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.’