Last week I had the pleasure of attending the first 3E conference at the International School Ho Chi Minh City.
The conference was very different from PD I’ve attended since becoming an international school tecaher. It bought me back to my teaching roots – a blend of the unconfernce type model of professional development I loved doing in New Zealand and the magic of watching talented teachers doing their thing.
Learning comes alive when you see it in action We spend a lot of time in schools telling people what we do. Why not spend more time showing what you do? It’s far easier to emulate classroom practice when you see it in action with real children in real classrooms. We all need to be dropping into our colleagues classrooms more often.
Teachers as leaders – Sam’s poroporoaki (which I wished I’d videoed) made clear that in order for education to change, teachers need to change. The problem in education is we’ve conceptualised that the only way for an educator to lead change is to step out of the classroom as an administrator or coach. Yet by doing something differently in the class tomorrow, educators are leading change in their school. Let’s recognise this more often.
Sharing is leading When we look at most large educational conferences, the headline speakers and workshop leaders have often long left the classroom. Why is that? By not giving space to classroom teachers, we are systematically devaluing the voices in education we need to hear from most. As a result, teachers feel reluctant to share their stories viewing them as unimportant as they are not an ‘expert.’ At #ishcmc3e there were a ton of first-time presenters and a large proportion of the audience participated in some way. The presenters were often classroom teachers who tried something new and were
voluntold given time and space to share their journey.
Admin there to create awesomeness The adminstrators at ISHCMC were fantastic at setting up the environment for collaboration and then creating time and space to let that happen. I know they were working very hard behind the scenes to make things happen, making sure rooms were set up, sharing on social media, visiting presenters were ready to go as well as giving words of advice and gratitude when necessary. They modelled the learning environment I wish to create as a teacher. Thanks for putting up with me poking around your school (again) and the amazing hospitality.
Depth is better than breadth – this conference had a relatively small number of participating schools most were linked geographically or via social media. Connections were maintained through the use of insPeeration groups that met regularly to forge connections. The experts invited were ones based on Long-term relationships which enables long-term growth rather than quick connections that offer quick fixes (that are often forgotten within a week).
New connections made, old ones renewed.
What a fantastic four days of learning.