Thursday, 12 July 2012
The four-term role of the Ped Leaders, as we have come to call them, was to bring two years of work to a conclusion and identify the core ethos, structures and techniques of the Canons Pedagogy, to share these with staff and students and to create a sustained (and sustainable) programme for a full implementation through collaborative pedagogic development practices. Most of all, their job has been - and continues to be - to engage and enthuse staff in this process, to retain a bottom-up focus and to find the surplus of excellent practice rather than start from an assumption that teachers' classroom practice is a broken thing in need of a quick fix.
Their first significant task in the process was to relegate the Deputy Head (me) and Assistant Head (@renniesherrie) to the role of 'guides on the side' and to ignore our guidance on how they should do the day completely. I say 'relegate' but the truth is we were delighted at their chutzpah and sense of adventure (or risk as @alatalite might have it). They trashed everything about the way in which INSET days are normally done (not in the Hall, no Head or SLT introduction, a welcome breakfast, a full programme, Subway lunch, etc, etc) and they invited their SLT leads to get involved purely to assign to us admin tasks to support their vision of the day (our watchword became "what the Ped Leaders want, the Ped Leaders get").
On the other hand though food alone won't mask the faults of a poor INSET day and the real quality was in the sessions themselves. The Ped Leaders, @biomadhatter and myself (I was allowed off the leash as a teacher on the proviso I didn't let them down!!) delivered sessions that really did demonstrate how to get the students working. A typical comment between us was how little we were doing beyond the initial planning and our in-session facilitating (apologies but I had to use the F word) and how hard our 'students' were working - a fact that was not lost on the teachers we exhausted that day. At least three members of staff reported that this was the first INSET day where they had not looked at a clock or watch for the entire day.