My name is Naveen Rizvi. I am currently at Teacher of Mathematics at Michaela Community School. Having entered teaching through the Teach First Leadership and Development programme, I am now a 2013 Ambassador, having completed my training at Levenshulme High School for girls, Manchester.

Why did I start writing a blog?

In April 2014, I visited King Solomon Academy for my second school placement. My week at KSA changed my perspective of what can be achieved by one school, KSA serving the most economically deprived ward in London. I returned to my placement school completely inspired, and, to some degree, further equipped to improve my teaching. I subsequently rolled out several initiatives at my placement school, each of which had notable and measurable academic impact, as I noted from pupils’ results in formative and summative assessments. I began to diarise my accounts of such initiatives.

What had an impact?

I began to write blogs on my visits to other schools. These writing activities constituted some of the best CPD I had gained. I started to notice that curriculum sequencing of topics and creating completion tasks – based upon a theoretical understanding of deliberate practice – enabled pupils to learn new content successfully.

In 2015, I applied and was accepted for a position as a Teacher of Mathematics and Science at Michaela Community School. My time at MCS has been incredibly invaluable, enabling me to develop as a Teacher at a catalysed rate. I am surrounded by intelligent colleagues who challenge orthodoxies in education. Curriculum sequencing and design, retrieval quizzes and infrequent high stake exams allow pupils to commit new knowledge and to translate this into their longer term success.

Why do I blog now?

I would not be the teacher I am today without reading blogs from many intelligent and thoughtful teachers who have each shared their experiences from the classroom. I have been able to learn from them but I believe in giving back. If a teacher just starting out in his/her career can read a blog and learn something new then I am, likewise, inspired to share what I have learnt, from my own limited but equally valuable experience.

Who made this blog possible?

This blog was not just my idea but an idea given to me by my colleagues and close friends.  I would like to recognise the support and motivation from Lindsey Bennett, Richard Deakin, Neil Turner and Steve Webb who give me constant feedback and guidance as to the subjects of my blog. I would like to thank Dani Quinn – my excellent HoD – who helps me articulate my thoughts on the ideas I have. I would like to thank Donna Patel for being an excellent subject mentor. I would like to credit Gerald Brent who read every blog post I wrote over two years to relate to me how I could improve my writing generally, and to fashion it so. I would also like to recognise the consistent support from Kris Boulton who pushed me to write this blog in the first place and for continually listening to my ideas.