Teaching Schools tip #2:

Posted by Charlotte Curl - Last updated on December 13, 2019

Teaching Schools tip #2

Yesterday’s blog discussed the need to ensure that professional development activities are part of a continuous process. Continuous CPD is ineffective if carried out in a vacuum and should be done collaboratively within the professional learning community. For Teaching School’s this community stretches across the whole alliance. As Michael Fullan said,

Teaching quality improves with a collegial, collaborative environment…the power of the collective capacity is that it enables ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

When I asked the twittersphere for tips for newly designated or future Teaching Schools the first response I received was very much related to this. The wise words came from Roger Billing, Deputy Head at Wroxham Teaching School (@RogerBilling), who said “listen to your alliance schools, it is about being a group, not one school saying they can do it all”.

The Wroxham teaching School run a series of Teachmeet style events sharing nuggets of practice in a fun and informal manner for all teachers within their alliance. This is a wonderful activity for teachers to be involved in as it’s a ‘safe environment’ where the sharing of positive skills and ideas can take place with full exploration of the impact good bad or indifferent. It’s also a great way to develop peer relationships and trust within a network of schools.

It’s hugely important to the success of Teaching Schools to remember that within an alliance of schools there is a vast wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise. If this collective capacity is harnessed and disseminated standards will improve across the board. Teaching Schools are not sat at the top of a pyramid passing down their pearls of wisdom; they are amid a network of schools, with a web of sharing and collaboration within and between. Obviously the caveat here will be how they do this sustainably, and in a way that relates to each teachers classroom ensuring CPD is personalised, contextualised and empowering to each individual teacher.

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