerful medium for teachers? (8:00) How does Kelly believe podcasting can be integrated into the classroom as a teaching and learning tool? (10:00) What types of podcasts has Kelly challenged his students to create in the past? (12:38) What is Apple’s Everyone Can Create curriculum all about? Why does Kelly believe creativity is a vital part of learning? (15:47) In Kelly’s time as a podcaster, which guest has inspired him the most? (21:34) What are the most inspiring strategies, ideas or approaches Kelly has learnt from his guests on his podcast, The Wired Educator? (24:55) Quick Fire Questions (27:25): What book are you currently reading? What was your favourite book growing up? What advice would you give to new English teachers? What is your ‘must have’ app for English teachers? Where can Kelly be found online? Where can people find a copy of his book, ‘Along Came a Leader’ and where can people listen to ‘The Wired Educator Podcast’? (35:10)

    We loved Kelly’s enthusiasm and presence – his passion for podcasting was palpable and we certainly learnt a lot! Hopefully, this episode has inspired you to think of ways to integrate podcasting into the curriculum. For us, it’s helped us think of new, exciting and creative approaches to studying texts in English. What about you?

    We wish Kelly Croy all the best for 2018 and his continuing success of ‘The Wired Educator Podcast’. If you’d like to pick up a copy of his book, you can buy ‘Along Came a Leader’ from Amazon. Awesome!

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

  • 00:24:44

    Episode 11: Augmented & Virtual Reality Paul Hamilton

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    In this episode of The Staffroom, we were lucky to speak to talented Apple Distinguished Educator, edtech pioneer and author, Paul Hamilton (@PaulHamilton8) about Augmented and Virtual Reality in education. Paul also spoke to us about his popular coding picture book, ‘If I Were A Wizard’ and his app, Wizard AR and the way they enhance learning in his primary school classroom.

    Our chat with Paul gave us some real insight into the potential use of AR and VR and what future learning technologies have to offer.

    Here’s a break-down of our chat complete with time-stamps:

    Who is the character Hazel and how did Paul bring her to life? (4:50) How does the character Hazel help students learn coding and what examples does Paul give? (6:15) How does Paul believe primary school students have responded to Hazel and coding concepts? (7:40) How does Paul explain the differences between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality and what examples does he give in the educational workspace? (9:00) How does Paul believe the instructional experience should differ between the two (AR and VR) in the classroom? (11:10) Does Paul believe that AR ‘fits better’ and is more practical in the classroom than VR? (12:40) How does Paul believe AR (and his work with Hazel) has enhanced storytelling and literacy in primary school students? (14:15) Does Paul believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) can have a positive impact on education? (15:50) How has Paul been experimenting with AI in his own projects? What examples have really excited him? (18:10) Where can people find Paul’s work online? Where is his book available to buy? (21:00)

    If you’d like further information about Paul, you can check-out his website, www.appsbypaulhamilton.com and follow his posts on Twitter (@PaulHamilton8). Also, if you’re interested in coding with your students, check out ‘If I Were A Wizard’ available to purchase on Amazon – we highly recommend it!

    We hope you enjoy this episode of The Staffroom and found Paul’s innovative ideas and resources as inspiring as we did. We’re excited to dig into the world of AR and VR and explore its potential with our students.

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

  • 00:29:07

    Episode 10: Retrieval Practice Pooja K. Agarwal, Ph.D.

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    In this exciting episode of 'The Staffroom', we spoke about retrieval practicewith Pooja K. Agarwal, Ph.D. (@PoojaAgarwal) an expert in the field of cognitive science. Pooja is the Founder of RetrievalPractice.org, a hub of research, resources, and teaching strategies based on the science of learning – check this out!

    Pooja’s work is being noticed more and more by teachers around the world as she offers practical tips and advice on cognitive psychological research and strategies can enhance and accelerate student learning.

    Here’s our conversation with Pooja broken down with time-stamps:

    Who is Pooja and how did she get involved with cognitive science? (3:35) How does Pooja define retrieval practiceand why is it a powerful strategy for learning? (5:50) What examples does Pooja use to illustrate retrieval practicein the classroom? (7:50) Does Pooja think that it is difficult to engage students in retrieval practicestrategies? Why does she think it is important to keep retrieval practiceas a low or no-stakes approach? (9:40) Does Pooja believe retrieval practiceworks better with older or younger students? (11:45) How can educators implement retrieval practiceinto their teaching? What techniques does Pooja suggest are most effective? (13:20) Why does Pooja believe that feedback is an important part in retrieval practiceprocess? (16:50) Does Pooja think that there are any potential challenges for teachers when implementing retrieval practice? Does she believe it impacts on workload? (19:50) What is Pooja’s upcoming book called and what’s it about? (22:15)

    We hope you enjoy this episode of The Staffroom and found Pooja’s ideas on retrieval practice strategies as fascinating as we did. We gathered lots of practical tips and tricks on how to work smarter not harder – remember: retrieval practice is one of the most powerful strategies to use in your classroom – why not give it a go?

    We wish Dr Pooja K. Agarwal all the best for 2018 and her continuing success of RetrievalPractice.org. Remember to buy her book once it’s released in June next year!

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

  • 00:28:24

    Episode 9: The Science of Sketch-noting Oliver Caviglioli

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    ‘The Staffroom’ is back! In the first episode of Series 2, we were lucky enough to speak to Oliver Caviglioli about the power of learning visuals and its basis in cognitive psychology. Oliver (@olicav) is an information designer who is widely known as an expert in visualising educational concepts. In recent years, he has worked with lots of different teacher-authors in illustrating their books.

    Our chat with Oliver gave us some real insight into the use of visuals (such as sketch-noting) to conceptualise, categorise and organise information to enhance learning.

    Here’s a break-down of our chat complete with time-stamps:

    How did Oliver’s background and interest in ‘behaviourism’ influence his work as an information designer? (4:04) Why does Oliver believe his visuals are becoming more and more popular with educators around the world? (6:07) Why does Oliver think sketch-noting should not be ‘artistic’ and individualised? Why does he believe it is important to keep it simple? (8:30) Why does Oliver think that all teachers should know about cognitive psychology? (10:09) Why does Oliver believe it is important for teachers to use a balance of cognitive psychological research and educational research? (12:15) What is ‘precis’ and why is it an important way of learning? Why does Oliver think that summarising/sketch-noting is an effective method of learning? (12:49) Who is Ruth Colvin Clark and what does she say about decorative visuals and explanatory visuals? (14:29) What is the main tip Oliver gives to people who want advice about their sketch-notes? (16:08) How does Oliver think teachers should practice sketch-noting effectively with students? (16:50) Is Oliver an advocate of technology to support and accelerate learning? (20:20) If Oliver could recommend one professional learning book to a new teacher, what would it be and why? (20:35) Where can people find Oliver’s work online? Where are his books available to buy? (24:01)

    If you’d like further information about Oliver, you can check-out his work with Dr Megan Sumeracki (@DrSumeracki) and Dr Yana Weinstein who are the creators of The Learning Scientists project. Their book is called ‘Understanding How We Learn: A Visual Guide’ – check this out now! Also, if you're interested in our colleagues' Apple book on 'The Science of Sketch'-noting, take a look at Jamie Clark and Daniel Budd's digital book here.

    We hope you enjoy this episode of The Staffroom and found Oliver’s words as fascinating as we did. We can’t wait to make sketch-noting and informational design part of our practice!

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

  • 00:01:19

    Special Thanks!

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    We’d like to say a big thank you to the guests who have kindly given up their time to chat to us in our debut series of ‘The Staffroom’. We’ve covered a range of topics from technology integration to enhancing student engagement right through to managing our own well-being. Here’s a run-down of who we were privileged to speak with:

    Cathy Hunt (@art_cathyhunt) Daniel Budd (@danielbbudd) Lou Cimetta (@BlueprintLearn) Craig Kemp (@mrkempnz) Ross McGill (@TeacherToolkit) Dan Haesler (@danhaesler) Tom Sherrington (@teacherhead) Abdul Chohan (@Abdulchohan) Karen Prendergast (@Karenprend) Dr Yana Weinstein (@doctorwhy) Jamie Thom (@teachgratitude1) James Ramsey (@humanitieshola)

    We’d also like to thank the following people who made the podcast possible:

    Jamie Clark - Creator and Producer Tessa Johnson – Host Michael Royall - Host Yun Chen – Sound Technician Evan Georgopoulos – Sound Technician Daniel Budd – Director of Learning Technologies

    Lastly, a huge thank you to our listeners. We hope you have found as much value in the podcast as we have ourselves. We will return with the next series of ‘The Staffroom’ in the near future so keep a keen ear and eye out for Series 2!

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

  • 00:46:46

    Episode 8: Slow Teaching, High Impact Jamie Thom & James Ramsey

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    In this episode of ‘The Staffroom’, we chatted with English Teacher and author Jamie Thom (@teachgratitude1 ) about the way slowing-down and taking stock can lead to better teacher well-being and student outcomes. We also talked to Humanities teacher, James Ramsey about the way low-stakes, high-impact formative assessment strategies are making a difference in his learning area.

    In our first interview, Jamie Thom speaks about his book, ‘Slow Teaching: Finding Calm, Clarity and Impact in the Classroom’ and refocusing practice so that teachers only do things for the right reasons. Here’s a break-down of Jamie’s ideas:

    What inspired Jamie to write ‘Slow Teaching’? How have his professional experiences shaped his reflective ideas on slow teaching and finding calm and clarity in the classroom? (3:40) What does Jamie say ‘Slow Teaching’ is about? (3:40) What is Jamie’s ‘tortoise and the hare’ analogy? How does Jamie believe this fable reflects the teaching profession? (7:55) What made Jamie realise that a slower approach was the key to well-being and making an impact in the classroom? (11:13) Why does Jamie believe nuanced skills such as classroom management, non-verbal communication etc are essential in developing a slow and measured teaching style? (13:40) Which strategies from Jamie’s book have had a profound impact in his classroom? (18:31) How does Jamie ensure modelling is used effectively with his students? (23:35) What are Jamie’s views on well-being? What are Jamie’s top three well-being tips for a new graduate teacher? (26:17)

    Head of Learning Area at Corpus Christi College, James Ramsey, spoke to us about the practical ways formative assessment and feedback is having an impact in his classes. Here is a break-down of James’ responses:

    How have formative assessment strategies changed James’ practice in recent years? (32:50) In what ways does James believe the shift away from frequent summative assessment has changed student mindset? (35:10) What does James think are the main principles which under-pin his teaching and learning philosophy? (36:30) Which tech-tools does James believe have helped enhance his use of formative assessment? How do these tools work? (39:50) What practical approaches has James implemented which help save time and/or reduce teacher workload? (42:50)

    We hope you enjoy this episode of The Staffroom and found Jamie and James’ ideas as thought provoking as we did. The mantra of slowing down, stripping-back and streamlining teaching has certainly struck a chord with us! We wish Jamie Thom and James Ramsey all the best for 2018.

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

  • 00:28:45

    Episode 7: The Cognitive Psychology of Learning Dr Yana Weinstein

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    Show Notes:

    In this episode of ‘The Staffroom’, we chatted with Dr Yana Weinstein (@doctorwhy), an Assistant Professor of Cognitive Psychology at University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Yana spoke with us about the way research-based cognitive science can be applied to education in order to enhance learning.

    Together with Dr Megan Sumeracki (@DrSumeracki), Yana is the creator of The Learning Scientists project. Their website is becoming well-known by students and teachers around the world as it hosts a popular blog and offers a variety of practical resources and materials on cognitive science strategies. They also have an excellent podcast show, The Learning Scientists Podcast. Check it out!

    In their work, Yana and Megan have identified what they call, Six Strategies for Effective Learningbased on decades of research in cognitive psychology. In no particular order, here they are:

    Spaced Practice Retrieval Practice Elaborative Interrogation Interleaving Concrete Examples Dual Coding

    In this episode, we were fortunate to speak with Yana about, spaced practice, retrieval practice, interleavingand dual coding. Here’s a break-down of Yana’s responses:

    What are Yana’s Six Strategies for Effective Learning and how were they identified? (6:07) Which of the six strategies does Yana place more value on? Why are they the most effective? (10:21) How does Yana define retrieval practice and why is it a powerful strategy for learning? (11:40) How can educators implement retrieval practice into their teaching? What techniques does Yana suggest are most effective? (12:55) How does Yana suggest spaced practice can be combined with retrieval practice? (15:40) What is dual coding and how does Yana believe teachers can make the most of it with students? (16:40) Interleaving means switching between ideas and ‘jumbling-up’ learning. Why does Yana consider it a powerful technique, and how can teachers use it? (18:45) What does Yana think is the most powerful way students can use some of the six strategies together? (21:39)

    We hope you enjoy this episode of The Staffroom and found Yana’s six strategies as fascinating as we did. We can’t wait to build these strategies into our practice and teach students how to study properly!

    We wish Dr Yana Weinstein all the best for 2018 and her continuing success of The Learning Scientists project.

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

  • 00:45:47

    Episode 6: Leading Change Abdul Chohan & Karen Prendergast

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    In this week’s episode of The Staffroom, we were fortunate to speak with award-winning technology consultant and inspirational change-management expert Abdul Chohan. We also spoke with our very own change-management champion, Vice Principal of Corpus Christi College, Karen Prendergast.

    Abdul Chohan is a well-known leader and recognised for his integration of digital learning strategies in a number of UK schools. In the episode, Abdul speaks with us about his pioneering work in developing change through his philosophy of simplicity and reliability at Essa Academyand The Olive Tree School.

    Here’s a break-down of our chat with Abdul complete with time-stamps:

    How did Abdul’s change-management journey begin? How did he introduce technology to his school and what was the reaction? (3:40) What does Abdul believe is necessary to lead successful change in a school? (5:09) What is Abdul’s ‘island’ analogy and why is it effective in changing a school culture? (5:09) Why does Abdul believe relationships are key when it comes to initiating change? (8:30) How has Abdul changed the culture of marking and feedback at The Olive Tree School? How has the integration of technology included parents in this process? (10:15) Which simple and reliable apps does Abdul’s school use to promote effective feedback? (12:21) What non-negotiable policies has Abdul introduced at his school? How does this help maintain a ‘critical mass’? (13:41) What is Abdul’s vision on printing and textbooks? How have digital technologies saved teachers time and saved the school money? (14:35) How does Abdul think that the introduction of technology has helped to decrease teacher workload? (19:00) What strategies does Abdul think are important in order to assist leaders with change? (20:00) How has Abdul changed the professional learning culture at his school? (22:25) How does Abdul measure the impact of change in his school? (24:30)

    Karen Prendergast is known for leading change at Corpus Christi College by developing a school-wide teaching and learning philosophy with the University of Southern Queensland. Karen speaks with us about the valuable factors which underpin a change in school culture.

    Here’s what we asked her:

    What is a school-wide pedagogy and why does Karen believe it is a necessary change for her school? (30:00) How does Karen ensure the whole college community has a say in the organisation’s change in culture? (31:25) What does Karen believe are the main challenges when implementing a change of culture in the college? (34:20) What advice would Karen give to leaders before they go about changing the teaching and learning culture in a school? (37:06) In change management, why does Karen believe it is important that staff set goals which align with the school’s strategic plan? (38:20) How does Karen believe goal setting is supported by growth coaching? (40:50)

    We hope you enjoy this episode of The Staffroom and find Abdul and Karen’s leadership vision as inspirational as we did.

    We wish Abdul and Karen all the best for 2018 and the development of their organisations.

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

  • 00:39:09

    Episode 5: The Learning Rainforest Tom Sherrington

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    In this week’s episode of The Staffroom, we were privileged to speak with former head-teacher, consultant, prolific blogger and author, Tom Sherrington.

    With a large online following, Tom is well-known across the world for his wise, balanced and practical ideas which he shares regularly on Twitter and on his well-known blog, teacherhead.com. In the episode, Tom speaks with us about his hugely popular book, The Learning Rainforest - an accessible text which takes look at the big-picture of great schools and the invaluable detail of what makes great teaching.

    We genuinely enjoyed chatting with Tom. His experience, insight and intellect shone throughout our interview.

    So, without further ado, here’s a break-down of our chat complete with time-stamps:

    How has Twitter and social media developed Tom as a leader? How has Tom’s blog grown over the years? (4:05) What does Tom’s metaphor, ‘The Learning Rainforest’ mean? Who is Tom’s book aimed at? (6:50) How does Tom break down his metaphor? What are the main three elements of the ‘rainforest tree’ and how are these explored in the book? (8:58) What does Tom see as the characteristics of a ‘plantation’ school environment and a ‘rainforest’ environment? (9:28) What does Tom believe are the main challenges for leaders aspiring to establish a rainforest thinking culture and ethos? (12:15) How does Tom feel about the debate between progressive (student-centred) and traditional (teacher-centred) approaches to teaching and learning? What are his views? (16:35) How does Tom believe we can strike a balance between traditional and progressive teaching? (19:50) What does Tom call, ‘Mode A’ and ‘Mode B’ teaching? (22:24) Why does Tom think it is important that we shift away from summative data tracking and move towards authentic formative assessment? (26:00) What is responsive teaching and what does Tom think this looks like in an effective ‘rainforest’ classroom? (29:15) What are the top three practical approaches Tom would recommend a new teacher to implement into their practice? (32:34)

    We hope you enjoy this episode of The Staffroomand find Tom’s educational philosophy as inspirational as we did. You can grab a copy of The Learning Rainforestwhich is available on Amazon now. We highly recommend you introduce this book to your school leaders, and plant the seeds for your own learning rainforest! Be sure to subscribe to Tom’s blogand follow him on Twitter @teacherhead.

    We wish Tom all the best for 2018 and the growing success of his blog and consultancy business.

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

  • 00:41:39

    Episode 4: Engagement Mindset Well-being with Dan Haesler

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    Show Notes:

    This week on The Staffroom we were lucky to chat with education expert, Dan Haesler from Sydney, Australia.

    With over 14,000 followers on Twitter, Dan is well-known across the Asia-Pacific region for his dynamic, energetic and passionate Keynote speeches on authentic classroom engagement, growth mindset and well-being. In this episode, Dan also speaks about his book #SchoolOfThought, a collection of blog-posts and essays which offer thought-provoking ideas and real-life insight into his experiences with students. We genuinely enjoyed chatting with Dan, finding his words open and honest and his ideas captivating.

    Here’s a break-down of our chat complete with time-stamps:

    What does Dan believe real (authentic) engagement actually looks like in schools? (3:50) What tips and advice can Dan offer to teachers who want to authentically engage their students in the classroom? (5:16) What kind of learning does Dan believe has a real sense of purpose and creates the conditions for authentic engagement? (9:00) Why is Dan an advocate for Phillip Schlechty’s ‘continuum of engagement’ and what are the main steps? (10:20) How does Dan believe we can pull-up ‘retreatist’, ‘passive’ and ‘ritualistic’ learners to higher levels of authentic engagement? (16:18) Why is Dan passionate about Carol Dweck’s work on growth mindset? (18:40) What are the five things Dan thinks teachers need in order to instil a growth mindset and build resilience in students? (20:54) What does Dan think are the main barriers within our schools and communities that have a negative impact on mindset? (26:48) Why is mental health and well-being so important to Dan? Why does he think anxiety is so common in students today? (28:30) How does Dan believe we can improve well-being in schools and in school communities? (34:13)

    We hope you enjoy this episode of The Staffroom and find Dan’s words as inspirational as we did. As always, we have a lot to take away from our chat – we discuss some top takeaways at the end of the episode. Like us, I know you will have a lot to think about.

    Go purchase a copy of Dan’s excellent book, #SchoolOfThoughtwhich is available internationally on Amazon and can be ordered in Australia from Dan’s website, danhaesler.com. All profits from the book go to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation who work in remote areas of Australia delivering books to hard-to-reach children. We wish Dan all the best for 2018 and the growing success of his business Cut Through Coaching and Consulting.

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2

  • 00:42:10

    Episode 3: Mark. Plan. Teach. Ross McGill @TeacherToolkit

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    Show Notes:

    In Episode 3 of The Staffroom we were privileged to speak with Ross McGill, known online and world-wide as @TeacherToolkit.

    We want to thank Ross McGill for being an excellent guest and sharing his expertise with us. We’re so excited to broadcast his ideas and perspectives to educators in Australia and worldwide. Being a new podcast, it’s a credit to him that he didn’t ask for listener figures or turn a blind-eye. He simply wanted to chat about education and his passion for having common sense approaches that reduce workload, save time and have a big impact on learning.

    Ross’ new book, Mark. Plan. Teach is built on research and psychology and evolved through social media connections and ongoing discussions. The book has been a huge success in the UK and offers punchy practical advice for teachers who are looking to keep it simple! In the podcast, Ross speaks at length about why working smarter, not harder is important for teachers in the current climate of accountability and increasing workload.

    In our 40-minute chat, we covered a lot of ground. Here’s a break-down complete with time-stamps:

    Why did Ross write Mark. Teach.and who is it aimed at? (5:30) Why does Ross emphasise quality not quantity? Why is working smarter, not harder his philosophy? (9:00) What are the demands of excessive teacher workload and what does Ross think about teacher wellbeing? (11:40) How does Ross think social media has widened teachers’ perspectives and developed opportunities for professional learning? (16:45) Why is Ross a massive advocate for verbal feedback? (18:40) How does Ross believe we can make learning ‘stick’ in the minds of students? (20:45) Which practical idea has made a real difference in Ross’ own classroom? (22:10) From Ross’ experience of lesson observations, what are the main qualities that all good teachers share? (24.20) What does Ross think it takes for good teaching to develop and thrive in a school? (27:20) Does Ross believe it is important for teachers to be familiar with educational research and cognitive psychology? (29:56) How can schools inspire a culture of good professional development? (33:01) What are Ross’ views on accountability and bureaucracy in education and does he believe mindsets will ever change? (weaved in throughout our chat)

    I hope you enjoy this episode of The Staffroom and find Ross’ words as inspirational as we did. At the end of the episode, we reflect on some takeaways which resonated with us from our conversation – like us, I’m sure you’ll have lots to ponder!

    Please, pick up a copy of Ross’ book, Mark. Plan. Teach which is available now on Amazon. It’s a fabulous ‘hand-book’ to share with your department and is practical enough to be used for professional development sessions. We wish Ross all the best for 2018 and the growing success of teachertoolkit.co.uk.

    Until next time!

    Jamie, Michael and Tessa.

    Twitter:

    @XpatEducator

    @Michael_Royall

    @tessa_johnson2