On 13th and 14th of February, ECE and primary school teachers, leaders, principals and centre managers came together for the first official PLD workshops provided by Tools 4 Teachers.
At Taupō Nui a Tia College just two weeks into Term 1, representatives from both ECE and primary schools, spent time with facilitators Jane Van Der Zeyden and Andy Butler. These days have been funded from the 300 hours granted to our Kāhui Ako that were born out of the need to help ECE and primary teachers strengthen their pedagogy around oral language teaching.
Both days were well attended by representatives from the majority of our participating ECEs and primary schools. Initially, attendees reflected upon how oral language professional development sits within the aims of our Community of Learning and how it is important that these goals also meed the individual needs and goals of each centre/school.
After looking at EROs 2017 National Summary Report from 2017 'Extending their Language, we discussed our previous experiences of oral language pedagogy from within our own teaching environments. Jane and Andy encouraged us to practice effective oral language practice through the activities we were engaged in. We took part in the 'Last Word' discussion activity which promotes the need for active listening.
Centre and primary leaders attempted to construct a vision for oral language in their schools/centre by reflecting upon what effective practices were already taking place for our learners. This served to remind us of Jane's phrase, that 'we have to make a deposit before we can make a withdrawal', reinforcing the notion that teacher agency is paramount when striving to improve outcomes for students. Leaders were encouraged to create a vision and come up with simple actions that could be implented in their learning environment.
By the end of the day, Jane and Andy took us through the Record of Oral Language which is the agreed tool for us to gather baseline data for this professional learning project. Many thanks for all who attended and to those that are so invested in making a difference for our tamariki - we are looking forward to some more exciting learning throughout this year.
Also, many thanks to Mandy who did all of the logistical planning and organisation to cater for these days. It is a mean feat to gather so many representatives from a wide variety of organisations! Tools for Teachers are back in Taupō on selected dates throughout 2020; please check the Calendar tab on this website for details.