Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Remembering What I Believe

Every now and again I find myself having thoughts which counter my beliefs about 21st century teaching and learning. I'll be in the car, my mind wandering into the magical realm of lesson plans, when suddenly the realisation that the activity I was daydreaming about is actually a little boring, a little pedestrian, teacher centred and very "traditional". It's at that point I walk away from the daydream and I feel suddenly alone.

For a while now, far longer than I've been blogging, I've been the one in my school/faculty trying new things, pushing the boundaries of curriculum and syllabus documents and the reality is it's often a lonely, tiring and challenging place to be in education. In the last 12 months I've been lucky enough to find my place in a wonderfully supportive and diverse Personal Learning Network full of tweets, blog posts and podcasts shared by people who are pushing the boundaries, challenging our conceptions of education and reshaping "school". My PLN is full of people I admire and aspire to be more like and through their stories and generous sharing I've come to realise that in the grand scheme of education I'm not the only one out there trying new things.

Sometimes though, my PLN isn't enough to balance out the feeling of isolation where I'm working on the ground. Especially when I'm daydreaming lesson plans and being struck with the realisation that what I was concocting was nothing like the type of lesson I encourage others to use. But, the reality is sometimes I need a wake up call, a reminder to do what it is I recommend others do.

At the 2009 Smart Classrooms Innovation Expo Gary Stager presented one of the keynotes and one of the quotes which has stayed with me and which has since taken pride of place on my office wall is:

"...less us, more them..."

And really, that's what I go back to when my idyll daydreaming of lessons is interrupted by reality. Recently, I've been thinking on this a great deal as my mind archives material from 2009 and frees up some space for thinking about 2010.

2010 promises to be an exciting and intense year (as if 2009 wasn't full on enough!). I'll be continuing in my leadership role and helping my colleagues implement a number of new projects around; curriculum compacting options for students, eportfolios for, as and of learning across the curriculum for senior students, increased collaboration between students and staff across the English faculty and digitising faculty planning, records and assessment as much as possible. And everytime I catch myself thinking what I will be doing to teach others I'm going to remind myself to think instead about how they can learn without me.

No comments: