17 October 2016

Collaborative Inquiry Meeting - Give a Little Get a Little

This afternoon instead of our usual staff meeting our collaborative inquiry groups met together. 
Each teacher had to Give a little - a piece of advice, and get a little - come with a problem for others to solve.

Each group of 6-7 teachers went off to a room with afternoon tea and spent about an hour sharing.

Teachers had been forewarned to bring a gem that they had learned this year through their inquiry into practice. These came thick and fast. Some of the advice that was shared was in the form of warnings - what not to do. Others examples were from successful trials such as giving boys a short set times using a visible times to complete tasks or creating a bank of reading texts recorded by the teacher for students to revisit.

I thought this would be easier, we had a similar 'Agony Aunt' inquiry meeting last year that was very popular. This year, in the group I sat in anyway, teachers found it hard to define a problem for others to solve. There were general or broad issues such a 'the kids don't write enough' or 'kids are out of class so often' These needed to be teased out into exactly what were the gaps in writing or when are students out of the class and what are they missing out on. 

The possible solutions for these problems created great discussion. Having teachers from different ages meant junior teachers were able to teachers from older classes suggestions and vice versa. There was also a lot if input from the two beginning teachers in our group who had a new and different perspective on how things are done.

A successful format for an inquiry meeting as long as teachers have time to think about and prepare their pieces of advice and their problem.