Tony Gurr

REFLECT (and THUNK) Yourself…to GREATness (the RE-boot)!

In Adult Learners, Quality & Institutional Effectiveness, Teacher Learning on 26/06/2013 at 12:38 am

big bad İSTANBUL

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A couple of you have probably heard that I have “moved” …and have been “celebrating” that around half-a-million folk have dropped into the ole blog (shirously, guys…you have to get a life)!

OK – this post has been one of the favourite “hits” for many of you…and, as part of my 500K celebrations, I decided it needed a “re-boot”…so this is what you get!

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Best way to be BORING (Voltaire quote)

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Did you KNOW that:

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  • 65% of conference attendees believe they LEARN nothing from plenary sessions…
  • 55% of conference attendees prefer the coffee breaks to the break-out sessions they attend…
  • 45% of conference attendees “sneak” off to do a bit of sight-seeing…or shopping…(!)

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Did you also know that 33% of statistics are made up on the spot!

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OK, OK – my conference “stats” may lack a bit of reliability…but it’s true – we EDUcators do not do our best LEARNing at conferences!

I lke boring things (Warhol quote)

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Neyse…. to something totally different!

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I have done a great deal of interviewing in my time (karma…previous lives poorly lived, no doubt) – but one interviewee still stands out for me…nearly 13 years after the fact.

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I had probably interviewed around 15 candidates on the day I met him – and I was bored to death by people telling me what a great team-player they were…how flexible they could be in difficult situations…and, how they were really “interested” in all our “strategic initiatives” (that weren’t even on the website)!

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He popped in (with no tie, I must add) – the “balls” on the guy…and I decided to ask him (first question – right in):

“Tell me why you are a great TEACHer…”!

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His response:

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Not sure I am that great…I’m good…but I’m good because I LEARN faster than most, I work harder at reflecting than most and I like doing “it” with other TEACHers…

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OK – I had to hold back a “giggle” with that last comment (but “humour” is what we look for, too). 

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I gave him the job!

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TEACHers learn best by REFLECTing:

Classroom reflection (FQs for TEACHers) TG Ver 03

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And, they do “it” best with OTHER TEACHers!

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A TEACHer’s level of “reflective savvy” is essentially the product of “who they are“; their level of critical literacy, their level of LEARNacy and their level of emotional literacy.

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This savvy is critical for the level of EDUcational Literacy that a teacher has – the GOOD news – it is “LEARNable”! And, LEARNable by just doing “it”.

OK – I really have to stop that…

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I have to admit…developing your reflective savvy does take time (maybe, it never really stops).

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It’s about asking the “right” questionsagain and again. Taking the time tostep back and weigh up what’s really happening around you…within you…as a LEARNing professional.

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It’s about working towards greater clarity and understanding – by being “honest“.

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BUT, most importantly – it’s about taking ACTION – and ACTION that leads to “improvements” in what you KNOW, what you DO and WHO YOU ARE as an EDUcator.

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Many educators do this by asking questions about TEACHing:

These are “great” questions – but are they enough?

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We all know that there is a huge difference between asking questions about TEACHing and asking others about LEARNing:

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In fact, we can take the same 3 questions and apply them to LEARNing:

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If you want…we can even push that boat out a little further…just a little, mind:

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WHAT the HELL….in for a pound, in for a penny; Let’s take those THREE little questions and think about:

  • CURRICULUM
  • ASSESSMENT (and, TESTING – of course)
  • EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP
  • QUALITY
  • …the CONFERENCE BUDGET (and how we can spend that money so much more wisely)!

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Hey, here’s a whacky idea  – …speak to your HoD and ask her to cancel the “boring administration meeting” she had planned for you all this week!

Get a cup o’ çay (and a biscuit) with your friends…take the time to “sit” and “chat“…and REFLECT!

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Einstein and CPD

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GO ON…do “it” with another TEACHer today

…you know you’ll have fun!

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