Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Accountability and Collective Responsibility

This term our senior classes in Years 7-13 are having a real push on accountability.

There is so much personalisation of our programmes that in order to help our students grow towards being empowered self directed learners, it is really necessary for us to scaffold them into this with some clear and very regular mentoring.

We have 12 teaching blocks during the week. Some students attend mostly workshop in these 12 blocks. Others are almost solely working on their own projects and inquiries. At the start of each block all students return to their mentor groups- a smaller group of between 10 and 20 students and check in. They do the attendance register and then they have in depth learning conversations wiht their mentor teacher about what they are going to do in the next learning block. Are they heading off to work with a teacher? and where? Are they working on their own independent learning? Where are they going to choose to do this? What do they want to achieve?  They do this at the beginning of each of these 12 blocks during the week for a full half hour. 

That is accountability building for our students. it's also accountability building and even more importnat a building of collective responsibility for our teachers.
In times gone past teachers just focussed on the students they taught and nothing else. There was even competition- my class achieved higher than yours. Many times this was encouraged by leadership and systems within a school

We want to truly build a system where our set of teachers are working together to collectively be responsible for the success- in all its definitions for all of our students.

Our place not my classroom. Our learners, not my students.

Yesterday afternoon we had our weekly combined professional learning and learning design session. We spent the first half focusing on building our pedagogy. 

We worked with our paired mentor teachers in our Puna Ako groupings to look at our accountability systems, to identify students we needed to target. 

We gave some feedback to all teachers about the quality and quantity of learning narratives we had written in the last week. See this post on the importance of our learning narratives.

And then we focussed more on content, wiht each teacher having an opportunity to highlight the learning content question they were having wiht one individual student. They presented this to the group of 30 in sets of 4 and then other teachers chose the person they thought they could help most and gathered for a 5 minute session discussing and making suggestions. We repeated the cycle four times.

What great conversations- what great advice and help was received.

To see a circle of 8 teachers siting discussing one child- maybe a Year 12 student working on an individual inquiry with a technology base- but being given some suggestions and advice by 3 primary trained teachers, a teacher wiht a Health and PE specialist background, a Teacher wiht a specialist English background, a textiles specialist, and a Science specialist. What magic these teachers can make by joining their heads together for each and every student.

I love the power of area schools to truly strip away the imaginary, and sometime imposed, lines between secondary trained and primary trained teachers and give us the opportunity to learn from each other in order to provide rich ands real learning opportunities for our learners.

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