I think the wisest words I heard a teacher say in 2022 came from a secondary teacher I met in Term 2.
We were discussing “recovering” from whatever the last couple of pandemic years have been. We discussed, as a whole staff, what the strategies and the attitudes were that we’d need to cease surviving and to commence thriving.
This teacher’s mindset was clear. She said “I reckon the key to recovery is every class feeling like some sort of group project.”
I was curious about the concept and enquired as to what she meant.
She elaborated that her view is that her students need to have the adversarial element removed from their learning. Each lesson should feel to them like a friendly offer to achieve something together. She’s committed to stop trying to win, to complete programs and to put her performative ambitions before her students’ needs.
It was a beautiful articulation of a deep, philosophical shift. No longer is this teacher chained by outcomes and expectations that others have set without respect for who her students are.
She’s chosen a truly high expectation of herself. And her expectation is to sustain the conditions in her class that are most conducive to the smiles associated with making worthy progress … and that’s all.
Keep fighting that good fight,
PS. Queensland School Leaders … let’s catch up! I’m running a FREE 2-hour seminar titled “School Culture In Focus” at Emmanuel College on Wednesday 18th January from 1.30pm. Register pronto at this link.
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