Woah! What a day! This is probably not the best time to write any words of wisdom and so I don’t intend to! (do I ever?!) But my head is buzzing and although I am weary, I am not going to sleep because there are just too many things whirling round in my head. So I will pen some jumbled thoughts….
I started the day with a walk along the beach as the sun came up which was just beautiful. I would have finished the day the same way except that it was pouring with rain! The weather has been cold and wild today but it does seem to be calming down now.
I spent a good couple of hours this morning collating more of my data, it is interesting to read what the respondents have said and the constants that are emerging. Not always unexpected but possibly surprising that what I have observed on a personal level in the schools I have taught in has come through so strongly in the comments provided. Maybe I should explain what my inquiry is about? The grand, and possibly over-ambitious title is “Brave, Resilient Explorers: Teacher Professional Learning in a Brave New World”. My aim is to hear how teachers are motivated to learn, find out more about teachers’ professional learning experiences and explore some strategies for professional learning that enable teachers to transform their practice.
We were reminded by Louise to maintain an objective perspective on the responses and to question, not only what we read but also our interpretations of it so that we do not taint the data with preconceived ideas. We have to respect that people have given their time to respond, listen carefully to what they are saying and interpret it faithfully and honestly.
We have been constantly amazed at the cafes and restaurants that the Core Ed team have found for us and this lunchtime was no exception ( I should really tell you about our experience in “La Cloche” yesterday – delicious French food and we were attentively waited on by the wonderfully quirky, very French owner!). Our meals were huge and extremely good but they had to be eaten quickly as John’s timer counted us down so that we could get to our next appointment on time!
Our visit to Amesbury Primary School was a fascinating one. It challenged us on quite a few levels and we spent a lot of time this afternoon dissecting our visit and discussing issues that arose from our conversation with the principal and our tour around the school. Too much to go into right now, but definitely something to come back to. We did wonder too, whether as we have visited schools on our efellows journey and explored the philosophies behind different pedagogical approaches, we have started to see things with less of a rosy glow. We have become more critical, more questioning and less overawed or impressed by the gloss. We have learned how to dig a little deeper, to look at how visits to schools prompt questions about our inquiries.
Karen Melhuish-Spencer back at the Core Ed offices, also reminded us to be prepared to be provoked by things that we see, by articles we read, by people we listen to, and not to take things for granted. I think that so far this week, that has been a big message for us as we sift through our data and work through the evidence to write our reports.
It was great to meet some more “twitter handles” face to face at the pot luck dinner this evening and relax, although we couldn’t quite get away from talking “shop” as we continued discussions about what we had done during the day. How can you switch off when there is so much that has been so thought provoking?
But time it is to switch off as there is more to come tomorrow. Can’t wait!