I’m just returning from an excellent day with two secondary schools and their feeder primaries exploring ‘Gifted & Talented’ together for a whole day. This resulted in over 200 teachers coming together to think, discuss, share and plan for the last day of an exhausting, snow affected term. My role was to deliver the keynote and then I had the privilege of working with the teachers throughout the day as an on-site consultant. In truth, this role was simple…watch, listen, observe, answer questions (usually with further questions, such is my way) and then listen again as they developed their concrete plans for provision. The departments from the two schools either worked together for the whole day or worked for concentrated sessions on their own and then joined each other to compare and share their planning.
Doing this kind of work around the country reaffirms my firm conviction that commitment, passion and enthusiasm is very much alive and well in teaching. I wish the media would spend some time listening to this. I wish politicians would spend some time seeking it out and watching it.
We rightly develop strategies to ensure that learner voice is amplified in our schools and that young people have an authentic say in how they learn. I wonder whether, particularly at this time in the political calendar in the UK, it is time for us to develop similar strategies for teacher voice? We need to invest in the creation of a culture of reflection and learning conversations between teachers. There needs to be deliberately constructed, systemic collaborative learning opportunities for schools to come together in their entirety to share their values and develop their practice.
The day ended with everybody back in the main hall. Action plans for every department had been completed and evaluations submitted.
An inspirational day. And, as ever, much more to think about for me.
Happy Term Break!