!6th May I went to the Innovations showcase set up by the innovations division of the State Govt. Education Dept. Despite having to listen to the minster Lynne Kosky congratulate us for doing such a great job while being so poorly renumerated (my words, not hers) and for her testimony to our innovation (again, considering the budgets some schools have it is close to miraculous) the day was thought provoking. Our Keynote speaker was very happy to get us all thinking and sharing our ideas while he congratulated himself for succeeding despite his schooling in a 1970s Chadstone school. Although he was rather self congratulatory he did raise some interesting ideas about school organisation, however, his premise that we need to focus on the bright young things, the ‘skywalkers’ as he termed them, ignored the fact that lots of innovators are not under 30 and nor do the younger teachers hold the monopoly on passion. Maybe I’m just a grumpy old bat!
At the end of the day we were treated to a showcase by Microsoft’s innovative teacher of 2008 Andrew Douch. This really did inspire me, I wanted to go home and begin podcasting straight away. The testimonials by his students, ex-students and even other students around Australia and internationally was an amazing piece of proof that what he is doing is working.
The workshops that I chose were the one on Elluminate, which I have had some experience with, but still taught me new things and the one by Courtenay Gardens Primary School who are doing amazing things with literacy in their school. It sounds so simple, but they just focussed on one thing and got behind it and the fact that their kids improved their literacy skills as evidenced in their AIM results, shows that their dedication and persistence has paid off. I am looking forward to visiting and finding out more.
I came home and rethought some of the things that I was planning for the upcoming weeks, which I always think is the sign of a successful professional development day.