Welcome back and something new…

Hello again. My third blog comes at a time when the university has been restructured. So I cannot call this “HoP’s Highlights” as the University no longer has HoPs (Heads of Programme) and therefore I am no longer Head of programme for Primary Education. Am I therefore out of a job I hear you cry. No. I am now Director of Undergraduate Initial Teacher Education – a bit of a mouthful, I know. I do want to come and talk to each year group about what this means when we are all settled in, but for today, this means I need a new blog title, as “HoP’s Highlights” no longer works.

I wanted to keep the same feel and go for Director’s ‘something’ but, the only thing coming to mind so far is … ‘drivel’. Director’s Drivel ? (I do like alliteration). However I am not sure this is quite hitting the right note. Drivel it may be, but I do not want to advertise the fact.

So, a bar of chocolate for the best alliterative suggestion for a blog title. POLITE and witty suggestions to p.raymond@yorksj.ac.uk

Anyway, enough of this “drivel”. I was asked to give three top bits of advice for the new academic year. I am going to be rebellious and give four – the same four I have to the new first years at the end of Welcome Week, but expanded a little.

1. Work Hard
University is expensive. You have signed up for a full honours degree course and a professional course leading to Qualified Teaching Status (QTS). Balancing those two things and achieving your best in both requires hard work in the both the university based and school based course elements. Work hard and you will do your best and you will get the best value for your money.

2. Be professional
You are on professional course, embodied by the 2012 Teacher Standards which apply to you in university, in school and in wider life. Be careful about your conduct and attitudes in all of these spheres – real or electronic – and please give us no cause to take any action because of professional misconduct. You do not have to be a “goody two shoes” – just sensible and professionally aware. Which leads me to …

3. Have fun
Make new friends, maybe a life partner! Try new things (see item 2 above), join a society, learn a new skill, take up a new hobby. Be open to new ideas. Embrace the opportunities that university life has to offer. There is a long life of taxes and early mornings ahead of you so make the most of this wonderful time – it WILL be gone before you blink.

BUT – and most importantly …

Apply this to all of the above. Work hard but not to the exclusion of everything and everyone else. Be professional and keep your reputation safe. Have fun but not in a way that brings danger to you and others.

Remember we are here to support, encourage and challenge you and help you all to be the best that you can.

Ian Wilson

Currently working in higher education as a senior lecturer teaching primary mathematics, science and computing on the initial teacher education (ITE) programmes. I have a keen interest in e-pedagogy especially how technology and social media can be used to support teaching and learning.

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