Over the last few years as an AST in Hampshire I have consistently been booked for over 90% of my outreach time.
During my AST day I have
• Carried out ICT inset days on blogging, podcasting, programming, spread sheets, databases, interactive whiteboards, learning platforms and e-safety (Between 10-15% of my time)
• Advised schools on how to replace or renew their existing hardware and software. Providing a comprehensive network review and talking through options before recommending a range of quality educational providers with a proven track record in Hampshire.
• Worked with ICT managers to refresh or redesign their ICT curriculums
• Worked with teachers, either individually or in groups, to train and then model good ICT teaching practice.
• Run seminars at County events promoting innovative ICT that benefits the wider curriculum
In my evenings under the umbrella of my AST job but often in my own time I have
• Run numerous esafety sessions for parents
• Led staff meetings and twilight training for schools
In my own time I have
• Created a video help file website and many of the help videos on the site. The site averages 12,000 hits per month
• Published all of my planning online as a starting point for schools wishing to improve ICT
I just want to thank the previous government that allowed ordinary teachers, like me, to follow our passions with a wider group of schools than just our own whilst allowing me to stay being a teacher. I also want to thank Hampshire County Inspectors who have consistently valued ASTs and supported our continued use. The feedback I often got as an AST was that teachers appreciated that our ideas were ones that had been tested in class. I will not miss the title Advanced Skills Teacher as I often felt it put me on a pedestal. In Primary Education I am only too aware that I might be an expert in ICT but still need the help and encouragement of my fellow professionals in lot of other areas of teaching. I will of course work hard for any remaining time I have left on the scheme and will continue to help schools in the much reduced time available afterwards. I won't reflect on the value of the AST scheme but it is interesting to note that myself and my fellow ICT ASTs in Hampshire have a very full schedule.
An article about ASTs would not be complete without mentioning Jon Audain and Emma Goto, my fellow primary ICT ASTs. It has always been a wonder to me that we have complemented each other so well, I have and will continue to learn lots from you both.
So long and thanks for all the fish.