Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Classroom Walk Throughs

This our second week back ! Teachers are now defining the start to their year and programmes are up and running.  Walk Throughs are also a great way to gauge classroom set up, routines, behaviour management and expectations and evolving group dynamics, as well as the all important learning taking place.  Walking through the Junior School this morning, there was a hive of activity taking place.  The students that I engaged with in each class were able to tell me what they were learning and the relevance of how the skill or activity they were focussing on was going to help them with their Reading or Writing. Teachers and students need acknowledgement and support from the Leadership Team and I believe it is important to be seen and be approachable.
I held a few informal conversations with students in the senior school asking, "What were they learning?", "Why?" and "How was this was helping them?"  I was surprised with the depth of clarity they were able to articulate at such an early stage.  I also observed a very powerful Active Reflection plenary , where student's trust, openness and honesty around their learning was exemplary. My next step is to acknowledge the great work our teachers are achieving with their learners.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

First TOD Back !

We all returned today for our TOD on a very hot and humid Tuesday to begin our year collectively as a staff.
The agenda for today was full,  there were a number of items that required revisiting and others outlining our Professional Development over the year.
I presented the updated and revised CDP and highlighted areas that had been changed and discussed using this as a working document now that it is in Google Docs.  A table of contents now makes it user friendly rather than scrolling through the PDF version and teachers are now able to make comments to show changes or ideas for possible amendments.  There are a number of documents in the CDP that are vital for teachers to know and use in their everyday teaching and learning, particularly considering we have a number of new staff and team leaders that have changed year levels. This has also been placed on our CBS e Staffroom for easy access.

One of the big areas to convey was the 'Teaching as Inquiry' and new appraisal documentation.  I have been working on this since last year refining and updating areas to align with the Practising Teacher Criteria and also the Education Council expectations.  There was a large amount of information for the staff to take on board.  It was great to see and hear the staff discussing and interpreting this information.  There were many great questions which helped me to consolidate my thinking and understanding around the "Teaching as Inquiry' process.  There are still a number of queries that I have which I am seeking clarification on which can be discussed in our Leadership Meetings and I will also be speaking to Roween Higgie who has helped me to formulate a deeper understanding of this process.