After a much needed vacation, it is time to take the plunge and jump into 2022 with energy, innovation, a focus on planning and of course, organisational health. Keller Education is here to support you.
“Too often in education we don’t want to try something new until we see examples of other schools or teachers who have already done it. Advances in education do not come from imitation – they come from innovation!”(Guskey, 2017)
In Lewis Carol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat is rather telling.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” the cat tells her.
“I don’t much care,” Alice says.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” the cat replies.
When it comes to professional development, this dialogue is echoed in many schools. SACE demands that schools offer professional development and educators are required to submit evidence of the courses completed and articles read.
Alice was on an adventure. Educators in schools need to take a journey.
In 2022 Keller Education is offering schools six possible journeys. One topic is solely committed to Early Childhood Development and Care – a season where the brain uses up to 66% of the body’s energy to lay essential neural pathways linking incoming sensory signals to muscle responses. Getting the body ready for adulthood takes place during this season.
If we can ensure that our ECD students Start Ahead, all the research points to the fact that they remain ahead as adults. By the time these students get to primary school, the energy demand drops to just over 20%. Yes, competency is important – it gets you into the room, but character keeps you in the room. And character is developed by building the strong foundations of prosocial skills like self-control, self-regulation, delayed gratification and flexibility.
Many Partners have opted for Classroom Management that Works. This is certainly a journey and is highly dependent on where the school and teacher wants to take students. An attitude like Alice’s of “I don’t really care much!” has no place in this topic. The only person that can be controlled in a classroom is the leader. Teachers cannot control students. Teachers will learn in this module how to control themselves and teach students the life-long skills of self-control, intrinsic motivation and the joy of learning.
Others have opted for The Power of Play for Academic Success. The research on this topic is mind-blowing. Pediatricians around the world are unanimous that a script needs to be written for every child, young and older adults to play regularly, play more and… play more daily during the learning process.
Mindful Optimism has a good following too. In a world challenged by economic decline, a seemingly uncontrollable health pandemic and insecurity – managing the stress of our students is no longer an option. Stress causes dis-ease. Stress has to be eradicated from each and every school. The old adage that we all need a “little stress” has now been proven to be inaccurate. Very few people benefit from stress. Mindfulness and Happiness now need to be taught in each and every classroom, irrespective of the subject. Hope, gratitude, kindness, generosity and appreciation seem to be the essential rungs that must be climbed in order to survive.
These very real and lived challenges require students with GRIT. Growing Gritty Minds is a powerful topic that gives specific guidelines for educators to apply in every subject in each and every classroom. True Grit is not Fake. It is real. True GRIT is not about teaching students to fail, but teaching them how to respond and grow from failure. Struggle is brain fodder. A growth mindset is desired by the brain for life-long learning.
Nothing is possible without emotionally intelligent teachers and students. Our topic on Nurturing Emotional Intelligence equips every teacher with a roadmap to connect this emotional brain with the thinking brain by teaching students to be aware of the triggers which hijack our thinking brains and make us behave in ways that are unacceptable. Again, this has to be taught and practised – daily, in each classroom in the school.
The destination has to be competent, capable, confident, calm, challenged, collaborative, creative students able to communicate as self-driven and self-regulated adult citizens.
Apply these Five levels to your own professional development using Stephen Covey’s principle of ‘Begin with the End in Mind’. Begin with the end first, number 5 and move down to number 1.
The investment by your school leadership in this brand of Professional Development is worthless unless you determine the impact your new learning is having on your students. After all, we are in teaching for our students.
Partners Schools are able to Log onto the website. They can read the Teachers’ Manual so that they gain an overview of the topic. They enjoy listening to the Podcasts, watching the PED-Talk and then engaging with the Relevant-C Cards where we take key aspects of the Teachers’ Manual and make it relevant in the classroom.
Each topic then has Journals and Guidelines for teachers. These are designed so that you have the material to take the students on this journey with you. Diarise the dates for the Webinars and other events that literally are designed to hold your hand and if you can’t make them, remember that the video is always available on the website. The only way the organisation will benefit from the rich material offered is if there is good planning. The corporate world calls this “organisational health”! The operational health of a school must always be student based and student focused.
Now gather all your strength after this short vacation and take the jump into 2022!