Sharing the love (of learning)

I recently visited one of our primary schools and spent time chatting to students and teachers. What is evident when you’re in a vibrant learning space such as this, is a real buzz around teachers who are taking greater control of the learning space and continually innovating. I think this reflects a culture where risk-taking is the norm, reflective dialogue with colleagues is a support not a burden, and everyone accepts accountability for the learning.

Far too often the teaching profession is admonished for what it isn’t doing right. I see it as part of our professional responsibility to celebrate the achievements and showcase good learning and teaching beyond the school gates. If we raise the overall quality of teaching, then we raise the status of the profession.

As you’ll see below, when teachers talk openly and enthusiastically about their work, you cannot help feel inspired and encouraged.


3 thoughts on “Sharing the love (of learning)

  1. One of the most significant differences of our own move into more open learning spaces has been the wider discussions by teachers around all aspects of pedagogy. Assessment frequently takes centre stage as the progress of individuals becomes the scrutiny of a team of professionals rather than a single teacher. This capacity gives a greater wisdom and discernment to enhance the learning for all. A collaborative team approach constructively forces discussion on all aspects of the learning space whether it be how to set up the furniture, resource purchasing or new directions of learning. Similarly these dicussions become a strong part of the professional development of each teacher. Share the space, share the knowledge and share the learning!

  2. Greg some very good points are explored in this post. The video was inspiring.Collaborative cultures in the classroom and between staff are fundamental to developing quality teaching and learning experiences.
    I have found that the creation of shared spaces seems to be one of the most important driving forces to developing that mindset- we NEED to work collaboratively in order to foster innovative and dynamic learning environments. Shared learning spaces allow teachers to see the advantages and encourage relationships to develop in an environment of transparency. Once that mindset begins to develop, then the realisation that we are developing a ‘learning community’ comes to fruition and everyone benefits from this dynamic experience.
    The teacher from Glenwood has shared some great insights. It is great to hear such a positive message

  3. A significant challenge for teachers working in shared learning spaces is learning to work effectively together. We need to look for and develop new models of working together. It is much more than “Removing walls” and “Creating open spaces”. It is the quality of what happens in those spaces and the opportunities that those spaces offer teachers and students that will make the difference to student learning. A shared learning space with teachers supporting each other to meet student needs allows teachers to develop, refine and evaluate their practice. We need to push the boundaries and challenge our present practices and as we do so develop the strength and courage to say when something is ineffective and at the same time we need to be professional enough to offer constructive criticism and open enough to hear that criticism about ourselves and act upon it. These things can only happen within a truly collegial learning community in which the opinions of all are respected and valued equally. Collegiality must be genuine and integral to all relationships: children, staff, parents, parish and community. It is not easy to build these collegial relationships, and once they are built they are never actually finished; extra touches are always being made, new extensions are added on and existing pieces sometimes shift or break away, sometimes one part or another may develop rot. With changing staff members, family members, parishioners or parish priests, our relationships change and so the relationships need to be worked and reworked regularly. We can never spend enough time, energy or resources on developing these relationships.

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