Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Supporting the 21st century teacher

"Changing the script" has some pretty big implications for leaders. How do I show my staff and encourage my staff to explore new ways of "being" in their classroom. We seem so engrained in our practice in education. This applies to leaders too. There is a certain expectation of what the Principal, DP or AP do in schools. I think if we expect change in the classroom, then we as leaders must show that our role has changed and that we operate in different ways now. This is a challenge given the huge amount of administrative duties thrust on us as Principals, possibly more so in smaller schools. We are in our first round of formal observations for the year. This is the "compliance" check in. Is the planning, assessment and so on in place. What has been set up in classes over the past 6 weeks? It's an opportunity to start a conversation that will last all year, hopefully. So, this morning I observed a great literacy session. Students were engaged. They had clear learning intentions displayed. They watched a movie clip as a motivation for writing and groups worked at different levels so their writing needs and abilities were met. Almost faultless really. There are some talking points and it will be important that I take the opportunity to challenge this teacher into how they can further change their role as the teacher in the classroom and act in more of a facilitator role. Be less helpful. That's my current mantra. I'm doing it this year with my own leadership too. I've been way too keen to ensure that all the boxes are ticked, by myself, so far in my leadership. I've scaffolded too much. I've provided too much security and been too involved in controlling the curriculum. I haven't made it clear enough what we need to be achieving and how we're going to get there. So, in short, I've realised, that if I want to change the script of the teacher, I'm going to have to start by changing my own too.

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