Monday, January 12, 2015

My inquiry reflection

(Cross posted from my inquiry blog) 

So it's the start of 2015 and I have spent a lot of time contemplating my inquiry journey for 2014 and where I think I am heading in 2015.

After a wonderful session with Greg talking through my year, my inquiry is actually a lot more about the language I use, the questions I ask, the prompts I give, the pauses I leave.  

Early in 2014 my inquiry was heavily focused on up-skilling around inquiry to support others in their journey.  This will be an ongoing journey but this new branch is very exciting.  Constantly going around in my head are Greg's words... do you leave them with more questions than answers?  

I love our contract.  It is totally based on building capacity and capability and making sure it is sustainable.  It is focused on priority learners, exploring digital technologies to engage, support, challenge and extend. Teaching as inquiry the vehicle.

Early last year we were extremely fortunate to spend a day with Joan Dalton and David Anderson and their sessions and resources are shaping and moulding the way I listen, talk and interact. 

I am also re-reading Helen Timperley's Realizing the Power of Professional Learning.

Reflection on the various stages of the inquiry:
What knowledge and skills do our teachers and students meet to meet important goals?
Early in 2015 it was apparent that teachers and leaders needed considerable support with Teaching as Inquiry.  

What knowledge and skills do we as leaders (facilitators) need to meet the needs of our teachers and students. 
I required help to support educators as they worked their way through the inquiry process.  As my knowledge and understandings grew, my need for more support grew.  Ray was an incredible support as was Mark with documents, presentations, examples and exemplars to share with educators to deepen their understandings, challenge and support them 

Deepen professional knowledge and refine professional skills.
Ray was an incredible support as was Mark with documents, presentations, examples and exemplars to share with educators to deepen their understandings, challenge and support them. Readings, workshops, team discussions, online learning, all played a part in deepening my knowledge and refining my skills.

Engage teachers and students in new learning experiences.
In each and every school I had the privilege of working with educators at various stages of the Teaching as Inquiry journey. Successes were numerous as were the challenges.  Falling out of reflection on 2014 led me to a new branch of inquiry.  How does my use of language shape the journey?  How do I question and challenge to demand more questions than answers?  How am I overtly building sustainability by ensuring educators OWN their journey?

What has been the impact of our changed actions on outcomes we value for our teachers and students?
It has been a privilege to witness growing focus and target on learning needs through T@I.  Educators 'owning' their inquiry and deepening their knowledge and skills to meet needs has been a very visible outcome.  I still have an inkling that I am too 'involved' in the journey and at times do more than is good.  Remembering that facilitating is 'to make easy', it is indeed very easy to 'answer rather than challenge' at times.  My focus for 2015 is on my use of language to support educators in owning their journey!

Next phase of reflection:

How effective has what we have learned and done been in promoting our students' learning?
T@I workshops, sessions and discussions have been HUGELY successful in almost all schools.  A sharp focus, on a priority group has enabled a real deepening of knowledge and skills. Transferability of this is now a focus.

What should we keep going?
We need to continue supporting with T@I.  We really need to ensure there is one inquiry across the board - not separate inquiries for RTC, LwDT, other PD.
We need to ensure there is a sharing of T@I and a growing of capacity and capability across schools and clusters. 

What should we refine?
We must refine the recording process and the gathering of evidence. We must ensure there is only one inquiry across all areas, school PD focus, RTC and LwDT.  We must refine the process of honing in and focusing our inquiries. 

What should we stop?
We MUST stop multiple inquiries!

What new student learning challenges have become evident so what more do we need to learn?
We must focus on gathering evidence and recording the story of the journey.  We must identify challenges that remain, or new challenges.  We must focus the inquiry on the specific needs of our target group!

Woohoo - exciting times ahead in 2015!

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