Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Looking back on 2015

It's always good to look back at the end of a year and see where my thoughts have been over the past 12 months.  As an international educator, it's not surprising that around 50 of my posts this year have been about various aspects of teaching and learning and international education.  As I've taken on a leading role in the Global Recruitment Collaborative, quite a few posts have also been about recruitment and the trend towards online recruitment rather than going to job fairs.  I've been involved in an R&D Task Force on recruitment as well - more about this when the report is published next year.

2014 saw a huge surge in interest in coaching, following my initial 4 day training in London in Cognitive Coaching and the establishment of a tech integration coaching model at ASB.  During 2015 I consolidated this by attending the final 4 days of the foundation course, and went on to do the advanced coaching training over the summer holidays.  This was also complemented by Adaptive Schools training in the Fall.  Overall I'm seeing a huge benefit to coaching, enabling teachers to become more thoughtful and self-directed about their own professional growth.

Research and Development, creativity and Design Thinking have all been subjects that I've blogged extensively about over the past year as well.  I'm fascinated by trends in the world and how education will need to change in order to stay relevant.  Along with these I notice I'm continuing to blog about the IB, the PYP and about leadership.

My most popular posts for readers, however, have been rather different.  The rest of this post will highlight the posts I've written over the past year that have been read and shared the most.  The overwhelmingly most popular post has been on Flipped Learning.  Following a presentation at ISTE in June 2015, I blogged about a session I attended by Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams that related Flipped Learning to Bloom's Taxonomy.

On my return to school in July, one of our Teaching Assistants shared her excitement about a workshop she did about reading comprehension over the summer.  She wanted to share her resources about the role technology can play in monitoring reading comprehension.  The one post I made about this obviously resonated with readers around the world, and this post has been shared and viewed more than 3500 times.

One of our summer holidays reads this year was To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink.  Reflecting on this book led me to write a post about perspective and empathy, which also was shared thousands of times.  It was interesting to consider these two words, since perspective is something we talk about a lot in coaching as it is a cognitive capacity involved in thinking, and empathy is a PYP attitude, but also an emotional response.  I wanted to explore how these two tied together and to acknowledge that both are crucial.

Finally the last post I want to share in this post, which also received a lot of views and shares was the one about what neuroscience can teach us about coaching.  I wrote this one following the Advanced Cognitive Coaching training in Genoa in the summer.

Thanks to all the readers of this blog who have continued to support me over the past year.  For now, I'm looking forward to what 2016 will bring.  It's hard to think that this little reflective blog, started only to keep myself sane and moving forward as a a professional during a pretty bleak part of my career, has flourished and bloomed into something quite amazing.

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