2022: A Year On Teacherhead Road

It’s been an incredible year for me professionally. I feel very fortunate to be able to engage with so many schools and to have the opportunity to work with some fabulously talented collaborators. This post is my way of capturing some of it, celebrating many of the people I’ve had the privilege to work with. I can’t record everything, so I’ve made a selection for each month to represent some of the work I’ve been doing this year, along with my favourite blog post from the same period.

January

Improving Teaching Programme – working with John Tomsett:

John and I have devised a programme where we’ve been into schools together on three days a few weeks apart, observing lessons with leaders and exploring how their CPD and/or coaching systems work to support teachers, linked to the Walkthrus materials. Each day ends with a training session with teachers. It’s been absolutely brilliant and we’ve met some fabulous people – always hugely inspiring. Hopefully we’ve been able to offer useful support to schools working hard on this important work.

In January we were in Southport… we’ve also been to Manchester, Sheffield, Rutland, Hastings, Dover, Milton Keynes, Hyde.. with more to come.

February

The Walkthrus-John Catt Partnership

Walkthrus wouldn’t exist without the amazing work and support of Alex, Jonathan and the team at John Catt Ltd. In February we met on roof of the Hodder offices by the river in London for a two-day planning session setting out our long-term partnership. Here’s our ‘boy band reunion album’ photo.

March

The highlight this month was the publication of Walkthrus Volume 3. The culmination of our two and half-year process, involving a host of amazing contributors. Such a joyful process and wonderful to see the books finally come real after all the hours of talking and writing.

Below, are images from another new departure: our first training session with Walkthrus Trainers, hosted in partnership with Haringey Education Partnership. 40 schools have now had training via one of these trainers – brilliant enthusiastic people. HEP, through the utterly brilliant Fran Hargrove and Nat Hussein, are now formal partners with Walkthrus to deliver our training and various other elements of our membership support offer.

Another highlight – March was busy! – was having the opportunity to record the audiobook for The Learning Rainforest. It was a strangely enjoyable intense three days reading my words in a tiny booth. So far about 500 people have bought a copy which is way more than I expected.

April

A big feature of my work has been delivering training days – I must have done over 25 days like this this year plus lots of shorter sessions and zoom days. I love the whole energy of it – a big room full of people talking about teaching. This day was lovely – a couple of primary schools in the LETTA MAT in East London with teachers and TAs all in together. A classic Rosenshine day.

May

Here I’m pre-recording one of many zoom sessions as part of an ongoing project with the fabulous people in the Primary section of Bangkok Patana – a huge primary school by any standards. Under the leadership of the fabulous Mark Verde, they’ve been doing superb work on instructional coaching and it’s been great fun supporting them from afar.

The publication of two books in the In Action series in May completed the first wave of eight books. I’m proud to be the editor of this series.. and it was fabulous to see Singh and Oliver/David/Emma’s books come to life. I don’t have to do much except offer the occasional steer and lots of encouragement.

June

A major highlight of the whole year was the Walkthrus Launch/Celebration party held on the Hodder rooftop in June. All our contributors were invited along with our family and friends and it was just the most wonderful celebration of our collective endeavour. Our full-size Walkthrus characters made an appearance.

July

July was the month of two spectacular events – the Education Festival at Wellington and the Steplab conference on Instructional Coaching at Oasis Academy, Southbank. As well as giving our own presentations – always a real honour and a thrill – it was just brilliant to meet some proper legends in our coaching/CPD world: Jim Knight, Sarah Cottingham, Josh Goodrich, Ollie Lovell…. Subsequent collaborations have been developing with each of them since.

August

I now never do any work at all in August – so the only thing to report was a lovely summer planning day with Oliver. He got his post-its out and we started planning an over-haul of our website which we’re still working on. Days with Oliver are my very favourite days. It’s soul-food.

September

It’s always a brilliant start to the year, going to the ResearchEd National Conference. This time it was at Parliament Hill School in Camden. A fabulous event – every session I attended was gold.

In September I spent time with lovely teachers and leaders from the IES group in Sweden. I enjoyed the discussions and their whole approach to collaboration across the group.

The blog below contains the free downloadable booklet I made with David Goodwin. He turned my Five Ways posts into superb one-pagers and this booklet has them all. It’s been downloaded nearly 50,000 times!

Five Ways To.. the Booklet

Following the demand for our Five Ways one-pagers, David Goodwin and I have made them into one downloadable booklet. Here it is as a pdf for you to download and print out as you wish. The individual…

October

In October we launched a large Walkthrus system project with Brighter Futures for Children involving over 40 schools in the Reading area. This is one of several ongoing projects where groups of schools in an area share the journey of implementing CPD and coaching programmes built using Walkthrus. The techniques, shared language and common purpose are a powerful set of drivers.

Below are images from a brilliant trip to Frederick in Maryland. First was the superb ResearchFRED event hosted and organised by Meg Lee and her colleagues. Then I had two days with the awesome FCPS team talking Rosenshine, Walkthrus and evidence-informed PD. A wonderful trip .

November

Probably the biggest highlight of the whole year was my trip to Australia, working with Simon Breakspear. We had 600 people across three events in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, talking about professional growth cultures and processes for running superb professional learning in schools. The response was amazing. Working with Simon was a real joy – and it was great to meet so many fab people including Bron Ryrie Jones, fellow edu-consultant trainer and Simon’s co-author on Teaching Sprints.

December

For December, I want to highlight the amazing year Emma Turner and I have had on our Mind the Gap podcast. We interviewed so many great guests and learned that each episode averages around 1800 listeners and we’ve reached over 50 countries. We love doing it – and we’re grateful to Sean at MindRocket media for producing the shows so well.

A final highlight of the year was working with MakeMatic video productions, to create some animated videos for Walkthrus. The whole process was a joy from start to finish. Great people, fabulous end product.

The final blogpost represents hours of work by the great people at Chiltern Learning Trust. We made a set of videos using Walkthrus – it was a great idea by Sufian Sadiq and Nadine Cotton, executed superbly.

Thanks to everyone who has played a part in making this year such a wonderful adventure.

Happy Holidays.

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