June 30, 2006

State of the Union Address and other ramblings

This is the time of year when hopefully many of us take time to reflect on a year’s work. Many of us don’t see our work in these increments but certainly we’d like our students to reflect.

I’m proud of the fact that my weblog is my constant reflection. That said, here are a few things I think are highlights for me this year:

With regards the new division, it has created many challenges, frustrations and discoveries. One thing I’ve enjoyed is great teamwork and collaboration with the 4 other colleagues I work with. 2 of them are changing positions and our new curriculum team of 5 began some initial planning the last few days. Already we’ve engaged in some great discussion about change, the future and making a real difference in the lives of teachers and students.

I’ve been cautioned by one of my colleagues by pushing teachers away from our intended purposes

We need to support teachers and let them know they are doing good work and we value what they do. If teachers feel we respect what they do and support what they do in the classroom then they will be more willing to participate in our initiatives and devote the time and energy to reflect on their own practice.
If the only thing we talk about is change and how to do things differently then I fear that teachers will think that we do not value their work. Teachers may perceive that we do not agree or value what they are doing and if that is the case then they will become defensive and shut us out.

Words I need to consider and keep in mind in my enthusiam to see change. What I appreciate most about our team is the development of trust among us to challenge each other’s thinking. I think it’s a good sign of progress.
I gave A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink to another one of my team members and she can’t stop talking about it. She’s convinced of its merits both for her own kids and education in general. We all watched the video of Ken Robinson (via Clarence) and it initiated more talk.

Looking forward to the future.

One last thought. I’m jealous of my colleague Jeff Boulton who I suggested use his PD fund to attend NECC. Be sure if you see this face,

say “Hi Jeff! Where exactly is Moose Jaw?”