I have been a teacher for 26 years, a Headteacher for 11 years and, at the age of 50, this much I know about what I learnt yesterday at the Sutton Trust-Gates Summit.
Jet lag is a price worth paying. Sleepless, I went to the gym at 6 am and spent an hour engaged in conversation with Thomas Thaney, a mid-50s Morgan Stanley investor on the pros and cons of the Khan Academy’s flipped classrooms, the importance of teaching students debating skills and how, even as a Republican, he couldn’t understand how Obama is on the verge of losing the Senate in the mid-term elections, which are held today. He asked the simple question…Is Obama’s unpopularity fundamentally rooted in racism? Priceless.
Trust. I spent the day with, amongst others, Dr Paul Browning from St Paul’s School, Sydney, Australia. His evidence-based research on the importance of trust in being an effective Principal seems to me to be fundamentally important to leading/creating truly great schools. Click on the image below to download his e-book Compelling Leadership.
The Big Teach? How about the whole staff watch a lesson live…teacher; students; real lesson; proper work produced; post-lesson dialogue with teachers and students? As Einstein said, For an idea that does not first seem insane, there is no hope. For further details ask Andrew Dawson, Headteacher, St Mary’s RC High School, Manchester, UK.
Austerity engenders innovation. Anyone fancying a school-based MA in Leading Change and Innovation in Schools would save £4,000 tuition fees if they undertook lunchtime supervision 3 times a week. It now happens at the UCLA Academy, London, where Geraldine Davies is Headteacher, and it changed the conversations back to teaching and learning in every school she has led.
New Zealand is where it’s at! I laughed (a lot) and learnt with Barbara, Sarah and Barbara…like me, all fans of Viviane Robinson.
And I’ve got two books to read:
This afternoon I’m Deep Diving. Watch this space. 😉