I have the privilege of being the official leader in a school in which all the adults are leaders who continue to seek new and better ways of practicing. What I mean by this is that all adults work tirelessly together in order to make the learning experience the best for each child. Now this may seem like a trite statement, but having worked in many schools in more than one school district, I can say that this is not what happens in many schools, which makes our school a little different than many.
As I write this post, all primary children are involved in Reading groups. This means that all primary children are receiving instruction close to their zone of proximal development for a full half hour. This will happen every day this week and every week, and represents only a portion of the reading instruction that children will receive. Classroom teachers, education assistants and learning support teachers are all involved with leading groups. Later today, our intermediate children will have the same opportunities for both math and reading instruction. Educators conference regularly about students and students are moved between groups as soon as they show readiness to move. All adults in the building feel responsible for all children in the building.
This morning all of our intermediate students were involved in Learning in Depth (LiD), which is new for us this year. The idea for this kind of learning comes from Keiran Egan’s work (a professor at SFU). Students are given a topic that they will explore for a number of years, working with educators and the home as needed in order to further their exploration. It is exciting to watch the students’ excitement. The logistics of having all intermediate students work together at the same time also gave us the opportunity to explore “bring your own device” for Thursday mornings, which is working well.
This is my third year at this school, and each year I notice that the creative and organic way in which we structure our collaborative time, positively impacts our learning community. I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings!