As 2015 gives way to 2016

2015 was a year filled with many challenges both at work and in my personal life. It was a year of new learning opportunities and growth. I enjoyed participating in the Bastow Emerging Leaders’ Impact program, as it helped me develop my skills as an emerging leader as well as learning to have the difficult conversations. As well as studying, I was given the chance to put my learning into practice as the English Learning Leader at my school.

The leadership role was more demanding than I expected and at times I was stressed out and struggled to cope with all the responsibilities. This put more pressure on my personal life and I often forgot to look after myself. All my energy would be spent at work and I would come home so exhausted that all I was fit for was bed. I continued pushing myself even when I was tired or sick, yet it didn’t seem to be enough. I ended up stressed and unable to cope. I pushed away concerns for my health, forgetting that I needed to look after myself.

Throughout the year, I became better at writing down my thoughts. Whether it was on my blog, or as part of my Writer’s Journal, writing helped me clarify my thoughts. It also helped me verbalise the ideas swirling around in my head. Participating in the #YourEduStory challenge made me think more about what I did on a daily basis. Instead of just trying to adopt every new idea I read about, it helped me think about the “how” and “why” –  it made me think about what motivates me to learn and how others learn. As I continue the #YourEduStory challenge in 2016, my aim is to not just read others’ posts but to comment on their writing. After all that is what I’m trying to teach my students– whilst they can have a face to face conversation about their blog posts, I don’t often have that opportunity with my colleagues at work. By commenting on other educators’ blogs, I can start conversations about a particular topic. It will be a good way to challenge my own thinking about about education.

2016 

My #oneword for 2016 is “Create”. I deliberated over several words like “resilience”, and “discover”. In discussing it with my friend, she pointed it out that it was a good action word to adopt for 2016. In pondering over it, I realised that she was right. I need to be more proactive in my approach in 2016. I can’t wait for things to happen or for my life to change by itself- I need to work towards it. Only I can make my life better or change things that I do not like- no one else can do it for me. Whilst “believe” was a good word for me in 2015, I need a more action-inspired word for the new year.

I need to create a life for myself that is healthy- both physically and mentally. I need to focus on my own well-being as this will allow me to be a better teacher. I can’t give my students my best, if I don’t look after myself. As a teacher, I can’t count the number of times where I’ve given up my lunch break to help my students, or said yes to a project that takes up more of my time. I enjoy working with my students and participating in school activities, often at the cost of my own well-being. I need to have a better work-personal life balance, otherwise it is a detriment to my health.

So here’s to 2016 being a year where I create a lifestyle that allows me to continue seeking new opportunities for learning and growth, whilst establishing a healthy home and work balance. I encourage you to think about your #oneword that will motivate you in 2016.

This post is based is a response to:

  • 2015 #YourEduStory topic: Most of us are somewhere near the end point of the school year. Reflect on the 2014-15 school year. What went well? What didn’t go as well? What changes are you going to make for the 2015-16 school year?
  • 2016 #YourEdustory topic: What is your “one word” that will inspire you in your classroom or school in 2016?

Blogging with Year 8 Students

Unit of Work: Writing Folio using a Class Blog

This year I had the opportunity to blog with my accelerated Year 8 students. I started the blog with them last year and decided that I wanted to make it a regular part of our class. We used the Global2 platform (hosted by Edublogs) as it is a DET approved blogging site. With the help of tutorials from Edublogs, I started incorporating blogging into our English classes. It was a trial to see how it would work in high school as well as teaching them how to be responsible digital citizens. With the help of a google form students submitted topics that we would use throughout the year. They chose the word length and style and all got credit for their topics. Every Friday, students would complete 1 piece of writing that would have to be submitted for review.

topics

 

What students learnt

Using Creative Commons

My students were already creating content and publishing it online, so I wanted to teach them to be responsible Digital Citizens. Students learnt how to use Creative Commons and where to find them. My teaching team and I spent a few lessons teaching them about Creative Commons and showed them how to find images that they could re-use without breaching copyright. Every term, we would revise the concepts and reiterate the importance of Creative Commons. I also included a page on the blog about Creative Commons licences, so that they could read through the information. If students submitted work that included an image that didn’t have a CC licence, they were asked to remove it and find a new image before it could be published. However I realised at the end of the year, that many still struggled with the concept and that I would need to continue to reinforce it next year. Most students simply accessed Compfight widget (through Global2) or PhotosforClass (widget on the class blog) to find images for their posts, as those were the sites we used most frequently in class.

CC images

What are Creative Commons and where can you find them?

Self editing

By providing students with an audience apart from their teachers, it made them more accountable for their learning. It also helped students learn from their peers – by reading their friends’ work, they could see how others had interpreted the topic.The creative topics allowed them more freedom in expressing themselves – they could interpret the topic in anyway. It made them think about what they wrote- many students started to regularly check their work for errors and see how they could improve their writing skills.

Improved writing

Student comments: “Has your writing improved?”

Peer Feedback

Students were taught to not only reflect on their learning, but to also provide each other with feedback. Since they regularly interact online through social media, it was important to teach them how to respond to the comments of others. By providing their peers with feedback, it gave them an opportunity to remember what they had learnt at school – it helped consolidate their own learning. It also provided them with a chance to respond to their peers’ comments in a positive manner. This was a tough skill to teach and not all students were able to put this into practice.

Student comments: "Did you comment on other students' posts?"

Student comments: “Did you comment on other students’ posts?”

What I learnt

Since I was determined to use a class blog, I needed to be flexible with the process of implementation as it was the first time that it was being used in my English class on a regular basis. I needed to support my team members during the implementation as well as providing ongoing support throughout the year. They were not familiar with Global2 blogs and needed to know how to use the blog features in order to help our students who would often lose passwords, have difficulties with posting or forget to keep up with the work.

Our teaching team had to work individually with students to help them stay focused. Whilst students were working during class, on other units of work, we would speak to students individually and provide them with 1:1 feedback and help on their Blog posts. This practice was set up with the help of another teacher and implemented by the entire team, as it allowed us to cater for each individual student. Throughout the year, as my team members became more confident using the Global2 blog, they helped me review the Blogging unit on a regular basis, identifying issues as well as supporting the implementation process. At times, it was difficult to allocate a lesson to writing, due to other interruptions to classes. This would have an impact on the students, as many would forget to complete the weekly task. By providing them with 1:1 support, it allowed us to identify students who would struggle to write independently.

The best part of this unit was discovering budding poets, philosophical writers, researchers, graphic artists as well as those who held a power to draw you into the world they had created with their words. By allowing students to interpret the creative topics in their own way, they were able to let their imagination run wild. Often they struggled with the word limits given or with certain topics, especially those who enjoyed writing, because they had to limit what they wrote. In the feedback they provided, they wished they had some weeks where they could choose their own topics. I can certainly see that I could have given them that opportunity especially in Terms 3 and 4, once they had become confident with using the class blog. Many students have now started using Wattpad, to share their stories with others on a more global basis. As a teacher, I will not have to wait to see them publish their writing in the future- they are already sharing their stories for others to read.

teacher support

What can your teachers do to help you with developing your writing skills?

A mid year reflection

I have been an English Learning Leader for nearly 6 months and it has been an interesting journey. There have been bumps along the way and times when I’ve gone “Can I really do this?” However as term draws to a close, I find that I’m “still standing” and I’m stronger than I was at the start. It’s been tricky learning so much as well as trying to keep up with my regular classes. There are 5 main things I’ve learned in the last 6 months:

  1. Making mistakes is okay: It is scary making a mistake with so many people watching but I’ve learnt that it is all part of the growth process. I made a huge mistake, but once I thought over it, I realised that it was a learning opportunity. I emailed those who would be affected and apologised to them. I didn’t hide the mistake but acknowledged what I’d done. Hiding the mistake would have made the situation worse and as a leader I needed to let staff know what had happened. It will make me more careful in the future.
  2. I can’t please everyone: I’ve learnt that I’m in this role to do what’s best for the students. I can keep an open-mind when listening to feedback and I will consult other staff within my domain to see what their concerns are. However some decisions might not please everyone and I need to be mindful of that.
  3. I can’t do everything by myself- I need to learn to ask for help: Being the English Learning Leader for the whole school is quite challenging especially with new changes in the VCE curriculum in 2016. Since I teach junior English, I need to work with senior English teachers on a regular basis to ensure that they have the resources they require, that they are able to moderate student work as well as start implementing the new curriculum in Year 10. I have to ask for their help as I would not be able to do it by myself. Others have also realised that it is a big job and I have been pleasantly surprised by those who have offered to help.
  4. I need to prioritise my work- everything can’t be done at once: My role has many different parts to it- I need to check that the curriculum is up-to-date, that there are resources for all year levels, organise moderation times for senior English, organise exams and SACs; keep track of dates, organise incursions, implement the new curriculum, write subject outlines for handbooks, organise meetings for different year levels, keep track of the English budget not to mention teaching my classes as well as completing a Leadership course. Yes at times it does become overwhelming, but as long as I keep a track of what I need to do, I am able to complete tasks on time. I’ve also never realised the different aspects of the role and whilst at the moment it feels like all I’m doing is administrative work, in a few months I can start exploring other parts of my job. .
  5. I am capable of being the ELL: I often doubt myself and over the past six months, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to do so. However I am also amazed that I’m managing quite well with all the responsibilities.With the help of my mentors and supportive staff members, I can be a good leader. Quite a few people have faith in me, including members of the Executive Leadership team, so I need to believe in myself as well.

mistakes (1)

Difficult conversations

In my 2nd Bastow workshop, the theme was “Leading Teams”. During the two days we learnt that it is important to communicate well with our colleagues. I learnt that whilst certain conversations might be difficult, it is imperative that we have them in order to avoid negativity.

Over the past few months, I have encountered more difficult conversations then in previous years of teaching. The increase has resulted due me becoming the English Learning Leader. The issue for me is that “tough talks” are not easy and this is the way most people would probably feel. I find it especially difficult, because all my life I have been raised to “let it go”, to just walk away from a situation where I’m unhappy and avoid addressing the issue. It was a way of letting the issue just fade away, but it would fester within me. It got to a point that I would always walk away feeling stressed, knowing the situation was unresolved. As a leader, it is something I can’t avoid- I need to tackle it head on.

I teach in a team – each member has a different teaching style and a way of working.Ideally in a team teaching situation each member’s abilities should add to the team’s capabilities and strengths but I find that this is often not the case. If one member struggles with time and student management, this can often impact the other members and their work. They can be forced to carry the team, doubling their own workload and can find themselves doing most of the work. I have often found myself in this situation many times and as I can’t communicate my frustrations very well, this often has an impact on the team relationship. I try to hide my feelings and hope the situation goes away so that it doesn’t have a negative effect on the students . It doesn’t. Students are very quick in picking up tension between teachers and it can affect the harmony in the classroom.

At the workshop, I had to identify a person at work that I needed to have a difficult conversation. In our groups we did role-playing so that we could think about what we would say to the person we needed to have a tough conversation with. For me it was difficult because this has been an ongoing issue, one that I have tried to broach several times over the last 2 years with no change. However I knew I had to keep trying, not so much because it was affecting the way I worked, but because it was having a negative impact on my students.

Communication

During the role-play I realised a few things:

  • I was unable to identify reasons why my team member was not contributing to our planning sessions
  • I was constantly projecting my own assumptions on the situation without taking the time to find out the real reasons
  • I wasn’t approaching the situation with a clear mind- so I wouldn’t be open to what was happening
  • I wasn’t really prepared to listen actively

As a result, I am trying to make sure that the next time I begin this conversation, I am in the right frame of mind. It’s not fair to the other person that I’m coming into the meeting with pre-conceived ideas and judgments. In order to understand their point-of-view, I need to ensure the meeting takes place when I’m in the right head-space, so that it is a proper conversation.

I have a lot to learn about difficult conversations, but I know that I need to be prepared to actively listen to their point-of-view and to understand that they might be at a point when there are many things happening in the background that I am not aware of. By going in with an open mind, we might be able to work together to come up with a solution that can be implemented in order to ensure the smooth running of our classroom.

What motivates learning?

Learning is has been part of my life’s journey- I have been learning since the day I was born. Often I didn’t even realise that I was learning because I equated learning mostly with school. Until I started thinking about this topic, I wasn’t conscious about how much I have learnt and continue to learn on a daily basis.

I wanted to be independent so I learnt:

  • to drive a car
  • how to teach, so I could get a job and earn a living
  • how to use the Melbourne transport system (in case my car breaks down or I need to go to the city)
  • how to pay bills and manage my money when I moved out of home.

I became a technology leader and I didn’t know how to use it effectively, so I:

  • attended technology conferences
  • learnt how to use Twitter to talk to other educators about technology in the classroom
  • participated in Twitter chats to learn about how technology is breaking down classroom walls
  • participated in an Edmodo course to learn how to get connected and try out new online resources
  • read blogs, websites like Edutopia to learn how to improve my use of ICT in the classroom

There are many other reasons I learn:

  • I’m interested in giving my students a voice in the classroom- so I read anything I can on that topic.
  • I’ve become the English Learning Leader so I’m constantly learning on the job and finding PD to help me.
  • I’m doing a year long Leadership course because I want to be an effective leader.
  • My students love sharing information about themselves and what they read which allows me to learn more about them.
  • I love dancing so I took ballroom dance lessons and learnt new dances.

At times throughout my life, I was learning just to get by. However I’ve realised that when I’m passionate about something, that’s when my learning is the strongest. It’s been years since I was a student myself, but as a teacher I’ve realised that in some ways I’m still a learner. Every day I learn something new and often don’t realise it. Whether it is learning to dance or learning about my students, if I’m passionate about something then I will learn. I don’t want to stop this learning journey because there is still so much I want to know and do.

So what motivates me to learn? Being passionate about something.

So my question to you is “What motivates you to learn?”

#YourEduStory Week 17

Show Don’t Tell!

“The world of connected educators can be an echo chamber at times, how WILL you grow the conversation so that we bring more people and perspectives along the journey?”- #YourEduStory Week 13 topic

For me, being connected is important. As a teacher I’ve learnt so much and have found that passion for learning (that I felt was missing when I was growing up). I’m still working on sharing my ideas with people outside school- I’m still hesitant to do so as I feel I’m just repeating what everyone is saying. This is especially true for me on Twitter.

However at work, when I begin to talk about what I’m learning via Twitter and blogs, I get a variety of responses. Some will be interested in what I say, whilst others will listen politely and then move on to another topic. It’s a different concept to them and I often hear:

After all aren’t we going for Professional Development sessions relating to our subjects? Isn’t that enough? We already have so much to do, why do we need to do something more? Going home and spending time seeking out new ideas and practices is not ideal- it’s family or me time. Why should I try to seek out new ideas- after all the school leaders make all the decisions anyway. We are constantly forced to accept their ideas. We’ve done things this way for nearly 20 years- it’s all a fad!

I want to sometimes interrupt and say no it’s not a fad. Learning is different in today’s world and it’s not right to expect our students to learn the same way we did. I know I didn’t enjoy learning at school because I was spoon-fed. I wasn’t taught to think critically and therefore I often struggled (and sometimes still do) to articulate my opinions.

So instead of talking to people about what I’m learning, I try and demonstrate the “so-called fads” in my teaching:

  1. My Year 9 students have a voice in their learning in my subjects. I’ve taught them since Year 7 and they are confident in speaking their ideas and help to decide how the learning will take place in my class. As a result they are engaged in class and I rarely have behaviour issues with them. So when they have other teachers who still use the “chalk and talk” method for the entire lesson and dictate how they should behave, they struggle and often misbehave because the classes don’t cater for their learning styles.
  2. Last year, I had students from the same class present their “Black Death” PBL unit in front of 50 teachers and principals during a staff presentation. When the students presented in class, I had our Technology for Learning Leader as well as House leaders as guests. Students created their own units on the Black Death that will be used with Year 8 classes this year.
  3. My current Year 8 students have their own class blog to showcase their learning. At the moment it focuses on developing their writing skills but I also use the blog to teach them about Copyright and acknowledging their sources.
  4. I’ve joined the school PBL Action Team to help develop units of work for Years 7-8 that incorporate Maths, Science, English and Humanities. As staff aren’t very confident about PBL and in the aim to promote it more in our school, the team provides a very structured unit of work. It’s still very much teacher-led but my hope is that other staff will start seeing the importance of PBL in the classroom and allow it to become more student-led. In a school as big as mine, we’ve had to follow this path in order to get more teachers on board. We still had a few complaints, but overall staff have been happy with the Year 8 unit we did in Term 1.
  5. Last year our Technology team trialled the Blended Learning Action Project. Not only were volunteers creating their own Blended Learning unit in their classrooms, they also learnt how to conduct their own Action Research. We had a lot of issues throughout the year, but eventually we managed to get on track. We ended the year with a Showcase, where staff presented their units to other teachers and school leaders. As one of the Tech leaders, I was amazed at what our volunteers had done. However those who weren’t involved in the whole process, were completely blown away. For many, the ideas were very new to them and they were presented with actual units of work that had been done in our school. The Showcase was supposed to be only for an hour after school- we still had people staying after 5 because they were so interested.

I’ve come to the conclusion that whilst a conversation about being connected is good, it’s better to demonstrate the ideas in practice and then have the conversation. Staff need to see how it can be implemented and the benefits before they will adopt the ideas. That’s what will make them more willing to accept new ideas. Not everyone rushes to Twitter or blogs, but those of us who do need to show and demonstrate it at school. A few might even start a Twitter account or their own blog. An even better idea would be to get staff to be guests in our classrooms when students showcase their learning.

Being an Emerging Leader

In February I finally began my Bastow Emerging Leaders’ Program. Ever since I started seeking my own avenues of learning, I realised that I had to find a face-to-face learning environment that was actually interesting and engaging as well as relevant to me. Whilst I enjoy learning online, it can sometimes feel as if I’m missing out on the in-depth conversations. Twitter is great for micro chats, but having the time and unlimited word count can result in a conversation that is not constricted by 140 characters.

The Bastow course aims to provide teachers with the skills necessary to be an effective leader in their schools. Whilst some teachers in the course have been in positions of responsibility for a couple of years, others like me are just starting out. Everyone is there for the same reason- they all want to be the best leaders and to improve their leadership abilities. The 1st  two workshops allowed the teachers to question themselves and 4 key questions were raised:

Leaders

In the 2 day residential workshops, I felt as if I was stripped bare. There was nowhere to hide- and for once I didn’t feel as if I wanted to run away. I wanted to face my fears and know what I needed to do to become a better leader. I was open about what I needed to work on. My leadership journey is just beginning and I know (at least I think I know) my own strengths and weaknesses. The emotional intelligence test, that all participants had to complete, produced results that weren’t a surprise. Instead of the results making me feel discouraged, they worked to make me more determined about the skills I needed to work on. I wanted to be here- now I was going to have to find the steps that would allow me to go forward.

In the Genos Emotional Intelligence test that I completed, as a requirement for the Bastow course, it identified 4 emotional skills that are important in shaping workplace behaviours. These skills are acquired over time and can help shape and strengthen a leader’s capabilities. The effectiveness of a leader depends not only on their actions but how they react in a variety of situations. The aim of this test was to help participants understand that as leaders they needed to cognizant of that fact.

  1. Awareness (perceiving and understanding your own and others emotions)
  2. Expression (effectively expressing your own emotions)
  3. Reasoning (using emotional information in combination with other data when making decisions)
  4. Management (maintaining positive moods, dealing effectively with with stress and reacting positively in a controlled manner)

In my report, it showed my results for each skill and listed suggestions on how I could improve in each area. I’ve decided that for this year, I will focus on 4 suggestions (1 for each area) in order to further develop my leadership skills. To me, they are my biggest weaknesses which have the major impact on how I react to events that take place around me.

  1. Being aware of how my feelings influence the way I interact with people (awareness)
  2. Expressing how I feel to the right people (expression)
  3. Asking people how they feel about different solutions when solving problems (reasoning)
  4. Handling stressful situations effectively (management)

During the workshop, I questioned myself and my abilities several times. I framed several questions that are important to me on this year long course. I don’t need to have them answered by the end of the year, but they will help me learn and understand more about how I lead.

Do I encourage others to build up their skills?
Do I motivate them to be better?
How do other leaders make me feel? Do I feel daunted or inferior? Or do they make me want to do better? Do they encourage me?
Where am I heading as a leader?
What are the values that shape me as a leader?

[This post was started a week after the workshops but due to a busy schedule, it is only now during the 1st term break that I was able to complete it.]

Connections changes classrooms

So the topic for #YourEduStory this week is “What is connected learning and WIIFM?”

WIIFM?? What’s that? I had to actually search it up as it was an acronym that I hadn’t come across. WIIFM stands for “What’s it in for me?”

It is interesting to note that getting connected can have a great impact especially on teachers. These days being connected refers not only to teachers connected to other teachers, but also their classes can connect with experts around the world to expand their learning environment. Everyone benefits from a teacher being connected.

Being connected means flattening the local, national and global boundaries for learning.

Being connected means that teachers and classes can connect with each other in real-time.

Being connected helps teachers learn new practices that can change their classrooms.

So how has this had an impact on me and most importantly on my students?

Being connected has led me to change my classroom:

  • Students have a voice in their learning- they enjoy being able to be part of the decision making process
  • Students are given more of a choice- where they sit, to set the pace of their learning and how they learn
  • Use of PBL to develop my students’ ability to question, investigate and explore topics
  • I’m helping them to strengthen their skills- they are becoming more independent in their learning, they seek help from peers and support each other
  • I am able to provide more support to students who are struggling whilst others are engaged in their learning.
  • Using a Blended Learning approach, I am able to tailor the learning for my students. It allows me to see where students are struggling and need more support. It also allows me to extend the abilities of more capable students and set challenges for them to complete.

The biggest impact however of being connected is that I have gotten to know my students as individuals. This has strengthened my relationship with them. I am able to act silly and make a fool of myself in front of them- that gets their attention a lot quicker than yelling. There is a bond of trust- they know I trust them to complete work and they have put their trust in me to help them when they are struggling.

Without being connected I would still be frustrated about my ability to engage my students.They are happier in class and always ask me what we are going to do before we step into the classroom. They have the chance to explore new ideas -they are more confident in testing their abilities independently. If they start to struggle they first ask a peer before coming to seek my help. If I hadn’t become connected they wouldn’t have become so independent. They get frustrated in other subjects because they aren’t given the same opportunities they get in my classes.

So not only do I benefit from being connected but so do my students. I look forward to being connected for the rest of my life!

Am I an Effective Leader?

“What makes a good leader? Am I a Leader? What are the qualities of a leader? How do you lead change in a school? How do you get other teachers to include and experiment with new ideas in their classroom? Why do others see me as a Leader?”

These are just just some of the questions that have been swirling around in my head. I want to be able to answer these questions to enable me to understand what I need to do to be a leader. I have the title “Domain Technology Leader” at my school, yet I don’t feel like an effective leader. This is an ongoing conversation in my head as well as with other teachers and one that I still have yet to make sense of.

So what makes a good leader in my opinion?

 

A leader is a person who is confident in speaking in front of others- when I stand in front of my domain teachers, my mouth refuses to open or I constantly stumble over my words. I can’t get my message across. I find it difficult to talk to a group of my peers because sometimes I’m afraid of how they will react.

A leader can initiate change: To me a leader is someone who identifies changes that can be made and finds a way to implement them, not just in their classroom but at a school level. This is a skill I struggle with especially when it relates to whole-school implementation. I’m comfortable with trying new ideas in my class but when it comes to sharing the benefits and the results it’s not easy to do. Knowing that many staff are not receptive of new ideas, makes me hesitant in sharing to all. I try to share my ideas with staff I talk to on a regular basis, with the idea that if I start small, it might make a difference.

A leader models change:  With the increased use of technology in Education, new teaching practices that teach key 21st century skills to students, leaders are those who are open-minded. They are willing to try new ideas and experiment with them to improve student engagement and ownership in their learning.

A leader is open to change: Schools establish and maintain their visions and values so that students, staff and the wider community are aware of the expectations. Bringing in change can often be met with resistance from members of the school community. A leader is aware of the status quo, yet is open to accepting changes in teaching pedagogies. A leader may not initiate the change, but they listen to others opinions and support teaching and learning initiatives. With the aim of ensuring that students’ different learning abilities shape the teaching, they understand the use of technology within the classroom. One of the reasons I chose to become a Domain technology leader was to understand how technology can support the learning in my classroom as well as in the school. It allows teachers to extend the students’ capabilities and to equip them with skills they need as they move into the workforce.

A good leader is approachable and supportive: One of the qualities I admire in my immediate leaders is their ability to support the staff. Whenever I go to them for advice, they first listen and then they actively work with me to help me resolve an issue or come up with a solution. They don’t resolve the issue themselves, they help me develop the skills I need to implement the solution. This is something I need to develop myself as a leader.

A good leader knows their staff and their abilities: One of the skills I am interested in developing is the ability to recognise what the staff need to know when implementing new teaching practices. During my first years, I just went about my daily duties without quite understanding what I was doing. Having had that experience, I want to ensure that other staff understand the reasoning behind why new pedagogies like “PBL” are being implemented. I want to run PD that helps them gain an understanding of not just what is new but also the reasons why they can be effective.

This post is written as part of the #blogsync challenge for Connected Educator month. It has also been shaped by conversations with other staff as well as some Year 9 students. I was interested in these conversations as they helped me understand how I can be a better leader.