Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Teachers inspiring through their own work

I received this poster recently promoting an art exhibition of work done by teachers in their spare time. It just made me think however, that shouldn't we be encouraging staff to undertake this type of work during the school day as well - in a variety of learning spaces, not being tied to specific specialist spaces - but ensuring that we provide opportunities for all forms of flexibility (or agility) in learning environments.

Most students I have worked with over many years love to see staff working on their own ideas and genuinely are interested - the questions and dialogue that emerge can be both inspirational and huge learning opportunities in their own right. There seems to be a reticence about doing that generally as we continue to "compartmentalise" our work in schools. It doesn't matter that at least one of the teachers is an english teacher rather than art - think of the creativity that could emerge of this combined discipline in some lessons, especially when looking at imaginative writing and thinking. There is no one right way to respond in this type of work.

These particular teachers may argue that painting is how they relax and that they don't want to mix work with pleasure, an argument I totally accept and I haven't asked them. However it did raise the question about how we encourage staff to develop their own creativity and use that ability to help inspire students formally and informally.

1 comment:

Jonathan Furness said...

Absolutely. We miss so many opportunities for modelling 'learning' and lots can be learnt and understood from watching others. As you say, it's the discussion and dialogue that follows that can often be of most value.

The dynamic between teacher and pupil reverses, and suddenly it's the pupils who are asking the questions, seeking the understanding and critiquing the work. Just wonderful.

A suggestion might be to propose an event which showcases both the work of pupils and teachers in a gallery?