In his first video for the new school year, Greg Whitby sits down with Renee Blyth from Xavier College in Llandilo, western Sydney to discuss how staff have maintained a culture of continuous change at the school.
‘We seek regular feedback from our students about what they enjoy about their learning and what they need in their learning, and we adapt our processes all the time in regards to that,’ Blyth explains, adding ‘and our teachers are ongoing learners.’
Student voice and choice is a big part of the changes implemented at the school, she shares in the video. This extends to their inquiry learning process, which focuses on project and problem-based learning. Reflecting on the last few years, Blyth says:
‘We’ve learned to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. We’ve learned that change is important. We can’t apply the exact same [Xavier inquiry process], or feedback process that perhaps we had even two years ago, because our learners evolve and are different … and we’ve learned to be okay with sharing feedback amongst staff, and offering that as an opportunity for growth.’
Blyth also reflects on the changes she’s witnessed in teaching, learning and assessment in her 20 years’ of teaching. For example, generating community spirit with students has become increasingly important, as has coping with the larger administrative responsibilities.
How often are you seeking feedback from students and using their feedback to inform teaching and learning in your school?
Reflect on your time as an educator. What has changed since you were a beginning teacher? How have you coped with these changes?
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