Monday, 13 October 2008

A First Step on the Path- PLP begins

It happens sometimes- you get the feeling that something great is going to happen. Today the Australian cohort for the international PLP group had a meeting at Toorak College at Mt Eliza.This programme is Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach's real effort to create sustainable change in schools by developing a continuous support framework for schools.They are putting their efforts and their reputations up to get real change happening and my school has been lucky enough to be funded to participate.

My team of four includes Pam Arvanitakis, Matt Lucas, Marie-Josee Mill and Natalie Vranjes. The areas that they teach in are diverse and their interest is what has brought them to volunteer for the programme. I hope that they found today both challenging and exciting- I know I did despite the fact that most of what was covered was material with which I am familiar. That wasn't what it was about anyway- today was about building a community - a group of teachers creating a personal learning network and a framework to try and change their teaching and ultimately their schools.

The teams came from private schools in Victoria and New South Wales and involved many travel hours for staff and much work by Jenny Luca who is organising the group. It was great to meet more of the folk I have chatted to on Twitter as well as Judy O'Connell and Dean Groom again and a number of new teachers and community members.

So what do I expect from this? Well, apart from the funding that allows staff from my school to access high quality in-service - a very basic but important virtue- this has the chance to create a network for collaboration and development both within Australia and with New Zealand and USA.The teachers involved are amazing people and I have much to learn from them. Will and Sheryl are so well connected and experienced that anything will be possible.

Much is before us and there will be growth in so many ways- Craig Smith at Knowledge Bank has been a great help for us as a group organising funding and we will be able to see how to create change within a school. Thanks to Jenny and Will and Sheryl for a very affirming day - optimism is hard to find and this was a day filled with it - food for those hard working teachers who are asked to provide so much of it for our students that sometimes the well does run dry. Maybe we are starting a new well spring?

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