If I ask you to think of three learning resources that make a difference to students’ outcomes, what comes to mind? Is it a Laptop? Textbooks? Mobile phones? How many of you thought of the Teacher? Earlier this term, Sharon Goldman and myself, were privileged to be a part of a pilot group of school leaders participating in the Orbis – Instructional Leadership Professional Learning program.
The first two days were facilitated by Laureate Professor John Hattie who, amongst many things, asked a simple question. What do schools advertise on their websites? I may be paraphrasing here a little. I looked at our current website and it is awash with beautiful pictures referring to courses and programs, personalised student learning, approaches to teaching and much more. The point that Hattie was making is that few, if any, schools put images of their teachers on their websites to celebrate the fact that we have amazing staff. Staff that dedicate an incredible amount of time, energy and effort to support our students to be successful. Staff that, according to Hattie’s most recent meta-analyses, collectively can make the biggest difference in student learning outcomes.
So, I’m going to sneak a little recurring segment into this blog to provide a space that will allow us to celebrate the staff at Blackwood High School. What inspires them, their philosophy on education and the expectations they have for our students.
While I am collating the first few entries, are there any staff (teaching or non-teaching) that have made, or continue to make, a difference in your students learning? Let me know in the comments below.