Sunday, July 31, 2016

2016 Mid-year Appraisal Chat/Focus

 Criteria 5 Reflective Question: 
How do I help support my colleagues to strengthen teaching and learning in my setting?

Being a part of our collaborative, 'Innovative Learning Environment' I am working closely with up to 5 other educators at a time (golly, sometimes more than that!). We are constantly working collaboratively to support and strengthen teaching and learning across the curriculum in our space.

It's what we do at Russell Street School, we are all about the Tātau tātau - we are extremely good at this.  But what do I explicitly do?  I ask, or question.  I observe, I listen.  I lead, I follow. I listen. I invite my colleagues out for breakfast, for beers. I support.  I act. I listen.

It is exciting to have the challenge of re-writing the school charter for the next 3-5 years.  Within it, is all the innovative Learner Agency stuff I have been immersing myself in during the last 3 years.  I have a feeling that my vision for learning is about to get critiqued and scrutinized as I make sense of it, as we make sense of it, as I make sense of us making sense of it.

Criteria 12 Reflective Question: 
How do I advance the learning of my ākonga through critical inquiry within my professional learning? 

Outline progress in your inquiry to date. What has been your impact? What has been required to accelerate the learning of priority learners? What further learning is required (for you)? 

I've said it before but I'll say it again: building positive relationships is the absolute key to a successful career in teaching.  Without the ability to form and sustain positive relationships with students, classes, colleagues and whānau everything would fall over.

With this being said, this is one of the hardest things to do.  3 of my 4 target kids are new to me and my class and teaching in an innovative learning environment has meant that our relationships my not have had as much time to develop as they would have being in a single cell class.  But!  We are half way through through the year and we have all earned each others' mutual respect.  

So, these things have worked:

  1. Call home, let your student know that you and their parents are on the same side.  Parents will appreciate the heads-up about their child.  Ask parents what works for them at home.  Parents will know their own child better than you will, they will also appreciate the fact that you are willing to listen and learn off them.
  2. Spend time talking and listening to your students.  Who are they?  What do they like to do?  Where do they completely shine? What are their habits? Earn their respect.
  3. Coach: sit and observe, give feedback and feedforward, praise. They will respect that you spend the time coaching them to be the best that they can be: to reach their potential.
3 out of my 4 target children have had some sort of trauma at home this year, making it hard for them to make connections at school with others, let alone feel good about themselves to learn. 






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