Teacher Spotlight: Edie Griffiths

06/12/20225 minute read
Teacher Spotlight: Edie Griffiths

Miss Edie Griffiths completed her teacher training at The University of Manchester and is in her 8th year of teaching.  During her career, she has worked in various educational settings, from a private international school to an education centre for a British ski team. Her first teaching role was as part of the founding staff of a new start-up school in North Wales. This was a Microsoft Showcase School and was fully digital. She is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, a position awarded by Microsoft to educators who strive to improve their pedagogy to integrate technology tools that improve student outcomes.

At a glance:

  • Miss Griffiths is a Business and Economics Teacher.
  • Nationality: British
  • Currently based in England.
  • Her favourite quote is. “You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.” - Michael Jordan

Why I joined CGA

I joined CGA for a number of reasons:

  1. Passion: I LOVE my subject and I thought that teaching to the type of students that CGA attracts would allow me to really pass on my passion for the subject, with fewer distractions and students that are ambitious and want to learn.
  2. Purpose: The purposeful inclusion of technology within the classroom has always been a keen interest of mine. I regularly complete courses in this area, deliver training and use EdTech tools to assist my students in making excellent progress.  I've been an MIEE (Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert) for 6 years now and really think technology can massively enhance the learning process.
  3. Flexibility: I love the flexibility of CGA. Teaching isn't known for its work/life balance, but with CGA the flexibility of being able to organise your classes and marking with more freedom, allows me to be more effective. I work best early in the mornings, so not having a commute allows me to maximise my most focused time of the day.

Q & A with Miss Griffiths

Q: What is your philosophy or approach to education?

A: I think it's incredibly important that students feel your passion for the subject. If you're not excited about what you're talking about, why should they be? Once students understand why what you're teaching is important, it's much easier to get them to put the work in.

Q: What is your classroom routine? How do you get your students to engage?

A: Every lesson starts the same with a 'DO NOW' activity. This allows students to activate their brains and also makes a link from the previous lesson. I follow the 4 part lesson structure:

  • Part 1: Connection (Do now)
  • Part 2: Knowledge construction (teacher talk)
  • Part 3: Demonstration (students complete an activity, either individually, pair or group)
  • Part 4: Consolidation (ensure students understand what has been taught and identify any areas that may need to be reviewed in the next lesson)

I keep students engaged by having a fast-paced, high-expectation, fun learning environment. I make regular links to economies all around the world and make reference to businesses/industries that I know students are interested in. This makes the content relevant to the students.

Q: How does the technology that CGA uses, impact education and teaching and what are the benefits to the student?

A: There are many ways in which technology complements and accelerates students learning at CGA. In the simplest way, the use of technology allows the online lessons to move quicker, without the need to hand out books, or glue worksheets in, this enables an hour-long lesson to truly be an hour. The use of technology, such as quizzes, supports instant knowledge checks, which allows teachers to quickly adapt their lessons to the students needs. I can also monitor students work in real-time, enabling me to show the class excellent examples, or quickly address misconceptions in the lesson itself, rather than having to wait until the next.

However, there’s not only efficiency benefits, but also the ability to bring context into lessons with ease. Being a teacher of Business and Economics means that I regularly discuss different countries and industries. Instead of having to vaguely discuss a news story, we just watch a snippet of the news, or instead of having to try to visualise the impacts of globalisation, we compare images of cities across a number of years within minutes. The use of technology allows additional depth to our learning.

Q: Why is CGA better than a brick-and-mortar school? What are the main differences?

A: CGA enables students to focus on their studies at a higher level. With lessons being more efficient and class sizes being smaller, students are more accountable, and content can be tailored to the individual student’s needs. Not only that, but the extracurricular activities that are available to students allows them to really explore their interests, so not only will they come away with excellent results, but students will have a better understanding of areas they would like to specialise in, in the future.

Q: What is your most memorable moment at CGA?

A: I had a fantastic time at our recent staff training week at Stratford Upon Avon, it was really valuable for creating a team spirit. Also, teaching Business and Economics is perfect for an international school. We are able to look at economic events from the perspective of lots of countries, with students being able to give us an 'on-the-ground' point of view. For example, if inflation was increasing in country X, we could discuss the textbook impacts, and then discuss the on-the-ground impact and general feeling within that country if we have a student in the class who is living there.

Q: Do you have any advice for your students? Is there something you wish you knew when you were at that age?

A: I'd encourage them to find the relevance of the subjects to them. They're not just learning the content to pass the exams, they should be excited about it and understand why it can help them in the future.  They should strive for understanding, not just memorising the content.

Top Tip for Exam Preparation

Active recall! Write a topic at the top of a piece of paper, write down everything that you can remember about that topic, and then review your notes to figure out what you missed out on. Students then know where they need to focus their revision time.

Also...answer exam questions, as many as they can. No, it's not fun, but yes, it is useful.

In my free time…

I can be found up on the mountains every weekend. I spent the past summer in the alps, completing the Tour du Mont Blanc and other walks. The year before I completed the Camino de Santiago, a 910 km long distance walk from France all the way across Spain to the coast). At present, I’m working my way through the group of 214 mountains in the Lake District called the Wainwrights, at the time of writing I'm on 129/214 and started 3 months ago. I had set myself a year to complete these but want to do them quicker (I'm very competitive when I have a target). I've also just completed a half-marathon and have an upcoming marathon in April 2023.

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