I think I should explain the title for this one! Jeff, the Principal at school, and I were talking last week about how far the children in the class had come in a relatively short period of time. I’m pretty pleased that the children can do a few things they weren’t able to do at the beginning of the year now. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still room for improvement, but I am happy with the direction things are going.
Firstly, they are more aware of their learning. For example, lots of children were struggling to write decent, informative reflections, so one child asked if I could teach them about it. Hooray, I thought! So I asked the class if anyone would be interested in having a whole class meeting on this, to improve their reflection writing skills. This was met with an overwhelmingly positive response. So the following week we had this meeting and I noticed another big change in the children – they were all actively engaged in the discussion and listening intently to myself and others. PHEW!
Later in the week we had visitors from another primary school come through our class. They were impressed with the way the children could answer questions such as “why are you learning this?” Their behaviour is also much improved. They are more focused on their learning and have finally grasped the idea of only talking about their learning. I know all these things are small but they are big improvements from the way the children acted, behaved and approached their learning at the beginning of the year.
So, to come back to the title; Jeff’s answer to why this was occurring? “Sheer bloody mindedness!” Or, more specifically, ‘Good teachers know a balance reading programme with independent groups is effective and beneficial to the children. They will set up the organisation to flow well, role play working in groups, stop and reflect with the class if it is not working and through perseverance make it work. Knowing how beneficial my-learning is to your children and through your high expectations, perseverance and sheer bloody-mindedness you are ensuring my-learning is again successful in your class. As a consequence the children are responding.’ My Mum would say “because you’re a stubborn Taurian.” Both have some truth to them because without high expectations and that I just didn’t give up, this would not have happened.