Teachers, Tinkerers & Learners
“When students step out of the door of the institution called school today, they step into a learning environment that is organized in ways radically different than how it once was.”
In spite of the some of the stormy events of the past few weeks; both in the atmosphere and the in political sphere, a lot of really cool things have been going on at our school. Primarily, we have had the chance to engage in some professional learning together in the key areas that are reflected in our School Improvement Plan and we’ve been working in our classrooms to tinker with and implement some of this new learning.
In earlier posts on this site I have referred to the ‘3 I’s” of our school plan; Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation and tried to connect these with our focus on effective mathematics instruction, supporting students with learning challenges and the use of communications technology to support 21st century learning. The video link above is a thought provoking piece on why these ideas are important for our students and our schools.
Over the past few months we have been working in small teams to develop and refine our own questions in these areas; forming teams of 4 to 8 staff members to research and inquire into the ways we can improve our mathematics instruction, understand the different ways that children learn and look at the ways we can use iPads as teaching and learning tools.
Today, a friend and colleague of mine, Dean Shareski, spent some time working with our staff, via a Skype video conference. Dean, who Skyped in from his home in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, helped us explore some of the media tools that are available through our partnership with Discovery Education Canada and offered up some practical tips on ways we can use social media tools like Twitter, blogs and Edmodo to support student learning and parent communication.
There was a time when a teacher could believe that they knew everything they needed to know to be successful upon their graduation; those days are no more. It turns out our license to teach is also a license to learn.