Monday, June 11, 2012

Class Swap

Today one of the other teachers and I swapped classes for the afternoon. There was definitely a real reason for this - her class created the most amazing Koru artwork (inspired by Raewyn Harris) a few weeks ago and I realised that I could either try to replicate this myself without the same expertise as her, or, I could offer a trade-off: strength for strength. I went to her class to work on blogging while she was in my class planning and drafting their art.

We, as educators, seem to be afraid of 2 things. We are afraid that others are better at teaching aspects of the curriculum than we are. And we are afraid to admit it. The reality is that we simply cannot all be good at all things - in life, we all have strengths and weaknesses and it is more important to grow in our strength and try to develop in our weaknesses.

Art is something that I love to teach but it is not necessarily my strongest suit. I can try different things but I tend to end up abandoning some projects because they were simply too hard or they really didn't go to plan. eLearning is something that I also love but I feel less worried about making mistakes or revamping things or evaluating and changing things than I do with art!

So swapping classes was the ideal. It means that my class get the same experience with better teaching and I get to impart my knowledge on another class who hopefully also get some expertise from me. It doesn't mean that now I no longer teach art, it doesn't mean that I no longer feel confident to teach it, but it means that the class were treated to a new experience with a different teacher. It also doesn't mean that she now avoids teaching eLearning skills - not at all! I work alongside her anyway but she is also an exceptionally strong eLearning teacher who didn't need me to teach blogging skills but it gives us the opportunity to teach in another year level with other children. As teachers, part of our own personal challenge is to keep stretching ourselves and especially to push ourselves beyond our own comfort zones.

Have you tried this with other class teachers? What worked for you? What were the challenges?

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