After a long morning at my PLG today, I wasn't too sure how I would get on sitting on for another hour and a half while we shared back about our teacher only day experiences. I couldn't have wished for a more engaging session. I couldn't be more proud of each person, the way they had prepared their thoughts and the thoughtful questions following each talk. We are all deep in our own learning pit. It's fascinating hearing people make sense of their learning and establish their own next steps right in front of us. To date this year, it has been my favourite moment at school.
Two weeks ago we had all gone off in different directions visiting people that would support our professional learning. At this point in my post I must point out that staff had been given freedom and a budget to go wherever their funds could take them. Two of us ended up in the same schools, everyone else went different places. Schools visited were Tamatea Intermediate and Richmond School, in Napier, Parkland School and Whakarongo School in Palmerston North, Parkvale School and Mahora School in Hastings, Tokomaru School and Shannon School in Horowhenua and Resource teachers of literacy in Feilding and Palmerston North. I shared about my experiences, thoughts and wonderings after visiting schools in Christchurch - Hallswell, Waitakiri, Pegasus Bay, Clarkville and Breens Intermediate.
Why not take the whole school staff to the same place? Because I don't believe this would have met each person's learning needs. It also would not have led to the diverse range of experiences, thinking and follow ups. Through having choice, engagement followed. Teachers were highly motivated because they could choose something that was relevant, topical and meaningful to them. They weren't having to tag along because someone had organised the day for them. I won't keep going on - those leaders who are implementing personalized learning in the school, I hope, are extending this pedagogical approach to the adult akonga in their own places of learning. We know that young learners enjoy having choice and adult learning theory supports this approach too.
While the majority of our experiences were supporting our work to implement personalized learning, so many other outcomes have come from these professional learning experiences. Thank you to the schools and people we visited. If we are able to action even some of the many, many ideas that came from our experiences, our school and therefore our learners will benefit greatly.
Thank you to the incredible staff at our school. Today was a highlight.