Starting Collaborative Inquiries

When I arrived at Lynfield College last year I found a school with a very strong Teaching as Inquiry culture. All teachers across the school were inquiring into the impact that their teaching was having on their students. This was enabled by some great scaffolded templates to help teachers who were newer to the process and time was built into the meeting schedule to help these inquiries progress.

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A Breath of Fresh PD

Last month I went to 2 conferences: I started April at the Teach Tech Play Conference and ended it at Energise 2017. These two events were such a breath of fresh air.

Admittedly, the locations were a major help. Teach Tech Play was in Melbourne so I got to have a weekend exploring there before the conference started. And Energise 2017 was in Queenstown, where I didn’t have extra days to explore but the scenery was amazing enough at the venue:

These different locations also meant that the teachers at the conferences were a different group than I regularly see at conferences in the upper half of the North Island. This means that I got to meet lots of educators that I knew through twitter and also to meet new faces that I hadn’t interacted with before. (A special shout out here to Rachel Chisnall who I met face to face for the first time the night before we presented a workshop together – led to great opening lines about welcome to our workshop, we met online). Now, I really like the crew of educators that I have got to know over the years at local events, but it was great to break out of that chamber and interact with different people for a change. Continue reading

What if the Ministry of Education and teachers actually collaborated for the benefit of students?

This to me just makes sense but it hardly ever happens. All of us in the education system should be in this to benefit student learning.

I hear teachers regularly bagging Ministry decisions (or the equivalent administration in other countries) yet when I speak with Ministry staff many really do hold the same vision and values that we teachers do. They unfortunately are there to do the bidding of whoever is in power as Minister at the time.

If the political parties could get out of the way and let teacers and Ministry staff work together I am absolutely certain we would see some innovations take hold to benefit student learning across the system.

What do you think we could achieve together?

Or am I living in a dream world here? But that’s ok because this post is Day 11 of my Question Quest.