“The more the student becomes the teacher and the teacher becomes the learner, then the more successful the outcomes.” Professor John Hattie
To learn in my opinion is to be alive. I love the challenge of learning something new. I do personally like to figure things out for myself but I have also made some of the greatest strides forward due to collaborative work or great sharing. In my previous post, I spoke about a Genius hour for staff. Genius hour would serve to spark an idea or provoke a challenge amongst your staff but without a rich sharing platform/s, then I don’t believe that the learning is as rich. Having different perspectives and vantage points analysing your learning can give you greater clarity, inspire new directions or provide critical feedback. In schools, the greatest ideas are shared ideas. A school that has collective buy-in from all staff in regards to vision for teaching and learning is a rich school in my mind. Sharing is one key element to this.
#TeachMeet or #SchoolMeet
According to TeachMeet.net, “TeachMeets are meetings/un-conferences where teachers share good practice, practical ideas and personal insights into teaching with technology.” TeachMeets provide opportunities for like-minded and inspiring/inspired learners to come together and share. If you haven’t attended a TeachMeet yet, then do yourself a favour and get to one. Great conversations happen both face to face and online and there are always plenty of good ideas and resources to take away and share. If I was ever in a position to start a school, I would begin searching for staff amongst those who attend TeachMeets. Why? Well, I have always believed that the best teachers are those that are forever challenging their learning and thinking and these are the individuals that attend TeachMeets. However, the challenge with great professional development that is done away from school is how to bring it back and apply it to your own context. How do we keep the wave of inspired momentum going? Well, why not apply the concept of the TeachMeet to your school. Call it a #TeachMeet or a #SchoolMeet and challenge staff to volunteer to share their practice, expertise or skill in a 2minute, 5minute or 7minute slot. How often have you worked next door to someone or down the hall and had no clue about how they go about their craft? #SchoolMeets would help to create a professional culture where staff openly share their own practice and learn from colleagues. It would spark conversations and possibilities for collaboration. It may also encourage staff to sit in on a colleague’s classroom as a learner. The #SchoolMeet is the beginning of a learning conversation. It helps to pique interest and gauge understanding but this is just one element of the chain.
In my next post, I will be talking about the ways to evolve the conversation to encourage learning application.