"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Sunday, 1 December 2013

What will the future look like?

Today I tried to take a break from the things that get me down. I admit yesterday morning I was flat as a tack however I am not one to stay there long. After some retail therapy and a facial I was on the road to recovery. So today I needed to spend the day being inspired. I took time out for some reflection and thought processing as well as taking in positive thinking that would lead me to better teaching practice. This always leads me to TED. However TED was not the only place I stumbled across today for some inspiration. 

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TAFE does provide some excellent professional development for teachers through TAFE Connects. TAFE connects is an online elearning meeting each week and they have excellent guests speakers on a range of topics. Alex Miller is a TAFE teacher and she and her team have embarked on exploration into the virtual world of teaching. I must say until today I had thought about elearning from a very 2 dimensional way however today I now think differently. We have been creating avatars for years through gaming using say the xbox, play station or wii but what if we had our virtual avatars in a virtual classroom that was totally interactive. I love the concept that our face to face teaching practice can also take on form in the virtual world.  Who knows what our learners will look like in the future? 

This year I started Teach Meet as a means of feedback to other teachers about what was going on in classrooms. At no point do we really measure how successful we are at what we do. How do we know our students are better at English than those in other schools or colleges. Do we just rely on Naplan? How do we know which teachers are having success and which ones are not. Are we only measuring results based on scores? Is there a means of measuring quality teaching over the last 5 years or so and how do we compete with each other? This thinking came out of a TED talk by Stefan Larsson. If the medical profession can get a grip on this why can't education take a leaf out of their book. 

Then I watched Angela Lee Ducksworth's talk about the importance of 'grit' in our students. 

We know that our students lack resilience for many reasons and is there something we can do to help our students build resilience and encourage them to stick out for the long haul? 

This then lead me to the next  2 videos....

After watching Bill Gates deliver his talk on teacher feedback I have been thinking about how this applies to me and can we deliver quality that is cost effective and manageable?

So can we do these three things? Can we measure the success of teachers, build grit in our students and provide quality feedback, sharing and leadership for our current cohort of teachers? Is this too much to ask? 

As a young teacher I know there are so many things I can improve upon and I really want the best strategies I can find to improve on the quality of my teaching. I would like some feedback on how I'm going but would like the input of those who know the students and also those who don't. Regular feedback conversations would be so helpful. 

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If we improved the overall quality of delivery then we may get more students succeeding and reaching their goals. By looking at countries who have managed to model success much can be gained by thinking through how these techniques can further develop quality teaching for teachers in Australia. There are people like Alex Miller who are pushing our expectations of what teaching is and by addressing quality and innovation it can go a long way to providing successful pathways for our students. 

I need to mull on these ideas for further implementation and improvement in my own teaching practice. 

Until next week,

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