Last week, we had our last lead teacher day. We shared our action research which was interesting to see how much thought and planning had gone into all. It will seem strange not having the ongoing PD which I have enjoyed very much. I find that I have learnt the value of PD and being current. When I first came to Botany Downs, I wasn't that fussed on lots of PD (and I find some current colleagues have this attitude), but having to stand up in front of others and explain my PD, try and inspire others to take the "call" and seeing change across the school, I can see the value. I like having current PD, rather than feeling like the last school to be having PD even though we are probably one of the last schools to have the cluster funding for ICT and inquiry in the way that we have. Going to conferences like Ulearn and Learning@Schools helps with the focus of what is current in our field of inquiry.
Highlights for me have been the external conferences, visiting schools on lead teacher days to see and understand how other schools do things; (Schools can be insular places.)getting the data projector and other equipment so we feel more like other schools who have lots of equipment, and how I have changed as a person, and a teacher. I had to learn to stand up in front of others, think more on my feet, be proactive in being able to do the ICT and inquiry things so I could model this for others, and become more flexible about letting students on and with equipment (becoming the facilitator).
One of the biggest buzzes for me is when students can demonstrate their learning or say "I get it." This year my students have started to "get"the creating stage of our inquiry journey, they are independent users on the computer, and more recently, with a homework project have created slideshows that have internet links, using Goanimate, and generally sharing their work. It was great to see with the homework projects all the acknowledgements. One student commented that another didn't have the acknowledgements. Cutting and pasting is still a huge problem. They have a second homework project due, so we will see if the message as got across. When we were viewing, one student came up to me quietly and said,"I think my project is too long." She was asking to take it home and reduce hers as she had got very bored with another and could see the same would happen with hers. Learning has happened!!!!. We are "getting it" with ICT and Inquiry.