Thursday, 21 April 2016

Stay true to the process & the purpose.

I’ve been thinking about various trends in education. We all know that at times, education is full of jargon and buzzwords, and there is always the newest 'thing'. However, in the rush to implement the newest thing, sometimes educators may dismiss or neglect important philosophies, components or elements. When concepts like project based learning or instructional coaching become popular, they can become tainted when sufficient time is not taken to learn the process. The chart below clearly highlights the difference between Projects and Project Based Learning.

At times, concepts like project based learning and instructional coaching are adapted to ‘fit’ personal ideals, beliefs or needs. I believe instructional coaching has even been utilised for evaluation, which was not the intended 'partnership' approach. Professional learning is not the same as evaluation. I view instructional coaching similar to formative assessment and evaluation similar to summative assessment. Both have a very different purpose. I am all for adopting and adapting programs, lessons, activities but when you alter or ignore important steps or processes, the integrity, authenticity and strength is compromised and the purpose is corrupted. It is highly recommended to take time to research and learn from those more experienced and/or those who share. Twitter is a collaborative platform with many educators keen to give freely. The Buck Institute share all their materials and resources and Jim Knight provides many resources and information on the Kansas Coaching Project website.

Take time 

Be professional

Stay true to the purpose

Stay curious...


Thursday, 14 April 2016


About a year ago, a friend recommended I meet another educator knowing that we're both passionate about coaching and professional learning. I’m sure you’ve all met someone where the professional connection is instantaneous. When you chat, time flies and so do the ideas. As we are now co-presenting at EducationNation, we decided to meet during the holidays to plan. This is my attempt to describe our planning session because when I later reflected on our meeting, I wanted to learn and understand why it worked so well.

Flow chart by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

I’ve previously written a blog post about the Complexities of Collaboration. Yesterday, when we were collaborating, we were in the zone. One idea would be shared and then the other would take that idea further. We kept connecting concepts, beliefs, behaviours and madly drew visuals. Absorbed and enjoying the process, it was a partnership in productivity. Energised and totally involved, I suppose it’s what Mihály Csíkszentmihályi calls the flow. The moments when you are so engaged, you lose track of time and/or don’t think of checking your phone. Accompanying or complementing this flow was a spirit of authenticity. Building on each other’s ideas, our thinking was aligned yet progressive. We were disciplined and interdependent and collectively, we found our flow.

I would love to hear about your collaborative experiences.

Always curious,


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Time for this moderator to move on...

I’ve been moderating #satchatOC & #satchatOZ for 3 years and in that time, I’ve met some outstanding educators, both virtually and in reality. I have never received any payment of money, free conferences, or anything of that nature. My purpose on #satchatOZ has never been about getting known, generating more followers, or receiving endorsements or sponsorships. It’s been about the LEARNING! Providing free professional learning that will hopefully benefit all students, while supporting teachers. I won’t deny it has enabled me to connect with educators who I thought were way out of my league. But that’s the great thing about Twitter; it levels the playing field. We can converse with those who are more experienced and while some may call them edu-rockstars, I call them well-known or more experienced. However, I also approached educators who I thought were up and coming or others requested. I invited those I believed would inspire or even challenge others beliefs and ideas.

So what did I receive from searching, preparing and moderating #satchatOZ for the last 3 years? The payoff is simple. I got to collaborate (most times) with some of the best educators in their field. I didn’t realise how much I enjoy collaborating and discussing topics until once it wasn’t possible. I am not sure people realise how much time and effort goes into #satchatOZ.

The #satchatOZ goal was to spark an interest, an idea, introduce new strategies, resources, or even challenge one’s thinking. It's intrinsically rewarding but lately, I have been wondering if it’s time for me to move on or pass the baton. I'm sure there’s someone else who can provide new ideas and energy to #satchatOZ. 

I am so very grateful to Brad, Billy & Scott who randomly invited me into the team. I’ve also appreciated my co-moderators-Holly, Jason, Andy and Tina for all the effort and time they’ve provided. Thank you to all those generous guests who have given their time and knowledge. I am lucky to call many of these guests, my friends. #satchatOZ is not a chat without its participants/educators.

I want to thank all of those who have tweeted, lurked, challenged my thinking or read the Storify. You have definitely made me think more, learn more and reflect more and for this,


The learning continues... @stringer_andrea