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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Pride





Pride




We have had an internal ESF school review this week.  Mina, our new principal, joined us after Christmas.  To help her, and us as the school leadership team in setting the direction we have had a review with principals form other schools and members of the ESF leadership joining us for a few days.


I have found it a slightly strange process as for the the first time in a review / inspection situation I am not teaching...as such.  I did run the Lower School assembly on Monday morning and was absolutely manic in a Year One classroom for a couple of hours on Tuesday morning (which I loved!!).


What I have experienced is an overwhelming sense of pride in both the people and the community I work and learn with.


There has been some outstanding feedback given to many of my colleagues, and then about them to us as a leadership team.  It is this fact, amongst others, that has made me beam even more when being around our school.


One of the main points that has arisen is that as a school community we are completely focused on the well being and learning of the children with whom we spend our day.  We knew this...but to have someone else notice it gives us added validation.


We obviously have things to work on - we all do - but we have talked about these, and have been talking about these before the review even began.  I am even excited about these as I want to, and am, be part of something special!


I am really looking forward to the next few years here...Get ready!!





Saturday, 18 February 2012

#21clhk reflections


We go to a conference, learn, meet those we only knew virtually and are inspired by the keynote speakers...but then what?
On the bus with others after the conference I thought of how important it is to reflect on what you have learned and also to design how that learning will have an impact on the community of learners that you work with.
Here are some of my reflections...and my memories
  • Face-to-face meetings with those only known "virtually' - it was wonderful to meet with Jabiz, Dana, Serena, Ben and others and develop my and our learning community.
  • I really enjoyed Punya Mishra and Robyn Trevaud during their keynotes.  I enjoyed the humour of Punya and the connections he made between teachnology, pedagogy and knowledge which equals education.  it really struck a chord with me the points he made about educators 'repurposing' technology for learning.  I also really understood Robyn explaining that it is not just abut 'digital citizenship'...it's citizenship...just that.
  • There are some amazing educators around the world who are completely committed to doing the very best they can for those that they learn and work with.  Ben (@b_sheridan ) and Jennie did an amazing job sharing the the ece strand and the enthusiasm of Zoe (@pagezoe ) was truly infectious.
  • Conference are good...I wonder if unconferences are better?  It was wonderful to attend the unconference on games based learning and the conversations that we had in the ece sharing sessions were powerful.
  • Twitter is the becoming, if not already is, the tool for PD for educators.  If you are not on it...and are not connecting, creating and sharing I really do believe that you are missing out on the most powerful PD that has developed for many years.
  • Asia is an exciting place to be for an educator at the moment - it possibly always has been. There is a vibrancy and a willingness to learn and take risks that is very exciting to be a part of.
  • Sugatra Mitra is a great speaker.  He is provoking much head scratching from educators.  I enjoyed his keynote but still firmly believe that the intricate connections defined and created through human relationships is vital to learning.  Schools replace family.  Should they then be more like fanily than they are?  I think so.
  • There are many technology development companies who are doing their best to develop tools for the classroom and they do not have background in education.  his is not vital but unles there is some understanding there the 'tool' may not be of much use...until it is 'repurposed' by a clever educator.
  • There was way to much plastic being used at both the lunch sessions.  I do not think it is too difficult to focus on the sustainable as well as the technological. 

So - what are my actions when I walk into my amazing school tomorrow?
  • Promote, celebrate and inspire my colleagues to develop their learning and connections through twitter.
  • Investigate and design authentic learning engagements and provocations through games.
  • Invite colleagues to investigate class blogs / twitter to further enhance learning through authentic connections with others
  • Develop many more opportunities for 'space and time' to learn in our school.  PD is vital.
  • Promote more connections with other schools in Hong Kong and share and learn from them.
  • Really keep the focus on the learning and not the tool - because that is the reason we do what we do.
  • Keep learning.