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Friday, 16 September 2011

I'm excited about learning ( and school )

I am really enjoying learning from others in my school.

This week we have begun to have some deep, thoughtful and passionate discussions about the learning and teaching of phonics in Years 1-3 ( and then up to Year 6 ).

This came out of a meeting we held with the Lower School Year leaders.  I asked them what were their dreams / visions were for the year.

One of the aspects of learning in Years 1-3 that we all agreed could be improved - it was a dream for all of us - was the learning and teaching of phonics.  We have amazing readers in our classes but we are educators...and we ALWAYS want to improve.

This has led to conversations in planning meetings with the Language leader, discussions concerning synthetic phonics V real books, planned walkthroughs by myself and then all of my amazing colleagues in the 1's to 3's and a real focus on something which David Hargreaves calls 'low leverage' improvements.  Those improvements which do not take a lot of effort but make a huge difference.

I have had passing conversations in hallways and corridors about 'how excited' colleagues are about this which has really come, not from the school development plan, but from a passionate need and a recognition that we want to do the best we possibly can for the children that we are lucky enough to work and learn with.

I am excited about it.  I'm more excited about putting into place one of my dreams which is to have our educators having the time to walk around the school learning from each other, spending time having conversations and implementing change which has originated from them.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Its about time...

So, eight months of being a vice-principal (and doing a masters) and what has life taught me?

Many, many things!

• make sure you build relationships that have foundations of honesty, trust, fun and professional respect. I worked extremely hard getting to know the amazing people that I work learn with, its so very important.

• mistakes are good, once... I definitely am a risk taker, I do make mistakes and I expect those around me to as well. They are going to happen. What is vital is that we learn from them, and make sure that it doesnt happen the next time!

• it's so very important to read. I love twitter and google read. Both of these have changed my professional life, no exaggeration! I spent time every day sharing with educators all over the world, learning and connecting. I read the thoughts of others and discuss what I think and know as well. Ten years ago I could do this in the staffroom or on the bus to work which I still do, but now I can learn and share with others from all over our planet! How amazing is that? If you are not doing it, why not?

• be flexible... Which I am going to be now!

I think that this post will have many more parts... And as I am writing on my iPhone in a very hot skatepark in Hong Kong I will carry on later!

Have a wonderful day everyone!