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Collaborative Individualism

October 31, 2015

Reflecting on many professional learning opportunities I have been afforded at my new school this year, I’ve tried to put what I’ve learned (or was reminded of) into practice. Luckily I have had a lot of PD in the first few months and lots to think about. Loads of takeaways and wonderings.  P1050896

Summing it all up, it was about collaboration but also about taking away what you personally would use in the class for our situation for your learners at that particular time. Learning is like that, we learn what we need when we need it. It is a matter of ‘just in time’ and not ‘just in case’.

Like many learnings, we join as a group. Its practical. Sometimes its generic, or specific but to realise that you as an educator need to takeaway stuff you can use on Monday morning is something to think about. Having attended many PD sessions over the years I think about what can I  contribute to the session before I even go into it. Perhaps we think too much about what we might get OUT of a workshop? We are concerned about feedback to peers, admin. When I ran a Flipped Classroom IB workshop last month I thought, wow how powerful would it be for learners to really think about what they want from what I am offering. Of course this helps me tailor the workshop to their needs. I don’t want to drone on about stuff they already know right? I want to challenge them. Challenge me (just because Im leading the workshop doesn’t make me an expert- we are all practitioners). Challenge themselves. That’s where the learning starts. So I go thinking about the whole sending someone on PD thing. How are they preparing themselves for the experience? What questions should they be asking – if they can? Ive not gone to many workshops where content is front loaded so participants can have more thinking time when they get there. Thats important, for me anyhow. Thinking time. Connection time.

So we collaborate but really what we want is an individualist insight. So many times we hear .. ‘but in my school..’ and thats right every school is different. Classes and teachers are different. We come to workshops with a lot of knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and spend time sharing. I wonder if we there was a pre workshop component to gather our individualism so we can then collaborate and help each other. Before the official event. It can be generic like a Google + site for example. Connecting. Yes..but I don’t have the time to that stuff, Im busy! This pre workshop stuff should be an essential piece.

If we all had a heads up of our individual needs, couldn’t we get our collective heads together and help each other? Before we even step foot in the venue? We are all same but we are all different.

I don’t know, think it would work?

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