I believe that when babies are born they are life long learners
From the moment they are born, the mixture of nature and nurture informs and grows them. They learn from the sounds, colours, movements and relationships that surround them.
We play them music before they know what a musical instrument is, we read them stories before they can speak a word, we push them on swings, take them to the beach, into the ocean or the pool long before they can swim, float, swing themselves or build a sandcastle.
Their learning is experiential, immersive, natural and engaging. They choose how, where, when and then,
then they start school!
And at some point during their primary years or perhaps if they are lucky, when they reach high school it stops!
We remove their comfort, their choices, their freedom to explore and ultimately their desire to be a life long learner.
Suddenly their learning holds no meaning for them for it is driven by us. We remove its context and render it irrelevant.
We describe the same experiences that fuelled their early development as distractions, we stop letting them play!
At no other time in their lives will their voice be seen as being so insignificant as now, when they have so much to say. At no other time in their lives will their ideas be viewed as being so unwelcome as now, when they are unhampered by harsh realities.
As teachers, we are all aware of the considerations which cannot be ignored but have you let these considerations become excuses? We should never make excuses for delivering a curriculum driven by considerations rather than by heart and passion. Let them be there as indeed they must be, but in their rightful place, at the bottom of the list, not in the driving seat.
What drives your programs and lessons? Are you still operating under the conceited notion that the best way to deliver mandated content is by “telling it”? Stop saying that there is no time by using the time you will save when you are not dealing with recalcitrant students, disengaged students, trying to maintain the status quo or a quiet classroom.
Innovation is inevitable. It will not stop and we cannot slow it down. Ignore it and the gap between you and your students simply continues to widen.
We all know that the best teachers are the best teachers because they invest deeply in relationship. Are you really deeply invested in relationship with your students if you are refusing to speak their language?
Currently involved in taking the vision we have here for our model of the Learning Matrix to other schools.
So energising to share things I am excited about with like-minded colleagues. A great reminder too that we need to keep that level of pasion and enthusiasm amongst our own teams, especially in wk 8 of a long term.
Time to stop and take stock of all that we and our amazing Yr 5 and 6 students have achieved already this year.
We are well on our way to exceeding all expectations!
Can’t believe it’s been so long. Thanks to Stephen Harris for keeping you all in the loop through his blog.
What a difference a space makes.
We moved into our newly renovated teaching and learning Zone in January and all the work of the last three years, changing pedagogies, writing resources, re-educating parents paid off.
It was such gift to finally be able to really practise what we were preaching.
Early days felt a bit like camping but as furniture and technology arrived, it was swiftly and seamlessly integrated into our existing program.
The team of 6 + teachers, 180 students inhabit the one large flexible space and move from camp fires to watering holes, caves to workshops in a truly individual program me of their own choosing. Their enormous range of very personal needs are met through a highly differentiated program and an integrated learning matrix that we call The Journey.
With a focus on flexibility and developing independent learners, we challenge all to exceed expectations on a minute by minute basis.
Come and visit by contacting SCIL.
Sitting in our SCIL building amongst the 60 Stage 3 students we bring here every Tuesday. Not to mention the High School Maths and English classes that are also going on.
What a delight!
There are ALL on task.
They are all engaged.
They are all quiet.
Teachers are free to help where they are really needed ( although even the students who might normally need a lot of help are so excited by the Matrix and settled by this beautiful space that they are also self managing most of the time).
After a day delivering a PD on our Learning Matrix with teaching colleagues, came out to find another bunch of inspiring teachers busy tweeting, Second Life-ing, creating virtual versions of themselves which, as exciting as they may be as a teaching and learning tool, can never equal the real thing.
It would seem that the options and possibilities of new learning opportunities are only limited by our lack of time.
Would love to know how others make the time to keep their jobs whist investigating all these new possibilities.
How energising can just one day be?
A day spent with Steve Collis has re-energised me and my passion to keep on moving with my teaching and thinking. Check out www.theejourney.wordpress.com to follow the journey of a team that is seeking to bring our absolute best to our students through our pedagogy, our programming and our learning space.
How do we move from the classroom as an intellectual battlefield? How do we share this change with our students? Is classroom as publishing house and students as contributors the answer?
I am creating this website beacuse I am passionate about teaching and motivating students to own their learning. Let’s share the brilliant things that happen in our schools. Kids WANT to be on-line. Let’s tap into this desire and see what we can help them achieve.