Tonight I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life as a teacher. To be honest, I didn’t do much. I sent out a few tweets a couple of weeks before, and then I wandered up to the Abercrombie Hotel and watched it unfold.
Oh, and I like to think I did something so simple, it is incredibly difficult. I tried to listen. Not just to words, but to emotions, feelings, pride, frustration. The full experience of the teacher, that many swirl through in each of their days. The people I was listening too were exceptional. They could also represent the usual suspects as we pathologise teachers and teaching.
In other words, these people may not get a bonus from
Peter Garrett, or get promoted next year, but they are exceptional in my eyes.
There were student teachers asking what we could learn from exemplary teachers rather than theory, academics wondering about why we so devalue teacher professional judgement, and whether Twitter is an echo chamber. Teachers spoke about the ways that their school was able to make positive use of NAPLAN data.
Other teachers spoke of the distrust that many felt for their decision to undertake a PhD. There were ex-teachers working at AITSL and NSWIT who spoke about leadership, the gap between theory and practice, and the blah…
There were also voices that called for radical change to pedagogy, leadership, and the ways that we structure and do schooling.
Follow the tweetstream #aareFringe to find out more.
I think I did a good job. I listened. My provocation was to bring people together. I learnt so much. I am steadfast in my view that what we dislike in the education machine manifests as a distrust in those people we should be working with. Universities, schools,professional organisations; we have somehow come to accept that we are no longer on the same team.
#aareFringe seemed to show that we share so much. I can’t wait until Adelaide 2013 already.