The Friday Mindset #70
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This is our penultimate newsletter, folks. We’re going to push on for one more week after this, so you’ll get an email on December 9th, but that’ll be it until 2023.
Why not a newsletter on December 16th, we hear you cry? Well, we tried that last year and two upsetting things happened… 1) No-one read it and 2) NO-ONE READ IT. That’s right, we put our collective hearts and souls into one final Christmas missive, and you lot couldn’t be arsed tearing yourself away from the mince pies to cast your eye across it *weeps silently*
Anyway, let’s be real for a second, it’s been a hell of a term and on the 16th we’ll all be heading home as fast as our Vauxhall Corsas can carry us. (We’ve all got Vauxhall Corsas, right?)
Enough of this nonsense. Let’s dive in.
Something to try…
It’s the start of a new month!
Time for the next of our monthly challenges.
Reminder to those who’ve missed earlier newsletters - each month of the academic year from September through to January we’ve chosen a theme and an accompanying challenge that we plan will become a focus for tutorials and discussions during the course of the month.
We thought the newsletter might be a good place to share what we came up with, so on the first week of each month, we’ll share the theme for the month and a short accompanying PowerPoint; the kind of thing you could present in a fifteen-minute tutorial session and then revisit for discussion and reflection as the month goes on.
September’s theme was The Environment Design Challenge, October’s was The 500 Minutes Challenge, November’s was Planning Beats Procrastination Challenge.
December marks the closing weeks of a full term of learning so we thought it might be a good time to review and consolidate that learning by introducing The Teaching as Learning Challenge.
Since there’s been a few issues with videos recently, the video is a separate link here. Hope that helps! (By the way, if you’ve missed a video and you’d like the clip, just get in touch at the usual address.)
A video used in the December challenge presentation
Something we’ve been reading…
We’ve come across an interesting article about time and attention management that caught our eye. It explores the Eisenhower Matrix, which most of us will know about and we covered inThe A Level Mindset, but what makes this different is that it’s specifically linked to teaching, so the four quadrants refer to jobs that we’ve all got on our plate - planning, marking, in-the-moment crises, emails. (It’s also the first time we’ve come across the pleasing phrase ‘administrivia’ so props to the writers for that one.)
This is more than just a quick productivity article on Medium, this is a really helpful, in-depth look at how to organise yourself as a teacher. If you have a recently-qualified colleague, or you’re mentoring someone, this could be a great way to encourage them to set themselves up differently in the new year. And of course, it could be a student-session too.
Here it is:
Our latest offer…
There’s still a chance to book yourself a tour of our online resources! Our IT guru, Tony will be running sessions on the VESPA platform from 3-5 pm every Tuesday and Thursday until Christmas. January is an ideal time to do the VESPA questionnaire with your students, so if you’d like to find out more about how it all works, book a session using the link below:
We’ve had a chat with Tony and here’s some other good news - he’s agreed to do all sessions in a festive hat for your entertainment*.
*This is not true.
And that’s it for this week, folks. We’re going to finish with a reminder of three things sitting in your urgent/important quadrant that you need to get done this weekend - (i) finish that Christmas shopping (ii) post all your cards and (iii) put a cheery string of tinsel round the gearstick of your Vauxhall Corsa. Ho ho ho.
All the best to you and yours,
Steve and Martin
p.s. treat yourself to a Christmas present -Steve’s new book is out now!
p.p.s. treat yourself to a new year’s present -Martin’s new book is out January 19th!