This week I visited Greig City Academy to meet Ross McGill (@TeacherToolkit) and as a relative newbie to the twittersphere I was keen to meet the most followed teacher and writer of the most influential blog on education in the UK!
We started the visit with a tour of the school and it was immediately clear that Ross was every bit as passionate about education in school as he comes across online.
Driving innovation and raising standards
As a senior leader, he has responsibility for driving innovation and raising standards in learning and teaching at his school, but it seemed to me that for Ross this was more a pleasure than an obligation.
“It’s about creating a culture in the school where everyone is dedicated to achieving excellence. Great teaching isn’t complicated, it’s about getting the simple things right. It’s about honesty, integrity, openness and having a drive to improve.”
Ross stressed the importance of balancing Ofsted and Government accountabilities with creativity and innovation as the best way to really improve standards in the classroom. As with many others, Ross is thrilled that Ofsted will no longer be grading individual lessons!
Teachers as researchers
I feel it seems an opportune time to now utilise evidence-based, research-driven classroom practice across schools.
According to Ross, when raising standards in learning and teaching across a whole school, the key focus should be on enabling and inspiring all staff to develop as great teachers. But, what does a ‘great teacher’ look like now? What CPD options really work? With so many people pushing different theories and styles of teaching, Ross’s advice is for all teachers to engage seriously with research, go looking for innovation and introduce it effectively into lessons to drive pupil progress.
Teachers as researchers, driving evidence-based learning in their classrooms could very well be the best form of CPD!
Ross summarised the current debate in his inimitable style; “perfection is a myth but excellence is a habit”.
By Suruthi Bala – Conference Producer, Optimus Education