Yesterday was a bit of an educational influence sandwich for me. I met one of the biggest influences on my teaching career yesterday. I had not seen her for a few years and I still found myself stifling a wee squeal of “Mrs B” she was one of my French teachers and I loved her! She was so elegant with dark curls and full of the chat about France. I loved the way she was very calm and patient and explained things really well. We had a very quick catch up and have agreed to meet next week, I can’t tell you how excited I am. Like most of my other teachers for languages, she was inspiring, we were doing CfE and experiencing great teaching and learning before it was labelled AiFL or collaborative learning. We were at the heart of communicative methodology and it’s only in studying it and teaching about pedagogy I realise just how much my teachers were at the forefront. And it wasn’t yesterday let me tell you.
I then had a late night phone call last night with a great pal of mine. He was head of another department when we worked together and is now a head teacher. We were on the phone until 11pm discussing curriculum models and vision. I’ve always had a massive respect for him as he was always bold in his vision for curriculum and development for staff. Despite coming from different subject disciplines he had a real handle on mine and wanted to talk about fine tuning some ideas for languages and I was impressed that a) he was ready to shake it a well established model a bit and b) wanted to invest in his staff so that the learners in school would benefit.
My question to him was why were his subject leaders not going to him with the ideas? Why weren’t the specialists out fighting their cause and looking at the bigger picture?
I’ve taken part in an educational podcast over the past year and one night we were discussing a different type of educational establishment that specialised in STEM subjects and I immediately had my characteristic rant about sidelining expressive arts and languages etc etc, only to be countered by “What if we had teachers who taught broad general education in secondary?”Shock! Horror! I believe I may have said something along the lines of of “are you mental?” While well received for comedy value, my initial reaction was a-typical for me! Yet, after some teasing out of ideas and the what if chats I conceded that maybe this pal of mine ( who incidentally challenges pretty much anything I think about education – in a good way though) may have an idea that was worth exploring. Of course I won’t admit I agree with him, even if did. Because quite frankly, where is the fun in that?However you have to love being part of the professional community where people have to put brave pants on.
Mammy points- top quality day as we were on holiday
Methodology points – none.
Manolos- I’m not saying I did some creative accounting to justify the gold sparkly heels I bought today. I’m just saying it is a possibility.