My aims for next year (2020-21)

On Tuesday, this rollercoaster academic year drew to a close. What a year it has been! At the start of every summer, I like to reflect on the year gone by and set targets for the upcoming one. In fact, I’m normally on our PTA Overseas Trip at this time of year, and I have been known to write these posts on the flight! But there is no PTA trip or any other kind of travel for me this summer. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to relaxing and recharging. Working on these targets will keep me busy if I get bored!

These are the ten priorities that spring to mind for next year:

Establish myself as the CAS and Innovation Lead

I have a new role next year: the CAS and Innovation Lead. This is a new position at my school and I’m looking forward to making it my own, working with my colleagues across the school and having an impact. Over the next few weeks, I plan to write much more detailed blog posts about this, so I won’t write too much at this point. Keep an eye on my blog for more information.

Apply to the Apple Distinguished Educator Program

The ADE Program opens every two years and the next one is coming up, the Class of 2021. I’m fortunate enough to work with some inspiring ADEs. In fact, my friend and colleague, Ryan Krakofsky, has just been accepted as an Apple Professional Learning Specialist. I’m also connected with many ADEs in my Hong Kong network and online. In November, I attended the ADE Conference 2019 in Hong Kong and was blown away by the people, the products and Apple’s emphasis on creativity in education.

I never applied previously because I wasn’t ready. In previous cohorts, I was relatively unfamiliar with some Apple products. But I have learnt a lot in the past two years, not only about the products but how to utilise them for enhanced teaching and learning. I still have a lot that I want to learn before the applications open, but I feel ready and I’m going to go for it!

Continue video editing

During the period of remote learning, I wanted to upskill in the area of video editing so that I could make engaging video lessons and messages for my students. I learnt how to use some advanced features of iMovie to create fun content. I wanted to take it further.

Later in the term, it was announced that my school would have its first ever Teacher Talent Show. After the fun of creating videos for my students, I saw this as an opportunity to keep learning and to take video editing to the next level. I used the much more advanced Adobe Premiere to create the fun tricks below. The video is the result of a lot of failures, frustrations and learning. I’m proud of the progress that I have made and I’ve had a lot of fun along the way, so I plan to continue learning and exploring new tools like Final Cut Pro.

Oh, and I didn’t win the talent show. Shambolic, I know.

Continue to work on my book

This was a target last year and great progress has been made. I’m not going to say anything else apart from… watch this space!

Adapt to my new grade

I have absolutely loved being the Head of Year Four and I’ve learnt so much from that leadership journey. The downside was that I was in Year Four for all of the six years that I have been in Hong Kong. My new role has given me the flexibility to move around and I’m excited to be working in Year Three next year. Although it isn’t a huge jump, it’s the youngest grade that I have ever taught and I’m sure that it will be a learning curve. I’m really looking forward to it!

Present more and lead more workshops

An ongoing target of mine is to present more. I try to take as many opportunities as I can throughout the year. This year, as you can imagine, has disrupted this. And it’s unclear when gatherings, events and conferences will get back to normal. I have moved this target online, which is fine, but I hope to be presenting in-person again very soon. That’s the nerve-wracking part that I aim to overcome.

Launch and maintain the Empowered Digital Leaders online course

The main focus of my Google Innovator project was always about creating an online course to help teachers to be digital role models and to promote digital leadership. I started by creating a brand, website and blog (Media By Example). I will continue to work on this. But the big part, the course, is a more immediate target. This is a collaborative effort with Jennifer Casa-Todd and we are aiming to launch the course this month, after lots of work behind the scenes! We will invite new cohorts throughout the year. Again, more information will be shared on here in the near future. So keep an eye out, especially if you’d like to be in the first cohort! Coming soon!

Establish a blogging routine in my classroom

I have recently done some research into blogging platforms that are specifically designed for students. This was so that I could provide the information on the Media By Example website. It got me thinking about the benefits of blogging as a process for reflecting, consolidating and learning. My goal is to set up individual student blogs for those who are interested, as well as a class blog that everybody can contribute to. These will offer spaces for students to share their learning and practice digital leadership, as well as offering a space for keeping parents informed.

Graduate with a master’s degree

Last year, my target was to prioritise my MA Ed distance learning course, something that I struggled with due to other exciting, distracting projects and initiatives (as you can see from this blog post alone!). I failed miserably with this target! I guess that I’m stretching myself too thin and I don’t really apologise for focusing on the projects that are a lot more exciting to me. But I’m nearing the end and, at least for the final stretch, I’ll give it my all.

Learn lessons from remote learning

We’ve just finished a very challenging year but the silver lining is that we have learnt so much! Not just as a school, but as a profession. It would be a terrible shame to just go back to normal after COVID has been addressed. It has shone a light on education and allowed us to take a step back. On a personal level and with my school, I aim to reflect on this year and consider elements of teaching and learning that we should introduce, things to continue and also parts of our practice that we should reconsider.

Speaking of COVID, I urge everybody to stay safe and vigilant. Look after yourselves and let’s hope for a more stable year! I appreciate you all for supporting me and my blog for yet another school year. Thank you!

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  1. I just really want to learn more. I work in a Special Educational Needs school. It was a shock to try and implement virtual learning in our school. We had no training; we just had to figure it out! It’s great to see so much educators sharing and encouraging each other.

    1. Hi Jahseen,

      I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for you and your SEN students. You’re right – the teaching community has been amazing. It has been great to see everyone pull together.

      What exactly are you looking for? Perhaps I can make some PD suggestions for you.



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