Saturday, 27 March 2010
Monday, 22 March 2010
Teachers who haven't tried these super-classes wonder how it will all work - it clearly can work remarkably well, but only if the teachers have clearly defined team roles; for example in a three class space there might be a lead teacher, whilst another might focus on differentiation giving width and breadth to those who need it, and the third might be on remedial-repair duty - catching up those who missed a bit, or misunderstood a bit. A classroom assistant might also be sorting out logistics, checking that everything works and so on. The evidence emerging from these schools is compelling when it is done well. There are no hard and fast rules for these roles, but without them it is all too tempting to have three teachers doing a Dick Turpin lesson ("stand and deliver") in three different corners, or just as fatally have one teacher "in charge" while the others nip out for a bit of photocopying.
Children as making remarkable progress though when the "team' re ally sort out what they will each be doing - and with such a resource of other students on hand rules like "ask three then me" take a lot of the pressure off the teachers' shoulders giving them more time to carry out their role professionally.
Saturday, 20 March 2010
As we strive for a better and more 21st century sense of "us-ness" in our learning organisations maybe we can learn a little from the mix of personalisation and belonging on display here at Melbourne as the Victory go head to head with Sydney in their end of season final.
In this century I'm never quite clear what use we would have for uniform children, but children who can belong and work together as a team, bring individual strengths to that team, are scarce and valuable. The signification of colour, badge and more on offer here seems to offer a uniform that is not uniform... and that is very helpful.
Friday, 19 March 2010
Flight back was a bit delayed when a tractor parked in front of the plane for a while... By the way, this is a Life Saver Rescue plane - they use it to rush along the wonderful beaches and spot dangers - swimmers in difficulty, sharks, etc. But the service is being phased out to be replaced by a helicopter service - much more expensive to run. With the plane the pilot simply talked to the Lifesavers, who quickly took action. Sometimes systems find it really hard to cope with effective collaboration between folk and build autonomous solutions controlled by a hierarchy - exactly the polar opposite of where this people's century with it's collaborative mutuality is headed. I liked the little plane and its radio...
* thanks to Muartin Luevins for pointing out how to spell Qantas correctly - I'd initially added a U. His comment explains, below.
It is only when you get up close that you realise the wonderful way that it seems to reflect daylight is a function of the many ceramic tiles that coat it from top to bottom. Iconic building don't get much better than this...