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MirandaNet Fellowship Profiles (MirandaNet Archive - as of March 2015)
I graduated from Sofia University with BA in English Language and Literature. I taught in Bulgaria for 6 years across the age groups from nursery to postgraduates. My husband was asked to work for a company in London to establish the then in vogue East-West links. I followed him, thinking that it would be a very temporary arrangement.
Meanwhile I finished a MA course in Psycholinguistics and obtained my QTS. I have been working in inner city schools for 6 years now and have climbed sowly through the ranks.
Now I am a member of the SMT of a big primary school and all the responsibilities that goes with the title are avelanching over me, e.g. staff development, weekly information bulletine, child protection, staffing, achievement, etc. Not to mention Yr 6 teacher that needs to perform miracles to meet the targets of SATS within a school of 97% EAL children, 84% Free school dinners and a huge mobility. Yet, we are not bottom of the league table in Hackney thanks to a dedicated team of teachers. My firm belief is that all our children despite their disadvantages, deserve a good education and a chance in life.
We were the first cohort of the NGfL. We bought 16 computers and set up a computer suite in a school where computers and ICT as a subject were practically non-existant. We timetabled every class for 2 half-hourly sessions every week. We developed a Scheme of work which took in account the importance of building ICT skills as well as using them throughout the curriculum. Teachers became more and more confident in using the ICT room, and were never allowed to forget their computer slots, because the children reminded and demanded to go there. We made a significant progress building on our staff ICT skills and expertise by organising after school teachers' workshops, where we shared good practise and little computer "tricks". It was a success story until the technical problems started. We had a server that linked all the iMacs.
We became part of the Hackney intranet. However, using a server brought a whole lot of problems which neither I, nor anyone else was trained or had the time and expertise to address. We kept being reminded that in secondary schools a specially trained person is employed to solve the problems, but a primary school has no financial or human resourses to do it. We became part of the Hackney EAZ and that worked until all the other schools in the zone turned to PCs and we became the one of two schools with iMAcs, which was very difficult to support technically centrally. We have missed out of things like the Espresso which the other EAZ schools had installed free of charge. However we were told that Espresso does not work on iMacs. They are still looking into the problem. We have constant problems with the intranet and there we are told it is our fault, because the errors accur only in iMac schools.
Recently we bought another lot of 16 iMacs, which we put in the computer room and moved the old ones into classes linking them all on our server, so there will be continuity between the work done in the ICT room and in the classrooms. We bought a Smart board which we thought would improve the teaching of ICT skills in the ICT room. However we had technical problems connecting it to the iMacs.
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