30 March 2015

How Much Is Too Much?

Teacher Inquiry is the new black. There are a plethora of articles and advisors available to inform us all about why and how teachers should inquire into their practice. I have been consulting them left right and centre in setting this up Inquiry as a integral part of our professional development.
What I'm struggling with is timing and pressure! How do you keep up the momentum without causing a boil over?

Once teacher Inquiry goals were set up we have had ...

1. Collaborative Meetings:
Groups of teachers have met 3 times so far this term. The timetable for meeting this term looks like this:

The meetings have been in place of Staff or Syndicate meetings so that they aren't an extra meeting time for busy teachers. 

2. Sharing on our professional blogs

3. Professional development in staff meetings around gathering and analysing student data as well as student thinking and learning.

Now we are about to 

4. Share what we have tried and put into our practice by presenting to small groups across the staff

Timperley (2008) says "Continued forward momentum  depends on an organisational infrastructure that supports professional learning and self-regulated inquiry. It is difficult for teachers to engage in sophisticated inquiry processes unless site-based leaders reinforce the importance of goals for student learning, assist teachers to collect and analyse relevant evidence of progress toward them, and access expert assistance when required. "

Teachers are feeling the pressure. As the person fronting the Inquiry infrastructure I'm picking up on the sighing and drooping shoulders. Is this normal end-of-term-itus or are we going too fast?

I'm planning to get reflections from teachers at the beginning of next term when we are bright eyed and bushy tailed again on what they think about timing this term. What we are aiming for is enough focus to keep the momentum going for change practice, but not burst any valves!

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