We’ve been collecting your stories about the inspiring and encouraging experiences you’ve had at work during 2008. Here is a collection of the CPD themed responses you sent to the question, What has been your most positive experience at work this year?

“I started my MA last academic year in my NQT year. The area i chose for my research was Parental involvement. I found the project very rewarding for all parties and was able to create fantastic links with parents which promoted many joint activities between Teacher, Child and Home (parent/carers) whilst it was very difficult to manage this along with completing NQT year it gave me an opportunity to be involved in something away form school but related which I feel helped my have some distance form the day to day hard work of a class teacher.”
– Teacher “Working with a professional team in the Inclusive Learning Department, although there have been numerous changes within the staffing structure of the College, and a new curriculum to sort out and set up.”

– Lecturer

“My most positive experience at work this year has been training teachers and students as Partners in Learning. Partners in Learning is a student voice programme where students observe the learning environment of a lesson and feedback to the teacher. The experience of teachers participating range from Deputy Headteacher to NQT. The enthusiasm and quality of conversations about teaching and learning was awesome!”

– Research Co-ordinator

“The one that really springs to the forefront is the first assembly I did at my present school. It was on conflict and anger; it was the most nerve wracking experience I have had in a long time. In the assembly hall I had a full year eight and the headteacher! At the end of the school day the headteacher came to visit me to personally say how much he enjoyed my assembly and could he have a copy of it so he could use it in future.”

“There have been many positive experiences this year. A recent example of this is when I received an e-mail from a student after having done a day’s teaching. She had been part of the student group that day. She said, “this evening, I was able to take what we had learnt today and work with it without fumbling. I want to thank you for today on a personal and professional level.” She goes on to say how the new skills had helped a girl that she worked with after the teaching. Contributing to making a difference, no matter how small, makes the hard (yet interesting) work in preparing for new lectures very worth while. Having feedback on a draft article for publication is extremely helpful and fills me with appreciation for the professionalism and for the comments that I have so far received. Working as a small team these past two years here at Bristol has been a very fulfilling experience.”
– Lecturer in family & systemic psychotherapy

“The most positive experience for me this year was putting on my very first musical production. I had only been teaching a year and was asked to put on a musical production with children from years 3, 4 and 5 in my school (this meant 180 children). I was in year 5 and the children in my year group had all the acting and narration roles. It was the first time I had taken on the role of leader and organiser of such a big occasion. The musical production went fantastically well and the children pulled out all the stops to put on a fantastic show. I was so proud of all the children and also felt quite proud of myself that I had managed to put a musical production together.”

– Year 6 Teacher

“Two things: (i) Sucessfully managing a difficult class and (ii) teaching a Y7 the countries in French: they were absolutely lovely, attentive and involved in the lesson. For the first time, it gave me the feeling that what I am doing here and the job choice are just right!”

– Student Teacher

“Giving a simple bit of advice (nothing new, I hastened to add) to a trainee teacher who was feeling disheartened with teaching difficult and unruly children in his placement school. I advised him to teach them in bursts of 10 minutes intersected with fun tasks and heaps of rewards/attention in between and he was astounded at the results: these ‘awful’ children became absorbed in the tasks and voted his lesson as ‘wicked’ when they had been insulting and bullying him only the week before. He was overwhelmed at the difference a ‘good’ lesson makes : a hair raising experience indeed! He also has a very supportive mentor and school management. Receiving his positive email this week following his previous disenchanted emails was the highlight of my year so far.”
– Teacher trainer“Realising after a year in the post that I actually know what I’m doing! Last year was a steep learning curve after 5 years teaching in FE but this year I have felt confident when talking about SEN to new staff and old staff alike!”


“Gaining 100% ‘outstandings’ in classroom teaching during inspection and having all my year two children assessed and finding that they have made terrific progress.”

– Classroom Teacher (Special Class)

“Using three and four year olds as co-researchers and ‘eco warriors’ in an action research project for my Master’s Degree. The title: “Going green: assessing and documenting the benefits of developing an eco nursery”. I was very proud to learn of my success on 28th October 2008. This was all the more positive because just prior to that I fell and suffered a severely complex fracture to the humerus of my left arm just before completing my dissertation! This was devastating but I managed to submit about 1 month late. Not bad for a 75 year old, who doesn’t believe in retirement?”

– Senior Manager and Trustee