Connected Learning

Jarrod Lamshed


Activating the Hidden Talent

The-greatest-leader-is-not-necessarily-the-one-who-does-the-greatest-things.-He-is-the-one-that-gets-the-people-to-do-the-greatest-thingsI’ve presented a lot of workshops over the years I’ve been teaching. It’s a great experience that forces me to critically reflect on my practice. When you stand in front of an audience you need be ready to back up what your saying and answer the curly questions that are thrown at you. You need to know your stuff.

This doesn’t mean that we need to be the all knowing expert on everything, but we need to have looked at our own practice through a critical lens and have a good understanding of why we do things the way we do.

Something that I need to better as a leader is to activate opportunities for other staff at my school to be able to do the same. There are many times that we run small professional development sessions within our school that other staff could be a part of. With a consistently long list of ‘things’ to do, it’s easy to use this excuse to just run these sessions myself. I guess this is the leadership version of the ‘default mode’ that we all fall back to when we get stressed or busy. Instead of taking this easy way out, I need to be making more time to activate those around me.

Our schools are full of hidden talent. I say hidden because a lot of the magic happens behind closed doors, and many teachers don’t automatically feel comfortable sharing the great practice that is happening in their classrooms. As a leader in the school, I need to be having conversations with these teachers and support them to share with others as often as I can. When I began teaching I had leaders that helped me find opportunities to share and develop this side of my learning. Without that, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities that have been so important in developing my teaching. This is something that I need to a better job at from now on.


Focus and Prioritise

I find myself, once again, making an effort to ‘get back on track’ with my blogging. This frustrates me. As I’ve written about many times, I find blogging to be hugely beneficial to my teaching. It provides an outlet to reflect, contemplate, discuss, debrief and even rant on occasion. For long periods of time, I manage to write regular posts and seem to find a flow, but eventually other factors get in the way and I let it be a reason to put the breaks on.

It’s easy to use the excuse of being ‘bogged down’ by the commitments of life. I am busy. In reality though, all of this ‘stuff’ provides me with plenty to be writing about. I am lucky that I am busy doing things I love. My kids are interested in life and this provides us with huge learning opportunities as a family. At work, I am working with a team of people who are enthusiastic, dedicated and innovative as we move toward flexible learning spaces in our unit. Out of school, I have joined the CEGSA committee which will open up some great discussion and professional learning for me.

Not only do all of these commitments provide great writing fodder, but it also works the other way around. To manage these commitments effectively, I need to be reflecting. Reflection allows me to find perspective, clear my thoughts and as ask for the thoughts of my learning network as I navigate my way.

For me blogging is important, and I need to prioritise it. As a commitment to action, my Friday planning time is now my Friday reflection time. As I am doing right now, I will find a quiet corner and write. It is a process I enjoy and it makes me a better teacher.

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