Thursday, 6 June 2013

Some news... and some thanks...


Back in July 2008, after over twenty years as a teacher, I stopped teaching.
I left the huge archive of resources which I'd built up over the years behind for my colleagues, as I was joining the Geographical Association as Secondary Curriculum Development leader.
I spent three years working with thousands of teachers and working on projects across the country....
And then it all stopped....

The job I'd worked towards for twenty years, and thousands of extra hours of writing, resource creation, website work and blogging had disappeared and I was redundant and unemployed.
I sent e-mails to many people, reminded people of what I'd created up to date, and crossed my fingers...
And work started to arrive.

I'd like to thank the following people and organisations who have supported me over the last 2 years...
These are in no particular order...

- former colleagues at the GA, including Lucy Oxley for involving me in the CPD programme, and Bob Digby for getting me heavily involved in the 2013 conference programme, and Ruth Totterdell for involving me in editing 2 books which won SAGT awards, and co-authoring a book with John Widdowson which is coming out in September 2013
- Steve Brace at the RGS, who very kindly got me off and running with several writing jobs, which ended up in a contribution to a GA Silver Award winning resource 'From the Field'
- Richard Allaway for involving me in the development of materials for Geography all the Way, and also our e-book for IB Geography, and getting me out to Geneva for a memorable day up the Aiguille du Midi...
- Paula Owens for involving me in various projects over the last few years, and with plans for a few more to come in the future - we make a good cross-phase team - thanks for the tiny cakes too...
- the wonderful wonderful Dan, Tom and Helen from the Geography Collective / Mission:Explore / Explorer HQ for providing laughs, inspiration and awesome creativity, and getting me to Glastonbury - which was an experience...
- Karl Donert for involving me in several EU projects, and getting me out to exciting places like Helsinki, Salzburg University and Bruges, to name but a few - memories to last a lifetime... as well as contributing to the MEDEA award winning 'Historiana' portal
- the I-USE folks who I spent a splendid few days with in Bruges a few weeks ago, and also memories of Ghent...
- colleagues from Leeds, Scottish Borders, Suffolk, Cornwall, Wakefield, Justin Woolliscroft and Nick Gee et al who invited me to spend a day with them...
- Rob Lodge - who's always been supportive for decades... enjoy your retirement when it comes
- colleagues on the GA SPC for welcoming me back into the fold
- Graham Goldup and PTI folks
- the team at Priory Geography, particularly David Rogers
- Chris and the team at TeachIt Geography - I helped get the site up and running and it's going well
- Badger publishing for involving me in writing a book, particularly Maureen Gallagher for her editing work, and Cathy Martin and the team at Collins for help writing 'The Ice Man'.
- Jane Mann for signing me up for some possible future work - I hope we get the chance to work together
- Jason Sawle at ESRI for offering some consultancy work and support...
- the team at VITAL, particularly Kirsten Muirhead  - VITAL really kept me afloat when I first went freelance - I created a huge portal of resources at VITAL Geography and it's sad that it is now gathering dust....
- Anne Robertson and the team at Digimap for Schools / MapStream / EDINA - DIGIMAP has some great resources, and that project supported me through my first Christmas as a freelance...
- all the folks involved with Mission:Explore London and Lowestoft, particularly Sue from the WWT and Martin Crabbe, plus Jon Parker
- Jobina and all the team at TWIG and TIGTAG
- Elaine Owen, Ken Lacey and Darren Bailey at the OS Education team for support, chats, book ideas and freebies :)
- Ian Cook and colleagues at Follow the Things for involving me in a project which is ongoing and really creative...
- Jamie Buchanan Dunlop for involving me in three excellent projects which also won GA Silver Awards and were shortlisted for others - plenty more still to come from DigitalExplorer...
- Jon Wolton at Pearson, and other colleagues at Edexcel, for involvement in 'A' level consultancy, and many other things besides
- FSC folks such as Nick Lapthorn and David Holmes for humorous tweets
- Paul Baker for getting a few things booked in when things were looking bleak...
- Dan Stacey and folks at Discover the World for commissioning the Iceland resources - a pity I never got to go, or quite ended up in Norway as I'd hoped, but thanks to John Sayers for braving the gales...
- Daniel Edelson and all the team at National Geographic Education
- Diana Freeman at AEGIS
- Tony Cassidy for coming to the GA Conference and plenty more besides...
- Sylvia Knight for her patience - they'll be with you shortly...
- Val Vannet and the SAGT team, particularly Liz Crisp
- Collins blog team for paying me for some articles, and also the TES team...
- colleagues on Primary and Secondary Geography Quality Mark moderation teams
- the folks on a top secret project I can't announce yet, as we haven't got the press release out...
- the thousands of teachers I've worked with over the last few years - from PGCE colleagues to experienced teachers close to retirement...
- and anyone else I've missed out (and there are bound to be quite a few) - apologies... and thanks

And finally, thanks to Claire Kyndt, who teaches geography at King's Ely school.
Back in 2010, I read the wonderful application that the Geography department at the school had put together for the GA's Secondary Geography Quality Mark.

The department not only had an amazing scheme of work, and produced top quality work, but also based a lot of its thinking on the ideas behind Mission:Explore. There was no shortage of risk-taking and adventurous pedagogy, which was exciting to read. The department more than earned the SGQM. I was invited to run a day for primary and secondary colleagues at the school too.

A week or so ago, a day before half term started, I had an interview at King's Ely, and taught a lesson, and later that day, I was offered a job.
Which means...
From September 2013, I am returning to the classroom, to teach Geography at King's Ely. It's a wonderful school, apparently the 10th oldest in the world, and a privilege to be working with students and colleagues in such an inspiring setting, and with such a history and tradition...
I'll be teaching part-time, which means that for all of those of you who want to work with me that's still going to be possible...

I'm very much looking forward to September.

Biggest thanks of all to Sally, Ella and Sam, who have put up with so much over the last few years.

As I've said many times before, I stand on the shoulders of giants...

And finally, there's a new blog (of course) which will chart my new geographical journey....
The lesson resources I used will be posted later...

8 comments:

olliebray said...

Congratulations on your new post Alan - all the best. OB

Alan Parkinson said...

Cheers OB :)

Mr Atkins said...

Congratulations Alan, all the best for September.

Alan Parkinson said...

Thanks Sam :)

Anonymous said...

You'll be awesome - as per usual. Glad you have left a little bit of freelance space though - oh and space in your tummy for tiny cakes
Paula

Alan Parkinson said...

Thanks Paula - yep just to keep my eye in - book early !

Anne Robertson said...

Congratulations on your new teaching post Alan from the Digimap for Schools team at EDINA. Glad to hear you'll still be available to take on freelance work too!

Alan Parkinson said...

Thanks Anne. As I mentioned in the post, I am very grateful for your support, and for the interesting projects that you got me involved in. My new school is a Digimap for Schools subscriber, so there will be plenty of maps in the future too...