ecosystem: time & priority #SAVMP
CC Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_joondalup_westward.JPG
Our Geography field trip to Lake Joondalup went ahead last Thursday with 63 students, 4 staff members and 2 buses. That neat statement renders the experience clear and closed as if easily-executed, but processes and paperwork belie actuality.
Let’s unpack the time and prioritising:
- two failed attempts at excursion submission meant we were time-bankrupt
- last-minute cancellation in term 3 was forced as a result of strike action by WA educators
- re-scheduling generated ripple-effects for staff and students in our community
- documents were reviewed/ edited/ resurrected from desk top in-trays
- feelings of frustration arose, and were difficult to dispel
- ~ holidays intervened ~
- relief arrangements were finalised the-day-before
- last minute phone calls to parents for permission notes the night before
- early-morning fail safe inclusion measures meant bus departure was delayed for 20 minutes
Was it worth it?
CC Image Source here
Here’s what counts:
- the learning was real
- insights were visible
- collaborative practice was supported
- interest and engagement were high
- feelings were positive
- review comments were favourable
- we shared an experience
- gratitude for staff persistence in the face of adversity was genuine, and readily communicable once back in a classroom during our Humanities team meeting
- good feelings nurture goodwill
CC Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/henrikj/6584030161/
Overall: A great example of unrelenting collaborative focus on learning (Fullan, 2009).
Blocks we encountered were perceived as opportunities to test resolve and served as a measure of enterprise value. The task, after all, was worth 25% of students’ assessment in 1A Geography this semester.
Will we do it all again next year? Yes, with a possible shift to second term in order to promote skill transference from Year 10 study of ecosystems in Science.
I am newly attuned to our team/ school priorities; this has been a crucial perspective during whole school focus on NAPLAN data this week, and the implications a downward trend in Writing achievement has for us as an ecosystem.
Potential for distraction is averted wherever attention to the dynamic system is sustained.
CC Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pierrepocs/5480153734/
Practices: what you do.
Principles: guiding ideas and insights.
Essences: the state of being those with high levels of mastery in the discipline (Senge quoted in The Encylopedia of Informal Education, 2001).
Fullan, M. (2009). Large-scale reform comes of age. Journal of Educational Change, 10(2), 101-113.
The Encylopedia of Informal Education. (2001). Peter Senge and the learning organization. Retrieved October 19. 2013 from http://infed.org/mobi/peter-senge-and-the-learning-organization/