Sunday, 9 February 2014


I've blogged about Steve Anderson's Web connected classroom blog before but his latest post really resonated with me.

The post, entitled 3 Things We Need To Remember For Every Professional Development, talks about the importance of CPD but relevant, engaging and fun CPD!
As one of my main reasons for doing the BAPP course was to give me an opportunity to develop as a professional I feel it important to voice how the structure of the BAPP course incorporates those three topics (relevant, engaging, fun) to give each person a tailor-made experience with opportunity to find out and gain knowledge in whatever direction is most important to their practice and the self.

As the R.A.D. begin their first year of compulsory CPD hours it is vital that teachers speak up for what they need or want to develop. As Steve Anderson says, doing something just to get the credits means everyone ends up losing.
I remember when I spoke to the I.S.T.D. about my approach to gaining credits for entry on to the BAPP course I was advised to take the RoL route as gaining credits through the I.S.T.D. would mean taking courses I had already studied. Wise words indeed. Reviewing my learning not only gave me insight into my strengths but also highlighted my weaknesses, something I was then able to focus on during the course.

So why am I writing this blog?
I think what I'm trying to say is that even though completing the  CPD requirements every year may seem like a huge expense and time consuming, a little bit of reflection and forward planning about my own needs, wants and desires as a practitioner will give me an excellent place from which to ensure the CPD I undertake is relevant, engaging and fun!

Friday, 24 January 2014

done but not finished

Module three is completed but as we all know, the journey isn't finished. I've already lookedat taking my study further as I'm proud of what I have achieved and eager not to go back to a static position in both my personal and professional life. I've also found a desire to expand my current practice so whether it's another course or a new role I hope to press forwards.
It was a real treat to see other presentations and to see the passion and commitment people have to their practice/careers. I wish everyone all the best S x

Monday, 20 January 2014

Oral presentation 2

Here's a copy of my prezi presentation:

I wanted to share it and get feedback on how people find it before my presentation on Thursday morning. If you have time to have a look and comment I'd be really grateful.

The content of each bubble represents an aspect of my inquiry - the first section shares the process from my questions to my findings, the second section shares what has changed in my practice in light of these findings and over the last 18 months.

I chose a prezi template called 'balance' as I felt it showed how all the aspects of the inquiry process and my practitioner development are related and highlights the need for 'balance' in order to create good teaching practice.

My presentation talk will obviously flesh out the aspects contained within these bubbles, but I have included all the main and important aspects of my inquiry and development to present in slide form so as to not overload the presentation with huge amounts of reading.

I'm looking forward to seeing all the other presentations on Thursday morning and hope that everyone enjoys this last part of the course.

Please comment if there are things that don't work for you as the viewer - the presentation needs to reflect my audience as much as it reflects me!

Good luck everyone.


Friday, 10 January 2014

Oral presentation 1

I've taken most of this week to focus on the new school term and for the joy that is paperwork, accounts, etc.! Now it's time to consider the last component of this module - the oral presentation.

Paula has linked to some of her previous blogs in her latest post:

The things I have noted and will take on board as I start to put my PowerPoint presentation together are:
• 1 slide per minute -so if my maths is correct that's roughly 10 slides for the 10 minute presentation.
• keep it simple, clear and don't over-word the slides
• think of what you think the audience will find most interesting
• like the review, talk about what was important and what it means to practice and to the future you

I'm planning to get going on things this weekend but a few thoughts already on what to include are:
• what motivates my adolescents in order to develop my practice and, at the same time, give students a better experience of dance
• the only way to do this was through asking my students what motivates them and what doesn't
• develop my knowledge of motivation theory to allow for analysis of my students thoughts and writing
• my findings included atmosphere, being in control and considered on their own merits and the teachers approach and manner
• this led to my website or edublog that hopes to share ideas and literature relevant to the topic of motivating students but also a place for me to continue developing as practitioner.
• it has changed my outlook both professionally and in a much more personal way:
  ○ awareness, approach, understanding, appreciating,          developing - all words that are now high on my list when  teaching
  ○ accepting, letting go, sharing, trust, active not passive - all words that are now high on my list in my personal life

I am really looking forward to seeing other presentations, it's been so tantalising to read everyone else's blogs that only give hints and snippets about the inquiry.

Good luck, everyone

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Let auld acquaintance (not) be forgot

It's nearly the end of 2013 and the end of my BAPP experience too. It's been hard work but in a good sense, and I really feel that I've changed for the better.

My report is nearly ready for submission and although I will never be completely happy with it - another aspect of my personality I'm working on (see Schwartz, 2004) - I believe I have found a voice and represented my students honestly and with respect. I have exercised restraint over what I have included and ruthless in what I have taken out and what is left is that which is of the greatest importance to me. I have taken time to improve on my shortcomings from the last module assignment and considered both the reader (in the flow and the structure) and myself (in the content) to produce what I feel speaks to my own practice and to others.

My artifact is also something I can honestly say would not have been possible for me 18 months ago. The thought of putting something of mine in the public arena and inviting people to comment and critique would have been unbearable. This shows me how much I  have grown. I won't deny it, I'm still concerned that it's not good enough or too simple or lame or... (insert childish taunt here) but I'm in a better place to discuss, reflect and address any problems I might encounter.

My students have been inspiring in their honesty and enthusiasm during my inquiry and I know I have taken on board some of the things they spoke (or wrote) about. They weren't at all selfish in their responses - I want, I want, etc. - they just spoke about what can go right or wrong in a dance class and how it makes them feel. I know that we cannot speak about truth as an absolute but in this case I will make an exception - I know that my teenagers are the best! They are bright, clever, generous, kind and supportive. And I know that my choices as a dance teacher should reflect this. My new mantra is now:

Those who can't, teach. Those who can, facilitate.

In other words I need to give my students the best opportunity for fulfilling their potential not by trying to push syllabus, technique, style, skills at them but by helping them to be able to take what they need, when they need it. Easy? No - it'd be much less effort to put on the music and go through the exercises. Worth it? Do you even need to ask! I'm not in it for the money, glory or status but to share something of the joy that dance has given me over the last 33 years. This course has woken me up, given me new energy and ideas and made me realise that, even when I'm at the end of my tether, I love what I do. 

Finally, the title of this blog reflects my wish to keep in contact with all the friends I have met and made on this journey. I don't think it would have been half the fun or half the learning experience without you. I'd also like to thank everyone who has supported me and given up their time to talk, debate, read, and give feedback. I am forever grateful and would like to wish you all a happy and successful New Year that contains as much happiness and love as you can possibly cram into 12 months.



Schwartz, B. 2004. The Paradox of Choice: why more is less. Harper Collins: London.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Summary of my project findings - a haiku (of sorts)

so much amazing
data to be analysed
where can I begin?

students shared thoughts,
experiences, ideas
on motivation

so many years spent,
so much time and commitment
and reasons to dance

some talked of passion
of challenge and achievement
some talked of status

four themes emerging
atmosphere, choice, belonging,
and feedback - my terms

theory added
autonomy, competence
relatedness too

my conclusion then?
the best gift a teacher gives:


P.S. I know it's a bit more than 100 words but that's what artistic license is all about!

Sunday, 15 December 2013


I've always been one for a good story, whether it's in visual, verbal or written form. Tales of humour, tragedy, love and life are important to me, they fuel my imagination, my sense of wonder and pique my interest.

This thought was inspired by a post on Facebook from Timeout:
Such beautiful images that all draw me in, wishing to find out more about the lives of the subjects and forming stories of what came before and after the image was capture.

It created a mental connection to something that I have been reflecting on during my (many) attempts to write up my analysis of findings - the need to tell my students story through my writing. It's not just words, it's peoples thoughts and experiences. I owe them honesty, respect and a degree of humility in the way I make my report.
As I said in my blog update yesterday, it's time to stop trying to be clever or smart or anything other than true to myself. The story is enough.