In a recent post, I discussed the value of relationships between students and their teachers and how these relationships were founded upon trust, respect and positive interactions in both directions.
As the new eLearning Leading Teacher at my school, my role in 2012 has expanded to encompass a much greater level of involvement with my teaching colleagues. This involvement will have me working closely with teachers who, in many cases, will have years – if not decades – of classroom experience beyond my own. This difference could be considered a significant challenge – particularly as 2012 heralds the beginning of a major change at the school with the student cohort having 1 to 1 computer access for the first time.
Building effective working relationships requires authenticity, persistence and no small amount of time. In order to achieve the kind of whole school cultural change that a move to a 1 to 1 environment requires, I feel that I am going to have to take a multi-faceted approach that includes some of the following:
- using an partnership-based instructional coaching model (like this) to work with individual teachers on how they plan to get the most benefit from the 1 to 1 environment.
- leverage existing collegiate development teams to enhance the ‘cross-pollination’ of ideas between staff and faculties
- including ICT integration in the collegiate observation program and annual teacher appraisal process
- empower students to drive the changes that they would like to happen in their classrooms.
- clearly and transparently communicate the eLearning targets of the school to the wider school community (especially parent groups).
I anticipate that 2012 is going to be a challenging year. Building and maintaining authentic relationships with colleagues will be key to ensuring that this important change process is successfully implemented by every teacher, every class, every day.