Sometimes I network with other teachers and students without realising it, and it’s fantastic when it pays off.
One of the advantages of collaboratively programming and planning lessons with each Stage group at school is that I can adapt each library activity to suit the various classes, taking into account the need to share available resources, and how best to complement the learning styles of the students and the teaching styles of their teachers.
Essentially, though, the lessons are repeated several times in a week – albeit with variations. By the end of the week, I’ve usually mastered my patter that leads into the activities. I also like to keep every stage informed about what units other stage groups are studying, simply because one never know when networking possibilities will arise. In fact, in my last school, I kept a large noticeboard in the library foyer – updated, week by week, as to which unit of work, key learning area or KLA, and type of text each class was being focused upon during their library lessons. (I’d do it at my current school, if only we had a noticeboard in the right place.)
Last week, no matter whether intending to use the Chinese New Year Parade photos (taken for Early Stage 1 and Stage 1) or the Bridges photos (taken for Stage 2), I recycled the same jokes with each class (ie. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have time on Sunday to get to Antarctica to take some photos for Stage 3…”). I’m so glad I did, because one teacher announced that her brother had just returned from a vacation to Antarctica – and had CDs filled with photographs of… icebergs, Antarctic cabins, icebergs, penguins, more icebergs, humpback whales, and did I mention – icebergs!
What a lucky break! And so, I was able to add a third slide show to my Flickr account, called Antarctica which the Stage 3 students will be able to use this week without worrying about the copyright of other Antarctica photos they may have found on the Internet!
As I said, it pays to network. Or rather, it often pays to be loquacious, because that can lead to very effective networking.