When I’m in schools, I always recognise that the teachers I’m working with are the experts on their school.
As well as being expert educators, they understand the idiosyncrasies of their colleagues, leaders, students and wider community.
However, what I’m finding more and more is that within schools, teacher “expertise” is often not recognised outside of their perceived domain.
In other words, teachers limit ourselves and each other by our job title. We are there to teach our subject(s), do playground duty and write reports. There is little attention paid to actively recognising and nurturing innovation, collaboration or creativity.
Up until a few years ago this meant that people just got on with what they were paid to do and thought little more of it.
However, with the advent of social media, and Twitter in particular, this has changed.
Online, I regularly see PE teachers from one school collaborating with English or Drama teachers from another. Sharing their ideas, experiences etc. Maths teachers developing innovative ideas with art teacher.
Yet when I ask about such collaborations taking place within the walls of their own school, very often there’s not much doing.
Which led me to ask this question (on Twitter obviously!):
Anyone ever get the feeling that other schools are more interested in what you're doing than your own?—
Dan Haesler (@danhaesler) November 30, 2012
Which led to some interesting debate on Twitter over the weekend… here are the picks…
So with these thoughts in mind, I sought the opinion of school leaders who I KNOW value and actively encourage autonomy, creativity and innovation in their staff.
Ben Jones – Head of Teaching & Learning in Public School in Western Sydney
Stephen Harris – Principal of Northern Beaches Christian School
And to finish with, I couldn’t go past this one… I LOVE the sentiments expressed by John his tweet.
John Goh – Principal of a Public Primary School in Western Sydney