Thursday, 17 December 2015

Collaboration - Power in Observation

Hobsonville Point Primary School celebrated a the work of its students last night with a small film festival. The films were all student creations, the tech support work, the MC's, Kapa Haka and musical performances all from students. I sat taking all this in, thinking about their journey as learners and it dawned on me, my own journey this year has been immense.

Reprising my journey would be rather self-indulgent ( check out these posts for the journey: seeking a growth mindsetscientist for a day,  Ask the questionSwing thoughts,  Mud,) it is more important to share about the vehicle for this journey.

The ILEs that are being built or redeveloped produce a deprivatised learning space. Sharing the learning space with 2-3 other teachers, having few walls to hide behind, colleagues strolling in and any number of visitors means every move you make is observed. This can be daunting, but it also creates amazing professional development opportunities. I've been privileged to work with amazing people this year, sharing LC4 with many but the bulk of my time has been spent with Lisa and Amy. Both are foundation staff at HPPS and have lived the journey that I undertook this year, often you can feel like you're a beginning teacher again.

In my previous school we did 4 minute walkthroughs and occasionally you'd share some learning space, this gives you a small insight into what your colleagues do and how they do it. As beginning teacher you get observed regularly and do observations of others. Deprivatisation creates opportunities for constant observation of others, their observation of you and leads to real professional development if you open yourself to it.

It it is not the formal observation that is powerful, but it is the seeing each other in action and reflecting afterwards, it is the noticings and wonderings that you share. It is the added value that you create together and the osmosis of teaching tools, strategies and each others experiences. This is the observation that you undertake together in your shared space that I am sure has made me a better teacher than I started the year. In these deprivatised environments you also get to notice how other teachers in their space do their thing and over the course of the year there are many little noticings.

Professional development this year hasn't been attending expensive courses, it has been about watching my colleagues, sharing the space together and being comfortable with constant observation.

Thanks for the year Lisa, Amy, Jody and everyone else I've shared the space with, collaborating with you in 2015 has been a whirlwind and a privilege.

No comments:

Post a Comment