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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!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Neil,
    I think that leaders should be a step ahead of the rest so they can inspire, help and connect better with the teachers. In as much as I agree that a passionate, lifelong learner type of teacher should not be denied a good position within any school, I cannot but ponder on the implications for a leadership status. As a VP, you need to prioritize and any added value (i.e. knowing the IB philosophy, core concepts, strategies etc) is another criterion for a selection. Otherwise, choosing just a great teacher might trigger frustrations from the side of the other staff members because they need someone who already speaks their language.
    As for the second point...well, the principals in our school know the names of all 450 students :) so start learning them!
    @surreallyno on Twitter

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