Day 115 (of 184) mindful methodology to school goals
Today our school had a meeting with representatives from our teaching staff, parents, central staff and teaching union to talk about our school goals. Our school goals are always in change – and a bit non traditional as instead of having a paper version, we are documenting our learning & doing by adding photos and videos to show what our staff is doing around these goals…..kinda like an eportfolio…
Over the past 18 months that I have worked with my learning community, the goals have steadily shifted. My first ‘push’ was around technology: I heard loud and clear that the school community wanted an ‘upgrade’ in the technology available and how it was being used. This allowed me to continue my work ‘mobilizing’ the education world. Literally. Since my school first went to laptops (8 years ago…..) I have been ‘encouraging strongly’ the schools & school districts I have worked with to move away from desktops, and take advantage of how mobile technology (from laptops to tablets and in between) can enhance the learning experience.
This year that ‘enhancement’ is shifting in my learning community to be focused on eportfolios – and how teachers using the eportfolios to communicate student learning might further enhance the learning experience of our students.
Our second goal last year was focused on self-regulation. We have an unusually high number of students that have been identified as ‘anxious’ by teachers and/or parents at different times and for varied reasons. We have made great progress. We used a self-regulation modelled classroom and a lot of collaboration (notably with a liaison from Interior Health) to explore a variety of ways to help students explore strategies around self regulation.
This year we are enhancing the direction of that school goal to move towards Physical Literacy. Identifying strategies and reasoning around having students be active to better engage the brain into a learning mode. All of us on staff are taking on professional development together so that we can talk the same language and find alignment in helping all members of our learning community self-regulate even better.
But the key word that came out of our discussions today was: MINDFULNESS. We have often used the word/term “mindful” when focused on our self-regulation strategies. Slow breathing, thinking about our brains, and reading body cues all help us be mindful about what we are doing and how others may be feeling. The enhanced connection includes the importance of ‘mindful methodology of technology use’. And as much of an advocate of technology use as I am, I do agree that there is a great difference in how the technology is used. And the language I use continues to be based on the work we have done around our school combining our two goals: Technology & Self-Regulation:
If the device is a distraction, it is a toy. If the device is helping you, it is a tool.
Likewise, there is a difference between consuming and creating content.
The brain works differently when it is ‘playing’ or ‘consuming’ than when it is ‘helping’ or ‘creating’ content. Being mindful of what is wanted to be done and how it should be done is key – both in technology and self-regulation.
A “mindful methodology” is a great term that came from our joint meeting and I really like it: have clear intentions and get alignment in order to ‘move forward’. Its amazing what happens when great minds come together!