A New Academic Year Begins

It’s 31st August. I woke and read with my morning coffee which is always my routine. I had a lazy breakfast while regarding my new running shoes nestled inside the shoe. But I put off their maiden run until tomorrow – today is the last day of the summer holidays, after all. I’m now sitting with a cup of Earl Grey tea and taking a short break from some research work: I’m working on my article about teacher talking time and it’s a collaborative effort with a friend and colleague.

I’ve never subscribed to the idea of making New Year’s resolutions. I think that because my life has always been dictated by the rhythms of the academic year, January feels like a very arbitrary time to make commitments to oneself. Instead, September seems like a much more meaningful starting point, and especially for the academic year ahead. This year, I’ve decided to share three objectives here: one with regards to my broader whole-school responsibilities, one connected to my own teaching, and one connected to my development. I can think of it as an accountability measure and will be able to report back on the success of my intentions.

First, I’m determined that this shall be the year in which I manage to make a link with a school in the UK so that our students have a real audience for communication. I’ve already made a contact with a teacher leading on MFL who is equally interested in the idea, so the next step is clear: making a concrete plan of what this link might look like, what kind of texts are students could share and how they could collaborate.

Second, and linking with the first, I want to explore different ways my students can present their productive work. I’m not reinventing the wheel here, but collaborative wikis, podcasts, video clips and performances are all things I’m thinking about to encourage my students to think about their audience and produce the highest quality of work they are capable of.

Third, this is the year for DELTA Module 3! I’ve been putting it off for long enough and as we are implementing change to our academic programme this term, it seems as good a moment as any to embark on the task of producing that project.

Let’s see how I do with these aims…

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