I'm leaving Parkvale to teach at Taikura School which will be a world apart from my current teaching context. I think I will be learning a whole new range of skills that will add a new depth to my teaching that have been lacking. I don't know if I will be gracing mainstream classes again but if I am honest I don't think I have finished with decile 1 schools and I think the experience I am about to have at Taikura could work beautifully in lower decile schools.
I want to share my my take aways from this year at Parkvale because I don't want to forget my key learnings and because I want to ensure I have learnt from this experience and can take some positives away with me.
- Make sure you have a shared understanding and approach, if you are teaching in a shared collaborative space. Get together before term starts and talk about what you want, what you goals are, what underpins your teaching, your values, the things that are really important to you.
- Control the use of devices. Make sure that kids treat them with respect and use them correctly. Clear consistent consequences for misuse.
- If a child cannot write legibly, then they should not type their writing until their handwriting has improved.
- There should be times when kids are not allowed to use devices.
- Have a clear, visible procedure for kids to see that shows what will happen when they push it. Make sure you stick to it and make sure its manageable.
- Don't have certificates or start creating a rewards based classroom culture.
- Talk quietly and slowly.
- Always share everything and anything that will help teachers help their kids better that day.
- As a leader, lead and inspire. Be on top of planning and admin. Inspire some confidence. Show best practice.
- Help your colleagues to be better at what they do.
- Streamline admin.
- Be consistent with the way you run your routines, your boundaries, your expectations. Kids will need this consistency and ritual to give them security and to help hold them in class.