In a previous post, I wrote about how teaching goes through fashions. Much like life, trends rise and fall, buzzwords fizz and pop, and approaches fall in and out of favour.
Now, compared to many, I've only been teaching a short while, yet I am already finding myself in a swirling world of contradiction and flippancy. From term to term, speaking to colleagues across the country, teachers are subjected to an ever-changing focus; which is surely the MOST blurry thing to do? As a consequence, in this strange game of wanting to be the most 'up-to-date', a slightly insecure profession jumps ship to the latest idea, without reviewing how well it was going.
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
Many have forgotten the most important aspect of this; the children. The learners should be at the forefront of as many decisions as possible. And if those in charge find that difficult, then it's down to you to do the moulding. If what you're doing is showing promise, why would you change it? This is the wonderful opinion of my current setting. Conversely, if the approach advised isn't working as well as you hoped, then amend it. Make edits based on the learners and use them as your guide; not the heading on those PowerPoint slides you were handed at last week's meeting.
Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better.
I've cracked the code; I have the answer!
When I was at university, I frequently found myself looking for answers. To some extent, this constant search for the 'best way' is what drives me to work; I want to be the one who eventually works out how to help every student understand every thing.
However, it took me a long time to realise that while the 'best way' is always correct, what that actually looks like is different in each case. The most efficient way for Child A to make progress is going to be different to how Child B creates the same gains. As the teacher, your challenge is, as far as possible, to supply that for each one. And no one can do that as well as you can.
Predictably, the conclusion of every single assignment/research/debate/discussion will be along the lines of, "one size doesn't fit all", and, ironically, I don't see that changing. So if that teacher chooses to do that thing you heard about, and you feel it's not right for your class, don't do it.
At times, you will feel like you're breaking the rules, and you will most certainly be taking some risks, but have the learners as your end goal, and you can't go wrong.
We need strong-willed people like you to lead our young people to a successful future! Positivity and the love of a challenge create success. It's Kommon Cents.