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The core values of our year 5 classes this year are Create, Cooperate, Collaborate and Care. These words help myself and my co-teacher @pruthomas to form and develop the way we want the students in our year group to think and behave. We talk about them together and we write about them on our class blog.

This past few weeks though, I have found it hard to apply those words to my own thinking and talking. You see, I have no time. My life has always been busy and I like it that way. But now, my school is up for registration and I am also going through the ISTAA experienced teacher process. Both of these necessary and important tasks are requiring hours of my time. I need to document and produce programs, units of work and evaluations  as evidence of practically everything I do in my classroom. Necessary I know and so useful too, the act of checking and evaluating programs is, I know from experience a very reflective practice. As I do it I can catch the errors and spot the small parts I will change, if I teach the unit again. I also understand  that it is only by completing such exercises can I prove my worth as a teacher.

Yet the difficulty for me is that it is also requiring hours of my time. Time I would rather be spending Cooperating with my co-teacher to devise and plan new and exciting learning activities for our classes. Time I would rather spend Collaborating with my PLN, learning and sharing together. Time I would rather spend Caring about my learning and improving my skills. And above all, time I would rather spend Creating.

I seem to have lost the necessary time to think. And I know that it is in those moments of down time, those moments of reflective thinking that I have my best and most Creative ideas. I realised today that I have not tried something new or even walked into the classroom saying “I’ve had a great idea” for a while now, so snowed under have I felt by the need to complete essential paperwork tasks.

So to help and  try and to put my thoughts back on track. I have applied to take a day out of the classroom, to join Steve Collis in a day of Professional Development. Called Effective Teaching, Effecting Change: A Day With Steve Collis. Steve promises to  show me how to ‘work smarter not harder’ so I can get back to being a ‘Teacher  keen to be an agent of positive and effective change in a sluggish educational system trying to equip young people for a rapidly changing society.’

And I cant wait!

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2 comments

  1. Hi Henrietta,

    I think so many people in your PLN will be able to relate to that! I am finding that has been a more hectic start to the school year than any year in the past.

    I really hope you do a blog post about “Effective Teaching, Effecting Change: A Day With Steve Collis” – it sounds terrific!

    I love your classroom core values by the way – especially the way you added “care” – you don’t see that so much when people talk about those “C words”.

    I’m like you, I have my best ideas during downtime.

    What is the ISTAA experienced teacher process? Whatever the case, it sounds like a lot of work.

    I’m just glad we have a long weekend coming up here in Vic. Hope you do in NSW too!

    Good luck!

    Kathleen

  2. Thank you for your kind words Kathleen, you bet I will write a post after my day with Steve Collis as I am sure it will be an informative and entertaining one. The ISTAA process is a NSW initiative for teachers in the independent school system. In order to move to the next salary band I need to prove I am competent in 46 different standards. Not a difficult process but one which will take up much of mu time this year. The positive part of it all is though, that deeply evaluating my programs is inevitably a reflective process.