Name: Matt Connell
Home School: Allington Primary School
Position Held: Deputy Headteacher
SLE Specialism: Leadership of Continuing Professional Development, English, Leadership of Curriculum, Assessment for Learning (Marking)
What are your current responsibilities?
• Acting HT in the HT absence at school we are currently supporting.
• Curriculum leader
• Assessment Co-ordinator
• CPD leader
• Year 6 class teacher
Why have you chosen to become an SLE?
I am extremely passionate about education and feel that I have the skills and experience to help fellow colleagues, especially teachers, in a range of schools. As a current teacher in Year Six I ensure that I keep abreast of the most innovative practice and pedagogy in teaching today. This is through my collaboration with fellow professionals from around the world via Twitter and Teachmeet CPSD events. I also keep up to date with the latest books and publications on teaching from the likes of Ian Gilbert, Jim Smith and Phil Beadle. I am very keen to share this knowledge with teachers in my own school and other schools within our school partnership in Maidstone. I am excited to be a teacher at this moment in time as there is a real revolution in teachers taking the initiative with their CPD and being innovators in their classrooms. The use of the internet and personal learning networks (PLN’s) has really helped to expedite this movement.
What motivates me to help other teachers and leaders as an SLE is to share what works for the children in my class and how this can be replicated or amended to increase the progress of children in other schools. I see the classroom as a laboratory where new ideas should be trialled and risks taken as then we will equip our children to be independent, resilient and risk taking learners.
What are your areas of expertise? How might you be able to help the schools?
As Deputy Head teacher I have worked with colleagues sensitively to bring about sustainable improvements. I have also worked very closely with our subject co-ordinators and through positive discussions about how to drive their subjects forward, they have developed and grown their own leadership capacity.
My areas of expertise include:
• How to promote sharing good practice in schools through being an innovative CPSD leader
• Using Twitter and PLN’s to drive CPSD
• Teaching children how to peer mark successfully as well as to self-assess their writing effectively
• Effective marking strategies
• Using 'thunks' and diverse thinking strategies.
I am a very positive and enthusiastic leader and teacher. I lead by example and have very high expectations in everything I do. I am able to take teachers with me through my enthusiasm and having high expectations. I realise that going into a teacher’s classroom is a real priviledge, and I am always sensitive but am not afraid to challenge through coaching and the use of positive emotional intelligence.