Our "non-contact" time is almost over and while our thoughts are never far from work, it's now that we're looking to cement priorities, welcome new staff and get the year off to a great start.
I've done teachers only days for the past 20 years - I can still remember my first one in 1994 as a first year teacher. We did first aid and the rest was just confusing. I was NOT ready for big picture stuff. I was consumed with what I was actually going to do on day one with my class. Sitting next to me was my tutor teacher who'd been in the game longer than I'd been breathing, Imagine trying to meet the range of needs. My contention is that they weren't.
So as the new year begins, I'm mindful that my role is to inspire. Staff have identified their own goals from appraisal last year and we're all on the journey of personalising learning at our school.
Phillipa Antipas (@AKeenReader) tweeted about her word for the year. This concept caught my attention and I think it's really powerful. It will keep me focused. My word is EXPLORE.
I will be exploring while on sabbatical in Term 1. I'm wanting to visit schools that are doing similar things to us - creating Explorers of learning through a self-guiding approach. I want to synthesise the ideas and practise that I see and create something useful for schools to use who might be starting their own exploration of creating self-guided learners. (this might be a wiki or google site)
So, when we gather together as a staff next week, I'll be talking about the concept of Explorers. How we can be explorers as staff and how students can become explorers of their own learning.
To back this up - we're not having traditional staff meetings where all staff get the same PD. We're creating PLNs within the staff that will be self-selected. Each staff member will lead one - they don't have to be an expert - the idea is that those in the PLN will explore together. This new initiative has me excited and nervous at the same time. I view this as a major shift from previous practice in PD. We have a year to explore how this goes.
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