As children and young people are confined to their homes the expectations of how, what, where and when they should be learning are shifting rapidly.
In this period of unprecedented interruption to our routines and education landscape there will be moments when we might choose to be more reflective than our normal busy schedules allow. Indeed, some of us may find ourselves telling others to reflect. How many student teachers whose school placements have been cut short are now completing reflective tasks as they await decisions about their QTS award? How many of us in leadership are saying to our teams, ‘let’s just reflect on that before we act ‘? But, what do we mean by reflection, and how might it be of value at this time?
Education leadership is often talked about in hushed terms, there are so called hero-heads, there are numerous personal published narratives on leading schools, and we borrow and build theories of educational leadership.
There are some enduring questions about teachers and school leaders as a profession. What does it mean to be part of the teaching profession? Are teachers too often ‘done to’, or are they viewed as having emerging expertise? As professionals do they feel isolated or part of a unique and significant community? Should we be more concerned with the individual person or the characteristics of the collective? How are individual educators’ lives shaped by and contributing to the profession as a whole?
Often on social media practices such as coaching are presented as silver-bullets. In education there are many versions of coaching adopted and some are contested, some highly marketed, some are short-lived school-based innovations and others become woven into the professional fabric of schools.
What does it mean for a school to be inclusive? What impact do professionals working in schools have on the values and practices of the school?
During the last CollectivEd Advisory Board meeting in November 2019 our board members made a robust argument for the need to create and support a counter-narrative to the hyper-accountability culture that schools in England find themselves subjected too.
What could be more exciting than starting out as a teacher? There’s the chance to work with children and young people, with all their foibles, quirks and enthusiasm. There’s the chance to walk into that staffroom as an adult, going into territory that as a student was off-bounds. There’s the chance to develop new skills, gain new knowledge and forge new friendships. There’s the reassurance of knowing that someone is waiting for you to arrive to do your thing every work day. There’s the pleasure of being able to choose how to spend your weekends and holidays. There’s the potential of a long and curiously diverse career.
How can we best support early career teachers? Can collaboration, a social life and autonomy make a difference?
On February 4th 2020 Carnegie School of Education held its second Carnegie Big 6 debate evening, with a discussion on how we can best support early career teachers.
There are lots of reasons to talk to your colleagues. Perhaps you need to pick their brains, perhaps you have a good idea to share. You might need to explore a dilemma with them or in leadership role you need to give them advice or guidance. Sometimes it’s just good to talk.