Thoughts of a newly qualified teacher

I’ve just completed my first month as a newly qualified teacher and am facing a personal and professional dilemma. There seems to be a constant tug-of-war in education between the teachers and the system informed by personal values and beliefs, professional integrity,institutional cultures, political ideologies and the media. Where do the learners feature in this?

I am currently working in FE with students with learning difficulties and am about to ask them how I can help them to fulfill their potential, to make their dreams come true and be happy. Am I nervous of the answers I will get? Will I be able to meet their expectations as I struggle with the limitations of schemes of work, qualification requirements, risk assessments and the spectre of inspection?

I want to introduce my students to inspirational people, to new experiences and to awe and wonder. I want to be the kind of teacher that can be creative, flexible and responsive. I want to show that I can do this without compromising my personal values or professional integrity.

If I can’t do this then I shouldn’t be a teacher – so I’m going to go for it. Watch out world!

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Am I a social entrepreneur?

In looking for the right words to use to describe myself in the virtual world I have decided on ‘social entrepreneur’. Thanks to Ashoka I think this sums me up.

Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change.

Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to take new leaps.

Social entrepreneurs often seem to be possessed by their ideas, committing their lives to changing the direction of their field. They are both visionaries and ultimate realists, concerned with the practical implementation of their vision above all else.

Each social entrepreneur presents ideas that are user-friendly, understandable, ethical, and engage widespread support in order to maximize the number of local people that will stand up, seize their idea, and implement with it. In other words, every leading social entrepreneur is a mass recruiter of local changemakers—a role model proving that citizens who channel their passion into action can do almost anything

Is this you and how can we create a movement to make a difference to young people given that we need them to be the social entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

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Enterprise or e…

Enterprise or employability what”s the big ‘E’ this year. As someone who has worked in enterprise education for the past 5 years – 2 years today self-employed – I am constantly engaging in conversations with employers about employability and how we develop it in young people. So what’s wrong with enterprise – sounds like a capitalist concept that encourages young people to make money or it’s that thing we did on the last day of term miss – it was fun but don’t know if I learned anything. Does it matter what we call it – ultimately we are concerned with ensuring that young people have the skills, knowledge and character to reach their potential, to make a positive contribution to society, to achieve economic well-being and above all  BE HAPPY.

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