Who teaches the teachers?
Following an interesting and somewhat difficult year last year (personally and professionally) I decided this year to go back to being ‘just’ a classroom teacher and dropped my teaching load to 0.6 … a nice 3 days a week :)
I have also taken on the adventure of Teacher Professional Leave. The DEECD in Victoria provides between 30 and 40 days of professional leave for teachers to conduct in inquiry/investigation into their teaching practices.
As a member of our SIT (School Improvement Team) I have been working with colleagues to explore what we call the change question:
“In order for all learners to be successful in our School what needs to change?”
So, along with a couple of colleagues, this year I am exploring what conditions are required to make project based learning successful in our school.
We have been using project/inquiry/game based learning in our personal teaching practice for the last two years and have seen changes in our students and their attitudes to school and engagement in their learning. We know the theory backs us on our observations but why are we able to achieve successful PBL in our classrooms? What is it about the learning environment? What are the characteristics of student behaviour, teacher behaviour and the relationship between them that affects the success of PBL?
What is really nice is being given the time to reflect on my practice and to have professional conversations about my teaching with my colleagues, including my students!
The title for this post came from one of those conversations; I was talking to my year 7 English class about what makes it hard to learn. We were talking about how it is hard to concentrate when you just sit for long periods of time. I shared an experience I had at a PD I went to where I also found it difficult to concentrate and what strategies I used to get through. One of my treasures suddenly did his thinking out loud …
…”So if teachers teach the students, who teaches the teachers?”
So what are you doing to improve your teaching practice? ;)