As is so often the case with many things in life, not everything you plan for becomes reality. As a teacher, you work towards a weekly set of plans that focus on key areas of the curriculum – something which I have always believed, and still believe for the most part, to be the right approach to maintaining high teaching and learning standards! Personally, I need organization! I am somebody who likes the idea of planning ahead and knowing exactly what is being taught and when it needs to be taught. Throughout my relatively young life in education, I think it is fair to say that I have come to rely heavily on this framework of structure and rigidity.
Then, the last two years came along and…
Oh how things changed! Nowadays, I find myself becoming more appreciative of having a balance between flexibility and structure. Take the final project for my COETAIL course as an example of this. The original idea for my final project was to revamp and upgrade a science unit on Magnetism that allowed me to incorporate many of the different ideas and concepts that we had used throughout our time on the COETAIL course.
However, for a variety of reasons including time constraints, lack of originality, other science units needing to be taught first and an upcoming school inspection I have decided against using this unit as my COETAIL coup de grace. Instead I have gone for a completely new digital literacy unit that isn’t being taught by anyone else in my year group but is something I strongly believe needs to be shared with the children.
So my brand new final project will be based on (start the drum roll)… STORY TELLING! Now you may well ask “Why?” and “That’s not original considering we have a COETAIL course four unit based on this very same subject!”
And you would be correct! However, my answer to you would also include the following reasons for my choice:
- I recently heard a fellow COETAILer (who is based at our school) talk about the students at our school lacking storytelling skills.
- It is also has a lot to do with the fact that the new National Curriculum for History in England and Wales has placed a heavier emphasis on StoryTelling as a method for delivering historical content.
- I am really keen to encourage the students at our school to become more adept at creating, making and editing iMovie videos.
However, none of these are the main reason for my change of heart; the actual reason I have decided to change direction is because I started something and I liked it so much I thought I would use it as a final project.
The Organic Tale of a slightly Anal Teacher
Once upon a time a thirty-something, slightly overweight teacher decided that the children in his class would really benefit from having more time to mess around with the ipad App ‘iMovie’. After taking some time to ponder this issue, the rigid and slightly anal educator hit upon an idea that might just work. He would combine the student’s current English unit on quest myths with the ipad App ‘iMovie’ to create a storytelling unit that would provide the students with the perfect platform for retelling their own stories. And so after many days of pondering a plan was formed and this was what it looked like…