In this context, the practitioner is less like the bulldozer driver carving a way through the landscape to a pre conceived objective, more like a combination of canoeist shooting the rapids and creative artist exploring possibilities and waiting for inspiration.
The quote above is my favourite teaching metaphor and one that I re-read regularly. It came to mind several times through this week where it really did feel like we were ‘Shooting the Rapids.’
The power of the time we had last term to think deeply has borne fruition this week as structures and models have been falling into place. It seems the time spent focusing on vision values and practices is providing a strong foundation for us as the speed picks up and structures are finalised.
Structures such as the timetable, how many modules are offered each term, how cross-curricular teaching teams are determined and the planning process the modules go through have all been finalised this week. These are all massive breakthroughs and it feels that each one brings opportunities for other structures to fall into place. These structures support the creative practices needed for the vision and values of the school to be reached.
The SLL team also led the staff through our processes in developing our curriculum framework. How we deconstructed the NZC to find the HPSS Learning Design Model and the concepts to base that learning on. The strongest connections between the concepts have become the framework of our curriculum. We then had the staff work in Learning Areas to work out the Skills that should be covered as well. Starting by looking at what skills, students need for success at NCEA Levels 1-3 we then worked backwards to see what skills need to be taught in Years 9 & 10 to ensure future success.
The Skills and Core Curriculum Concepts provide the foundation for the creativity and amplification of learning we are looking to achieve. In this way, we feel that we will be maintaining the integrity of the separate disciplines whilst focusing learning on the authentic connections between learning areas.
Next week is going to continue this shooting of the rapids as we really start to explore the opportunities as a whole staff. Wednesday will see the Specialised Learning Leaders presenting the timetable, module and team structures to the whole staff before the first session in our teams creating modules for Term 1 next year.
Shooting the Rapids of Creativity indeed!!