Sockburn School held their Professional Learning Group session this week. Marc, Rachael, Sarah and Lucy walked us through their journey so far with collaborative teaching and learning.
The meeting began with principal Heather Wilkinshaw discussing how in 2014, they modified some of their existing buildings in order to begin making some pedagogical changes. In 2018, Sockburn School will move to a new, purpose built site at Wigram Skies. To prepare for this move, all staff felt it was important to begin working collaboratively. Sockburn's vision is "Together we learn, Together we succeed," so working in this way very much supported this.
Rachael outlined how they got started. "In 2014, we had two archways cut out of our existing classroom walls. So 3 single cell classrooms became a teaching space for 2 teachers and a mixed year 1 and 2 class. We had to discover how to adapt and work together. We initially started with teaching our reading collaboratively, then expanded into other curriculum areas. We wanted to see how people were being creative with existing spaces, so we visited lots of other schools to see how they were operating. At the end of 2015 we were able to choose some new furniture which was really exciting. In 2015 we moved to a power of 3, so three teachers work in the space with around 60 children."
The Sockburn team now plan and teach collaboratively in this way:
The Sockburn team have the following recommendations to create a cohesive and connected team:
Be professionally reflective - in the beginning, things would sometimes change hour by hour, based on discussions and reflection.
Transparent conversations are vital.
Examine effectiveness - look at outcomes in a global way - relationships, social skills, achievement. Think about tracking a cohort.
Allow staff to be creative. Think about how you offer support.
Consider diverse learners. What modifications might you need to make for individuals?
Instant feedback for teachers allows for people to develop their own self-worth as educators.
Check out the Pohutukawa Team Blog to see their awesome learners!
The conversations following the PLG presentation were amazing. We toured the Sockburn team's learning spaces, had some wonderful kai and talked and talked! These PLG meetings are such a great opportunity to network and talk to others about their collaborative teaching and innovative practices.
Visit the PLG blog to register for upcoming events.
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.