On Tuesday at our Staff Briefing we talked about the enormity of our responsibility as teachers. We are uniquely placed to influence children’s lives positively but we should not forget that, if we get it wrong, we can also, even sometimes unwittingly, cause real damage. It is a great joy and privilege for us to be entrusted with the care and education of your children and I want you to know that it is not a responsibility that we take lightly.
We also talked on Tuesday about a teacher being “an instrument of inspiration” and certainly, as I toured our primary school classes this morning, I was very pleased and proud to see the quality of the learning that was going on in each classroom. I have made bold claims in my new Director’s Message on the school’s website about what you can expect to find in our classrooms but I must say I was delighted to see the levels of engagement and enthusiasm in the lessons I saw today. I saw students collaborating in their learning; I saw children teaching their peers; I saw teachers differentiating to the different levels of ability in their classrooms; I saw teachers making good use of technology to support students’ learning; and perhaps most importantly of all, I found teachers interacting directly with individuals and small groups of students, guiding and facilitating their learning by asking them to evaluate their own work, and challenging them to think for themselves.
I have always said that any school that is standing still is losing ground to educational advances and to its competitors. All schools are (or should be) on a continual journey and KISU is no different. I am not saying that we are the finished article; there is plenty that we have challenged ourselves to do better in the weeks and months ahead. However, we do have palpable momentum at the moment. Skeptics might say that it is only the start of the year but my reply would be it’s still a lot better to make a good start than a poor one!