Thursday, June 24, 2010

Success at last!

Isn’t it great when a few majors all come together and actually work!! At school recently some of our critical “change management” steps have been implemented successfully and it’s all worked well, even better than I would have predicted. Each of the events have been a long time coming with lots and lots of effort going into building up our capacity to enable this to happen. It is a delight to see it all come to fruition. All of our kids have led their very own student-led conference, sharing their learning with their parents without their teacher being present. To us this was a major line in the sand—after years of talking about moving the locus of control in our classrooms, this proved that it can actually happen. Secondly our mid year reports went out on-line this time, rather than in the traditional hard copy—another smallish step, which has very big ramifications. Thirdly our trial group of 6 classrooms are striding ahead with our new e-portfolios, another exciting venture.
In all of these cases, the greatest thing is the excitement that they have generated with the staff—they are their successes and the desire the loudest of accolades.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Great PD for all

We had an absolutely fabulous PD session at school last week, focussing in on ensuring that everyone (30+ teachers and a couple of TAs as well) were comfortable making movies for themselves. Everyone, including myself, was put in the position of the learner, given the equipment required, a purpose to choose from and most importantly 12 support people who were students from our Y6 classes. You could almost feel the tension in the air as our enthusiastic AP set up the experience—no group work today, no excuses—everyone was to make a 100 second movie in the 3 hour slot and everyone had to push themselves into a situation where they would be stretching what they already knew. This meant that the technically able had to learn something new and the more reserved of us had to actually do it—for some this was a first! The kids were amazing—patience plus!
Lifelong learning was really to the fore—perseverence when things went wrong, risk-taking for everyone in front of each other, support that was just in time and heaps and heaps of laughs and fun! At the end of it all, it was smiles all round and lots of people feeling very very proud of themselves.
On reflection it was an interesting adult learning experience—not so much talking, lots of doing and creating—interesting to consider when one thinks about our students experiences in the classroom.