Some of the best learning experiences I have had this year, have involved getting out and about and visiting schools, talking with teachers and principals and seeing what other people are up to. When you are a classroom teacher, it is all too easy to get stuck in your own environment and not know what is going on, even in your own school.
Fortunately the internet provides a window into the outside world. There are hundreds of educational blogs, tweets and facebook posts that give you instant professional development. But seeing something for yourself is the ultimate!
I love this blog post from The Third Teacher + about the value of field trips. They are inviting people to share their field trip experiences and have these tips for making the most of a visit to a learning environment.
I love these suggestions, especially the ask and absorb questions. I was trying to think what is my favourite place in my school, and apart from the coffee machine in the staffroom, I think it is probably the learning studio area. This always seems to be a hive of activity, a place where students interactions are taking place and I love the hum of "busyness".
So why not try and take a field trip yourself? Stop hiding in an office on your classroom release day doing paper work. Plan and make time, even for a field trip in your own school. The inspiration, ideas and even validation of your own practice will be way better than getting that data entered!
My name is Ngaire Shepherd-Wills. This website is a record of my TeachNZ sabbatical, Term 2, 2013 and then I have continued to share my wonderings and discoveries about Innovative Learning Practices. I now work for CORE Education. Views are my own.