Let's pretend I have been a diligent blogger for the last month and continue on as though I made my last meaningful post just last week... thank you for indulging me in that respect...
I knew it had been coming, I'd been waiting for it, but that didn't stop me from squealing with excitement when @josephperkins sent out the invitation to hosted visits to Bounty Boulevard State School. Since first hearing Joseph speak about the work he was involved in at BBSS I'd been keen to see it in action - multiage, flexible learning environments, student led and negotiated curriculum, eportfolios...basically the stuff of my dreams.
As soon as the details came through I was up in the principal's office seeing just how far I could push my luck - turns out quite far. I was able to organise two teams (in the end three groups went) of 4-5 people each from across the 7-12 teaching teams. We deliberately invited staff who hadn't yet been tapped on the shoulder to participate in our Digital Pedagogy Master Classes to try and build some momentum and kick start these staff towards Pedagogy Licence. Got to say - it worked.
Since coming back these staff having been buzzing with possibilities - some have had an old flame reinvigorated, others had their concept of teaching and learning challenged, all have come back reflecting on what we do and how to move it forward into something else. I've had staff put together proposals for all sorts of things since we came back - Mac's (and ipods), furniture, team teaching approaches and eportfolio systems. Best of all this has been primarily from the teachers working in our senior school.
I see that as a major upside because I often find that those of us working in the senior school get trapped into focusing on the restrictions imposed on us by external expectations and loose sight of the possibilities. Just yesterday I had a senior teacher come to me excited - we've got the go ahead and necessary support (and resources) to set up ePEARL and start using eportfolios across the school (we'd all been really impressed with the system BBSS had running with their students and loved the usibility of ePEARL). Next step is or us to come up with a clear vision of how that's going to work with the senior school - personally, I can't wait to have students build an eportfolio of their English work across a year, hugely powerful opportunity.
So, cheers to @josephperkins and his students for helping get us kick started and inspiring others into a new mindset.