Start out how you mean to go on - this is one of my favourite catch cries. It's very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to start something one way - to set something up, to communicate a culture or way of behaving - and then say, no, I've changed my mind, we're going to do it this way now! And so it is with classrooms. A rowdy classroom where the focus is on something other than quality learning and quality relationships is very hard to turn around.
Last Tuesday, the first day of the 2015 school year, I started my
first rounds of our school about 8.50am in Prep. As I approached the
first classroom a Dad was looking in through the windows quite all at
sea, fumbling with his phone. 'Just having one last look, are you?' I
said smiling, hoping to calm his nerves. 'Look at this!' he said. 'And
it's the same in Year 1!'.
I looked through the window
a bit apprehensively. Twenty six Preps were sitting or standing around
tables, talking, playing, cutting, sticking, writing their name, looking
at the interactive whiteboard, and generally looking like they had been there a month - not 10 minutes!
couldn't see the teacher - oh wait, there she is, crouched by a table
talking with one or two children about what they were doing.
smiled at the Dad again, 'We don't waste any time here', I said. And I went on
my way. And yes, when I got down to Year 1, it was the same.
four classrooms across our school have started out how they mean to go
on - a focus on kids, on quality relationships and on quality learning.
What a joy it is to work and play in this place!