Thursday, 5 January 2012

Keep movin' and improvin'

I have had the pleasure of connecting with inspiring, experienced and progressive educators since joining Twitter last year. During this time, I have also been able to offer an empathetic view and provide support to those that are just getting their feet wet in the pedagogical shift and cyber universe. This has been both rewarding and encouraging to see so many climbing on board! Some comment that is so overwhelming to keep up. Some are resilient enough to keep progressing and invest time into their own learning. Others may gulp and take a back seat for awhile or start swimming frantically towards the shore! If we are lucky enough to value the positive purpose in improving our students learning AND either possess intrinsic will to continually improve or feel the support of others, we keep at it. If our collegues, HOD (Heads of department), DPs and Principals are able to provide an encouraging and enthusiatic culture it provides a safer and adaptive environment in which to learn.

Somewhat resembling the learning space we hope for our students. 

Encouraging collaboration, informed risk taking, noticing the positive and building on this,  developing relationship (oh so important!) sharing learning, empathising in challenging times thru flexibity and time giving and the willingness and provision of open communication. ....But what if this is absent or still gaining traction in your workplace? What of those who require the extra support?

Isn't it comforting and uplifting to have the support of a PLN (professional learning network). 

Can we all make it one of our goals this year to provide this positive and encouraging support to other educators that NEED it the most. 

With the simple motto
  "Keep movin' and improvin'" 

Monday, 2 January 2012

Letter to my kids teachers....

Photo by @7mrsjames

Dear teachers of Mr4, Ms11 and Mr13,

Thanks for all the time you will spend with my children in 2012.  I am excited for all the possibilities their young minds will encounter.  Isn't it an amazingly remarkable world in which we now live. 2012!

I know you will remember that they are still so young.
Their precious characters are still forming; something not yet done.
And so, I know you will show them patience and care
that they are individuals that you will prepare, for life long learning and a hunger to achieve,
a will to put in effort and a mind that believes. Belief in the love of people, first and foremost,
to help, support and inspire and not to boast.

A belief that discovery is an exciting journey to toast.
The drive to self initiate and work "past the post".

To not be satisfied with "SAME" and to strive to learn more, as they are guided by your wisdom and
challenge to explore. I know you will enjoy seeing them achieve and progress, towards a goal that they
themselves have assessed; will assist in developing their passions, dreams and interests -not just simply for a the sake of some test!

I trust you will be confident enough to reflect, on your own learning and teaching and that you can introspect.

I know you will not be impatient, scream or shout, belittle or disrespect and show some positive klout.
I know you will set an example that you are willing to make, a mistake or two for own learning's sake.
We are all not perfect and do not hold, the entire knowledge base as treasure or gold.  Knowledge is to be shared, gathered and built, in order to understand and to help us "quilt". To patch together pieces of information in our worlds,  to connect, be successful and not to wilt.

I know you will not give up or turn a blind eye, when they are not motivated or you don't see eye to eye. I trust that you will find ways to inspire and share, to kindle that natural curiosity that has always been there.

I know you will establish an environment that is welcoming, relaxed and secure, enough to be willing to accept the risks of failure and the need to improve.  I know you will provide opportunities that stretch and inspire, teach resilience and management and that there is no need to perspire, over endless boring memorisation of facts. That worksheets are too standardised and the use of them quite laxed. That they may not extend thinking as much as they should, or lead to curiosity as good learning should.

I totally "get" the huge task ahead.  To inspire, to manage, to guide and be lead. To change the culture of learning boredom and school time dred.  To connect, to share, to continue to learn, to collaborate, unite, blend in technology and explore. The learning world has changed dramatically from our own. And I know you will embrace the pedagogy that has been shown to the ninth degree; that does engage, enlighten and prepare for the exciting future that is to behold and be shared.

Thank you for keeping all this in mind as we travel together and find, the right way for one, is not the same for another. I'd love to hear a positive word or three, not just come report time but anytime is fine with me :)

Yours in education,
Mrs Jeannette James

Is there anything you would add?
Would be nice to read your thoughts. Spend a second leaving a comment- what do you wish for your kids schooling/learning?

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Crowd sourced twitter reflections of 2011

Have a chat... pic by @7mrsjames

I created the #edreflect11 hashtag for those on twitter to reflect on their educational memories of 2011.

Here is the tweetdoc of responses:

Reflecting on Education in 2011