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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.

1 comment:

  1. In your quest to help students become more literate I'd encourage you to look beyond 'just' reading and phonics and focus on communication more generally. Students at all levels need to be effective multimedia communicators, which means not only reading/decoding and reading for meaning, but also writing, speaking, and expressing their ideas with visual media. My own passion for encouraging learners to 'play with media' comes from the desire to help others become better communicators.

    It sounds like your passion for reading and literacy is contagious at school with your teachers, and that's a great thing! We definitely need to share more passion for learning, both with students and with other educators. :-)