I recently did a quick review of school leadership conferences across Australia and noticed something.
Most of the themes, keynotes and workshops – how little was focused on teaching & learning.
In many cases, I couldn’t find any focus at all.
- Leadership – we got that
- Engaging in difficult conversations – check that off
- Mental health and wellbeing – ✔️✔️✔️
- Thinking about innovation and the future – yep
Teaching and learning – not so much.
I spoke to a US colleague about this. She mentioned something similar.
I had a meeting with a principal who shared all the important initiatives he and his team were working on. He then said, with frustration – but we need to be talking about teaching & learning!!
But, we’ve got to be careful when we do talk about it.
It can be easy to whittle teaching & learning down to someone saying:
- Just follow this formula.
- Tell the kids what they’ll learn and how they’ll learn it – and poof you’ve got great teaching.
- Here’s the top teaching strategies…just use these.
Great teaching is a craft that mixes science with an art form.
And when mixed well, can transform a person’s life. For good.
I offer this observation to invite all of us to ensure teaching and learning is front of our educational conversations. And when it is, we explore:
- The nobleness of it
- The art form of it
- The courage of it.
- The beauty of it
- The science of it
- The craft of it
And when initiatives are taking place, we ensure they’re used in service of teaching & learning. The kind that makes learning stick for everyone.