Growing Together ECF Pathways - Jodie Bovington
This week we speak to Jodie Bovington, Assistant Principal at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy and a mentor on our ECF programme. She is an experienced and popular leader within our schools, with vast experience as a mentor and coach. So, it gives us great pleasure to have Jodie talk to us about her mentoring experiences and all the amazing work she is doing with her ECT!
Jodie Bovington, Assistant Principal - Brighton Aldridge Community Academy
I had always wanted to be a teacher, I grew up in an education household with my mum being a schools business manager and studying for her degree whilst I was doing my GCSE’s. ICT was always my passion too, my teacher for this subject inspired me the most, we just clicked and I wanted to be just like her. This is what made me go and study to be a teacher as an Undergraduate at the University of Cumbria in 2008, and after 4 years I gained my degree as BSc Secondary ICT Education with QTS. I decided to move back home after university and this is where I started my teaching career at BACA.
I found my first few years really hard adjusting to teaching full time. It took me a while to get into the swing of it but I think this has helped me in becoming a mentor, I wanted a different experience for someone who I was helping. On reflection now, if the support that is in place from the ECF programme was around when I started teaching, I am sure those first few years would have been so different, I love the coaching programme and how it supports the ECT’s, it even helps me reflect on my own teaching and I am a better teacher for it.
The best thing about mentoring is that myself and Chris can have conversations that help us both improve our practice. We have discussions around her teaching but also around pedagogy and how it links to all the background work she does, meaning it is always a fruitful discussion. It sounds really cheesy but from those conversations I do actually go away and use the tips and tricks in my own classes. Through the coaching programme this has made it really easy to identify those steps and Chris really takes it on board and feels like she is making progress without being overwhelmed. Chris is also great at keeping up with the online work, this actually helps our discussion, as it all moulds together and we use that as the basis of the conversations and link it to the drop ins that I and other teachers have.
The biggest successes often come from the biggest challenges and I am sure Chris will say this too. The first terms leading up to Christmas were hard and we worked together on the 100%, and building routines in the classroom. This started to bear fruit in term 3 and it all started to come together. Chris was relentless in trying out everything we had discussed in lessons and sticking with it and the payoff really came together. This meant we could move into academic rigour much earlier in the programme which then helped her students even more by the end of the year.
Myself and Chris spend a good chunk of our meeting talking about her wellbeing. This I feel is a huge priority for us and will continue to be. I think that if we spend time on this and work together to get the balance between work and life this will bring a lot of everything else together. This isn’t to say we have solved the work life balance conundrum but if Chris knows that it is a priority on our agenda and she is supported in this area this will help with all other areas.
It has been great to see Chris grow over the last year and lead the way in some brilliant teaching.