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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

To have pyp or not to have pyp and do you know everybodys names?

Two areas for this post...

Firstly, we are interviewing for a leadership position at my wonderful school today.  One of the thoughts raised by my colleagues and myself was a question...

" As a IB/ PYP school do we specifically look for teachers/learners who have been trained and know how to use the PYP as a framework and have knowledge of a concept driven inquiry curriculum...and does this matter more if they are going into leadership positionss?"

I have been pondering this all day and I don't really have an answer.  One could say " An amazing teacher is an amazing teacher" - which I agree with wholeheartedly but as a leader should you have a grasp on how the curriculum is run so you are more able to support your teams and the school community. 

We have learned so much over the three years that we (even though I have been at my school 7 weeks my previous school was in exactly the same position and part of the same foundation).  We are so much more knowledgeable about inquiry, constructivism and the concept driven curriculum than we were.  Is it now to prospective colleagues detriment that they don't have that knowledge?

When I first came to Hong Kong 12 years ago there was very little in the way of curriculum.  We then went down the National Curriculum route following QCA documents etc...(ugh).  It seems to matter more now if prospective colleagues do not have this knowledge or understanding now - but I am not sure why...

I think that if teachers/learners show a deep willingness to learn and a passion for their work then it possibly shouldn't matter.  I don't know if the same is for someone going into a leadership position...but maybe it is?

Secondly, it is to my great fortune that at 8 o'clock every week day morning I get to spend 15 minutes talking, listening to and playing with the Year Ones, Twos, and Threes in our school. 

Today a year one girl said to me,"Mr. Ringrose, you're a leader, you should know all the kids names. Do you?"

Wow!!!!

I said that I didn't, I am honest.  As an early years teacher I prided myself on learning 30 children's names the very first hour they were in school.  I am struggling to learn 360 children's names!!  I know that it is something I have to work at.

If anyone has any suggestions or strategies  please let me know!

Keep smiling!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Beards at 21clhk

21clhk

What an interesting couple of days, in lots of ways.

It started with Steven Heppel talking about where we are going as educators and ended up at the end of the internet with David Warlick.

There were many educators and learners from around Hong Kong, Asia and the world attending and it was amazing to connect face to face with some of my PLN! Thank you everyone.

It's quite difficult to pick out one, and only one thing that you have learnt or something that you will take away but here are a couple or a few depending on how inspired I am!

  • What are you going to ask prospective educators when you interview them for a position in your school?  Are you going to ask if they have a PLN?  Are you going to ask what and how they learn from their PLN?  If they don't have one and if they are not sharing and collaborating with other learners then should you employ them?  This is something that I will have to think about again, and again and again!
  • How can you encourage educators to BE learners and if they aren't what are we going to do?  This is such a huge question!  I do believe that we have a duty to be learners, we have a duty to learn new things because if we don't then we are not modeling that for the children we are working with and we are doing them a disservice!
  • Learning engagements should be:playful, responsive, provoking conversation, demanding of personal investment, allow identity to flow through  and we need to guide through safely-made mistakes.  Lastly don't forget the surprise!
I think that that is enough for now!  I enjoyed the conference and the tweets and the new friends!

Keep smiling!