The first presenter, Dorothy Burt lead a thought provoking session regarding educational policy. She asked us to reflect upon New Zealand's history in Education. She took us back 60 years to look at the hands on approach that educators such as Elwyn Richardson used. This was a time of creativity, where students loved learning and were provided with rich learning experiences.
She linked the lack of creativity and tactile experiences in today's curriculum to the recent announcement by the Ministry that they would once again review educational policy. She asked teachers to find time to create learning experiences that require creativity during the holidays.
Anthony Speranza sought to give us hope that it is possible to change our teaching. He spoke of asking his students what they thought a good learner was. This idea had been presented to me at PD before and it had previously challenged my thinking. This year I made sure to begin by explicitly discussing the difference between learning and behaviour and I continued the conversation throughout the term. Anthony noted that teachers need to model the behaviours that we hope to see in our learners. We need to take risks and model a growth mindset if that is what we expect our learners to hold. I will continue to enact these behaviours in the classroom and I will keep the dialogue open.