We seem to have been at school without the learners forever - although it's only been one week. We all agree on one thing - we couldn't have accomplished the volume of preparation without this week. The teachers have typed up schedules and lessons and edited and re-typed.... We're all becoming very comfortable with using computers for admin tasks.
I have been interested to watch groups of teachers getting together to collaborate on their planning, share ideas and tasks, make a big noise while they do it and obviously have fun. It's a bit like a reflection of the way learners interact when working together in groups. It's stimulating, busy and sometimes deafening. At the same time a lot is being achieved and we are getting to grips with our new curriculum and how to implement it.
I don't have a "partner" teacher and do all my own preparation in consultation with the teachers and the topics they are covering in the class. Next year I will be writing my own curriculum as I go along as we can no longer afford to use a "canned" curriculum. More and more parents are not paying school fees and this is putting a strain on the school budget for the extras such as computers and extra equipment. I am enjoying the process of making up my lessons so far but envy the grade teachers who work in groups and produce a collaborative effort. Teamwork is a 21st Century learning goal and one that we should be encouraging amongst our learners.
So here's to the end of the 2011 academic year. We have two more days to go to wind up our activities and then it's a four week break before we return to school for a new year, new classes and lots of changes promised by our principal of only 3 months. Bring it on..... after a rest of course!