I was asked a great question on Twitter this week in response to a tweet I put out as part of research for a piece I’m writing.
I’m not sure there is a simple answer to Kimberley’s question.
But for what it’s worth here’s my two cents…
I don’t believe there is any gain to be made from change for change’s sake, but we do need to guard against adopting the “if it’s not broke – don’t fix it” mentality, as too often this breeds complacency or apathy.
However on the flip side of this, teachers are the experts on their school. Every school has its own idiosyncrasies and culture that only staff who have been there a long time genuinely appreciate.
So I certainly wouldn’t advocate mandatory “circulation” of staff or principals.
We need to constantly evaluate what we are doing in our schools from a wider perspective than just enrolments, attendance rates and examination results, whilst at the same time critically evaluating the latest trend being touted as the saviour of education. To do this teachers need to be empowered to make such evaluations.
I believe every school should have an “innovation” unit. Staff who are empowered to research and implement fresh ideas. This group could be staffed on a rotational basis to ensure that teachers had equal opportunities to contribute to innovation in their school. @Steve_Collis or @Stephen_H would be good people to chat to about this if you’re keen to explore this idea.
I’d recommend sharing ideas with colleagues from other schools as well as with your own staff – it’s not often we get to see what is going on in classrooms or schools other than our own - Teachmeets are a great way of doing this of course.
Other than that, Twitter is a great source of ideas, thoughts and accounts of literally 100s of thousands of teachers’ experiences. (As well as offering you the opportunity to find out what Kim Kardashian has for breakfast).