My philosophy as a teacher has been largely shaped by my love of teaching and learning, my determination to help each of my students achieve their personal best and to equip them with skills to be lifelong learners. As a teacher my inspiration comes from my students and the wonderful people I have worked with, and met throughout my career.
In the midst of all the administrative requirements that fall within my responsibility at work, I have been able to keep one of my resolutions for the year: find bursts of inspiration that will continue to energise me. I’ve often found that formal PD has fallen short of inspiring me. The traditional method of delivering PD, with minimal interaction no longer interests me. The Teach Meets and PLC meetings have proven so much more engaging. While I’m yet to attend one this year, I did attend, via video conference, a Teacher Talk for Advanced English teachers. A panel of experienced teachers shared insights into their pedagogy and was of engaging students in the learning process. It was a great opportunity to hear some new ideas and it generated some great discussion amongst my colleagues.
Another burst of inspiration come from my determination to catch up with my teacher friends, frequently. In the past three weeks I have caught up with friends over coffee and tonight, friends over dinner. The intelligent, engaging and honest discussions about teaching and learning have been some of the best conversations I’ve had all year. Two of my dearest friends, George and Mosh provided some of the best inspiration in our dinner conversations this evening. Their love of teaching English is infectious. To hear them talk about how they engage students in their learning is the stuff that should be bottled and taken when the administrative demands can feel like they’re never ending. Tonight I discovered George’s art to teaching senior students how best to select a related text for the Area of Study. I learnt a lot about Mosh’s motivational speeches to her students to get them to take responsibility for their learning – to go beyond the classroom notes. Of course there was so much more in the conversation, but to build on each other’s ideas was inspiring.
I think a close network of colleagues or friends is crucial in providing the bursts of inspiration to think differently. I can’t tell you how energised I feel – though I suspect if I don’t sleep soon, it could mean that my inspiration will have to come through my morning coffee.