Mary Myatt's Blog

things I notice in schools

Moto Guzzi and me

August 25, 2013

When I learnt to ride my Guzzi (the bad boys who taught me rhymed it with fuzzy) I had to know a few things even though it was basically a skill. Like how to turn it on, where the gears were, where the petrol tank was. Oh, and what the gear change does. This didn’t matter until it broke in Amsterdam and I had to find someone to replace it on a Sunday. I couldn’t, so rode it back to Suffolk in third gear. I also had to learn how to balance it and how not to drop it. Because if I’d dropped it, I wouldn’t have been able to pick it up. So that was top priority. As far as the Guzzi went, I needed knowledge and skills. Otherwise I was road-kill.

There’s always someone upline…

October 25, 2013

The peeps up the food chain are paid to check we are broadly on track. Now I don’t believe in making extra work for anyone. In fact, I spend a lot of time helping colleagues focus on the core business. Learning. Non negotiable. And, surprise surprise, when we prioritise the reasons why we are teaching stuff, focus a beam on learning and think imaginatively, what follows is less work for teachers. And more for students and pupils. Good thing too. Second thing is that I try and make sure I don’t make more work for anyone who is helping me. This means I meet admin deadlines on time. And I try not to ask anyone to do anything at short notice.

However, back to the original point. I work confidently to my strengths but am aware that some of my practice needs to be tighter. I rely on those senior to me to point this out to me, to expect me to get it sorted and most importantly to improve my practice.

red2013: five things I’ve learnt

September 08, 2013

One, the teaching community is doing things for itself. Good thing too. The top down, often stifling messages from the national strategies, local authorities and quangos mean that the hierarchies of command and control in terms of professional knowledge have largely disappeared. And like the wood after a storm, the great trees have been felled. New growth, vibrant, energetic and full of sap is rising to take its place.Two, that the principles of research from other disciplines have much to tell us. But not everything. Tom Bennett has written about dodgy research, with flimsy evidence bases which have gained currency. Anyone reading Teacher Proof will be armed with the right questions, if they weren’t already. The argument to draw on other professional modus operandi is powerful. But I had a real sense today that the community will use its professional wisdom to distil what it needs. And to dump what it doesn’t.