Thursday, November 20, 2014

A week of learning! Network update, BCSSA conference and more...

The last week has been filled with engaged professional learning and collaboration, with the BCSSA conference last Thursday and Friday, and then a great Network Leaders meeting on Saturday in Vancouver. 

If you missed the BCSSA conference, you can check out the presentations here. Keynote presentations included Andy Hargreaves (see his new book Uplifting Leadership), Michael Fullan (visit his website for articles, books and videos), and Yong Zhao (speaking about creativity and education reform – see more here).  Network leader Terry Taylor – Superintendent of Schools at SD 10 (Arrow Lakes) – shared learning from the district’s Reconciliation Through Art focus. It’s amazing work that you need to check out!

During the Network meeting on Saturday, leaders from across the province shared and celebrated stories, learning, challenges, goals, questions and triumphs so far this school year. We spent time listening to one another and offering insights from our own practice. We discussed that idea that inquiry takes time, and that our questions and projects evolve as we continue to scan our environments, act on our hunches, and learn from our students and colleagues.  

Network meetings are always buzzing with collaboration, ‘a ha’ moments, and supportive sharing of ideas. In the spirit of the Network, members leave their roles at the door, and we come together openly to share and learn from one another – to really move our practice forward.  But something about this gathering felt even more powerful. Perhaps it’s because we articulated how grateful we were to have a supportive environment in which to learn and re-learn the Spiral of Inquiry, and in so doing, reminded ourselves that we need to be working hard to nurture those supportive environments back in our respective regions of the province. I think many of us left the meeting feeling more inspired to continue this important work, and encourage new colleagues to recognize the good work they are already engaged in and support each other in enriching and deepening what we are already curious about as educators.  

And now the Network is growing again! Judy and Linda are in England this week at the Whole Education Network conference. A group of schools there will be building a network based on Spirals of Inquiry! We’ll share more about this project as the work progresses, and some members from this group will be attending the Network Symposium here in Vancouver in May 2015.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Inquiry question templates now available

Among the key features of the Network from its very inception is that participation in networked inquiry is always open and always voluntary.  We also expect school teams to include principals, vice principals, teachers, support staff and cultural workers – with everyone leaving their formal role at the door to enter into inquiry with genuine curiosity and a spirit of teamwork. We also know that micro grants go a long way to both saying ‘thank you’ and to providing a tangible form of recognition for sharing school level work with a broader audience.  We believe that it is critically important to create a space for school teams from across districts to meet with one another – both face-to-face and on-line. This year is no exception.

This year, there are four areas of inquiry in which schools can become involved.  Templates for each of the four inquiry areas are available on our website (click on the links below).  

·         NOII– Learning Principles

The deadline for all inquiry proposals is December 15th. For more information about each of the four areas of inquiry, please refer to the 2014-2015 Network Guide. Please also feel free to contact us for more information.