Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Year draws to a close (nearly)

It has been another incredibly year in Christchurch. Despite the ongoing rumblings - be they earthquakes or proposals for closure or merger- the business of learning goes on. Teachers continue to work extremely hard at Windsor to cause great learning to happen for our children. Over the year I have had the privilege to work with and present with many great educators. So here are some of my top thoughts for the year:

  • The job of a teacher is to cause learning to occur
  • To do this we need to have a learning focussed relationship
  • A learning focussed relationship is an open and honest understanding that all that I will do and how I will interact with you is to cause learning to occur
  • My # 1 job is not about happiness, caring, nurturing- it is about learning
  • If I want learning to occur then I will care, nurture, challenge, provoke, challenge and at times I will make learning hard
  • Embrace mistake making it is the key to learning
  • Encourage you children to understand that importance of mistake making and risk taking 
  • Help you children and their families to know that the learning pit (feelings of discomfort, fear, anxiety etc) are essential for learning to occur
  • Give feedback and praise on process not intelligence (fixed vs growth mindset) teach you families about this
Stop wasting time-
  • lining up outside the classroom (why- why can't they just get into learning) 
  • Waiting in the morning for the roll call! (come on there are hundreds of ways to get this done without any waiting),
  •  "getting to know children" for 4-6 weeks at the beginning of the year (get onto real, rich , relevant (3R's) learning and you will get to know them! 
  • hands up (I call this a 'thinking stopper')- If you have a question for the children have them think pair share, if you already know the answer why did you ask?
  • Marking homework (don't give it it is a waste of time)
  • Telling children where to sit (let them choose- it will help them to become capable confident, actively involved life long learners)
  • Complaining about how busy the job is, how hard it is, how much you have to do...if you are thinking and saying these things then your children will pick up on it- is that really the message you want to give?


  • Encouraging children to be mathematicians, scientists, authors, artists... in authentic contexts
  • Giving children control, voice and power in the classroom- the more control the teacher has the less the child has. The less the child has the less he or she is likely to become a lifelong learner
  • Modelling learning (mistake making, risk taking) in a real way
  • Challenging your children- if they get 100% of what you have set for them correct then they are not learning!
  • Collaborating with your fellow teachers- You do not need an MLE to be a MLT!
  • Having fun , teachers and principals have the most amazing job in the world- we get to have a profound influence on the future direction for young lives- what an honor
  • Enjoying your last few weeks of school (southern hemisphere) in another 3 weeks you will have 5-6 weeks on holiday - you will have earned it 
I am going to finish this year on a high, we are looking at student learning information (data) and man it is exciting, we are going to honor our learners through our challenge and award system, what a pleasure and we get to farewell another set of 92 amazing Year 6 children as they head off to Intermediate.

Enjoy- we will