Judith has been an exemplary and visionary mentor, a great leader who has totally dedicated her life to this noble profession done with a loving and caring heart. How could I ever express all my gratitude towards her? I appreciate and treasure everything she has taught me that helped me to excel in my career thus far.
Teaching, especially teaching science, is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. It takes a wonderful opportunity to plant an idea in a young mind, cherish it and watch it grow and bloom. But teaching, as I have, for good long years, also has the disadvantage of disillusioning oneself. We get caught in the whirlpool of mundane everyday activities and it is so easy to forget what a wonderful opportunity we have. In that sense, the Step Ahead programme designed by Judith Finnemore in January 2018 was a breath of fresh air. Meticulously planned and wonderfully executed, it got us away from our usual meetings and threw us into the thick of action. We chemistry teachers were given the task of extracting copper from a sample of copper- bearing rock brought from across the border in Oman. For the next couple of days there was quite a buzz; we were busy analyzing the rock, coming up with alternate theories on how best to extract the copper from it in the same way people had done 4,000 years before. We managed to extract only a fraction of the copper, but the experience over those two days where we were constantly brainstorming, working together as a team and racking our collective brains when things weren't working well, - when I sit back and think of those moments, I realized this is what learning science should be all about. If I could transfer that excitement to the kids in my class, I would consider my job well done. A special thanks to Ms. Judith Finnemore, who came up with this brilliant idea and worked hard to transport us to an age back in time and for the timely reminder about what teaching science was all about!
The training course taught by Ms Judith Finnemore gave a high-level introduction of very clear, up-to-date and most engaging teaching and learning techniques, Coverage was comprehensive and neither too complex nor too easy. Wonderful presentation skills kept the sessions lively and all the instructional materials were top notch. I could immediately implement new/improved techniques in my English lessons upon finishing the training.
The work that was offered by Judith Finnemore was very simple, understandable and very easy to achieve. It made a great change in our school, moving us to ‘acceptable’ after two ‘weak’ inspections. Previously teachers had not applied any new strategies in teaching but this has now changed. We learnt many new activities that made our students have fun in English lessons and love school.
I was appointed as an HOD a year before this course and was lacking few skills which this course enlightened me about. As a result of the excellent Middle Leadership course taught by Ms Judith, I have built an effective team that shares good practices and I now make sure my team knows what’s expected. I am able to use my time much more effectively and I am much more confident with planning for improvement and self-evaluation, including using data to improve outcomes. This ensures I now monitor the quality of teaching, learning and assessment more appropriately. The course also gave me an opportunity to visit other schools which was invaluable.
Judith Finnemore’s training has opened doors to a world of endless possibilities. She starts with an idea – a seed – which grows as tall as a redwood tree if you embrace it. Employed in our classrooms, students are given the opportunity to climb to the top and gain an entirely new perspective and way of operating that truly sets them up for the future. We teachers are normally so frenzied about planning yet your training provided us with a plethora of choice; in essence a miracle-grow formula of cutting-edge strategies that made teachers lives easier.