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Best of both worlds: Estelle’s journey in a pioneering role - Oct 19

Author: e.ashman

The last month has been a whirlwind for Digital Schoolhouse. We have celebrated Ukie’s 30th Birthday, wowed games industry guests with DSH activities at Ukie’s Members Day, had our first Ingenuity days for our new and continuing lead teachers and ran three days of specialist game development training for teachers, together with our friends at Tech Pathways, BAFTA YGD and Construct 3.

The Ingenuity days have always been a highlight of my school year and it has been interesting seeing them from the other side. Our DSH lead teachers were split into two groups, new and existing teachers, and each group had their own day. It was brilliant being able to share the new resources that I have been working on for the last few months with our teachers and see how exited they were about bringing them into their classrooms. I had a moment of imposter syndrome as I presented to the new teachers, to them I am the ‘expert’ DSH Curriculum Content Developer and I felt nervous, yet in contrast, speaking to our existing teachers felt like presenting to peers as I have worked with them as a lead teacher myself for the last four years. The feedback on the new resources has been fantastic from new and existing alike and I can’t wait to see how they are used in the classroom.

The biggest challenge with having so much going on this month has been balancing my teaching and DSH roles. My school has been fantastic in letting me move my teaching days around – some degree of flexibility is definitely one of the advantages of teaching primary rather than secondary – yet I am aware that there is a limit to how often I can do this; I have already had to turn down one opportunity to attend a conference as it clashed with my teaching commitments and I wasn’t allowed to move another teaching day this term. I must admit I felt a little put out that I was having to turn down an opportunity that would have been possible if my original request for my teaching days to be Monday and Tuesday had been honoured. I have since noticed that events tend to fall on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, and have requested again that my teaching days be Monday and Tuesday next year, this has been agreed in principle and, providing this goes ahead, should make balancing my two roles much easier going forward.

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