What do you think?

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Alison Kip

Explore the journey of Alison, an enthusiastic Year 2 teacher as she regains her passion for teaching during her Teaching with a Feather journey.

“Teaching with a Feather does challenge the ‘traditional approach’ I had been following for the past 11 years. The TWAF journey from the very beginning made me reflect and evaluate my current practices and philosophies. I enjoyed the ‘challenge’ of selecting my inspiration and sharing my philosophy.”

What changes have you made with your own teaching since beginning your TWAF Journey?

“I now find myself asking, ‘What do you think?’ which elicits thinking and decision making in the student/s. They are taking on the problem (big or small) and making ‘real and authentic decisions.”

“So…. new philosophy: WHAT DO YOU THINK?”

“My TWAF journey introduced me to new strategies that will improve my responses to varying behaviours in the classroom. I wanted to re-energise/boost my love of teaching by exploring different methods of teaching and engaging with my students and both of these needs have been welcomingly covered.”

“What I can’t believe is how much ‘thinking’ I did for the students. My new “What do you think?” philosophy is giving the ‘thinking’ back to the student.”

What changes have you noticed with your students?

“It is empowering to see the students take ownership of their own learning. They are capable of a lot more than I gave them credit for and it is pleasing to see the problem solving, decision making, collaboration, negotiations, questioning, reviewing etc. that they initiate with very little direction from myself, the teacher.”

“Have a go does NOT appear as applicable anymore for my teaching philosophy as the students are now excited to go off independently/in small groups to commence the tasks at hand.”

 What challenges do you see in future?

TWAF does require energy, effort and thinking for me at the moment but I do believe Robyn (and am already beginning to see it in myself also) that little things have already crept in and have become natural in my daily activities.”

“My challenge now is to ‘continue to embed’ these new strategies daily. I know it will take time and I know I can’t make ‘every’ lesson an inspirational one, but as Robyn says, little strategies can be applied to every lesson, even when doing “the tough stuff.” e.g. ‘I am’ and ‘Optimal Learning Zones’.”

My future plans include:

  • “Talk less and direct less”, my students are very capable.
  • Use the “Catastrophe Scale” – Interactive scale used almost daily now in the classroom. Amazing tool that has the students now ‘thinking’ about their problem and now a solution.
  • NO hands up! Nod, smile, jump up, wink – the possibilities are endless!feather_correct