I am Tait Coles and this is how I work
Current job: Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning at Temple Moor High School in Leeds, from June I will be Vice Principal for Learning and Innovation at Dixons City Academy in Bradford.
Been a teacher since: 2004
Current mobile device: A very old iPhone 3. As one of my ‘very confident’ Year 9 students told me, as I was looking at my phone on duty one day: “Sir, its 2013; change your phone!”
Current computer: MacBook Pro
One word that best describes how you work: Passionately
How do you manage your calendar/diary?
Old skool! I use my School planner
How do you manage your lesson planning?
Now, I’m not being deliberately controversial here, but I rarely write down what I’m going to do. As I was told once by a great friend: “Don’t take notes, take action”. I know what outcomes I want my students to achieve and I have a very agile approach as to how they can achieve them. The majority of my lessons involve Punk Learning anyway, where my students are having complete control of their learning.
How do you manage your marking?
A huge emphasis in my classroom is on critique, so much of the lessons are spent with students critiquing each others work. I also ensure that I am giving my students constant verbal feedback during the lessons. Of course I do mark! For BTEC Science classes I tend to mark and assess the work with the student along side me, as I believe that helps them understand what they’ve achieved and what they need to do to improve.
What’s your best tip for term-time weekends?
Enjoy them, because they go quick!
What do you do during school holidays?
Relax! For me, it’s a time to consolidate and reflect on what you’ve achieved. It’s also a time to generate new ideas and get inspired. I’m reading a lot at the moment, especially in the holidays. I haven’t read a book on Pedagogy for a while, I tend to get my inspiration from other sources. I am currently reading Jon Savage’s “England’s Dreaming”
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
What’s your main workspace like?
Minimal! I don’t tend to be in my office during the school day much
What do you listen to while you work?
BBC Radio 6 Music
What’s your best time-saving trick?
Don’t put things off, get them done straight away.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I make a good brew!
What’s your sleep routine like?
Very good thank you!
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
I guess I’m an extrovert
I would like to I’d like to see Darren Mead, Pete Jones, Kenny Pieper and Lisa Jane Ashes answer these same questions.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
This is one of my favourite quotes from one of my inspirations. I think about this almost every day “Authority is supposedly grounded in wisdom, but I could see from a very early age that authority was only a system of control and it didn’t have any inherent wisdom. I quickly realised that you either became a power or you were crushed” Joe Strummer
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Well, if I can have a shameless plug for my book…
Many thanks to Tait for agreeing to post here.